“Attack the Castle! Launch the catapult!” If there is one sure-to-please learning activity or travel activity for my crazy boys, it is anything related to warfare! (I have been promised there is a special place in heaven for Moms of 3 boys…) We loved visiting the awesome Castelnaud castle in the Dordogne river valley France during a recent family vacation. We were so inspired there by the medieval warfare displays, dioramas about sieges, and real-life trebuchets, that we came home and carried on the learning.
Make Your Own Catapult
First we followed the directions from this awesome blogpost from one of my favorite crafting blogs – frugalfun4boys on how to make a catapult.
We used a shoe box, pencils, rubber bands, hot-gun glue, a bottle cap, and pom-pom fluff balls (as our cannons).
Then we set-up a play-mobile medieval castle that we happened to own (Thank you neighbors who out-grew it and passed it along to my boys!). And then had a grand time chucking rocks/cannons at it just like in medieval wars.
Then my boys had the brilliant idea of a battle between castles. We used our fantastic shape magnetic tiles to build another castle, and then had fun shooting cannons back and forth at each other. One boy was the King of France and the other was the King of England and we had great fun trying to destroy each other’s castles and armies.
Learning Resources on Medieval Warfare
- Building a Trebuchet for Kids – Short Youtube video
- How to Make a Paper Trebuchet – YouTube instructional Video
- Trebuchet – Dragonfly Educational Video
- Trebuchet Facts for Kids
- Medieval Siege – NOVA series
- Medieval Life and Times
Praise For Magnetic Shape Tiles
If there is one toy toy my boys have that I am envious of (why couldn’t this have been invented when I was a kid?) – it is magnetic tiles. I will admit to spending hours, with or without my kids, constructing buildings out of these. They are fantastic! We bought our set via Amazon from Shape Mags. We have the 60 piece “The Starter Set.” I can attest that It holds up well to the abuse of my boys.
If you want to buy one of your own, please use the link here to help us pay for our blog and travels – doesn’t cost you anything extra!
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