As usual, click any photo to bring up a larger version.
Rather than building a castle for your child, this project will let your child build a castle themselves... again and again, and in ways that you would have never imagined. And stimulating the imagination is what we hope of every toy that we give to a child.
This project is made up of several individual castle "components". You can build as many of each as you like. These can then be combined in many different ways to make many different castles. It is meant to be a "kit".
For the most part, I'm going to let the photos speak for themselves. I hope you find it interesting.
I sized the castle pieces to work with 3" tall Playmobil toys. I purchased an assortment of knight and pirate pieces for my son when I made this castle kit for him.
I built this kit for my son's third birthday. He is the "Theo" that this was named for.
Mine were sized so that they could nicely stack on top of each other, to allow you to make taller pieces.
The parts are made from 3/8" Baltic Birch Plywood. Actually, that isn't quite true. Baltic Birch is sold in metric thicknesses, so it actually 9mm thick, which is just a bit more than 3/8".
For a finish I used Tried and True original wood finish from Lee Valley. That is basically just a mixture of Boiled Linseed Oil and Beeswax. this gives it a slight amber colour, which warms up the pale baltic birch plywood, but still leaves it with a fairly natural look. It also will not show scratches the way a painted piece would.
I designed and built this project in 2006, and wrote an article about it which was published in the November 2006 Canadian Home Workshop magazine.
I also produced a very brief web page at the time, so as not to compete with the magazine. Enough time has passed that I felt I could now revisit this project with more photos and details.
Finally, here below are a few more older photos of the project.