Building a toy castle out of magnetic tiles can be a fun and engaging activity for boys and girls of all ages. Not only is it a great way to foster creativity and imagination, but it can also help improve fine motor skills and spatial awareness.
In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of building a magnetic tile castle and provide tips for making the biggest and best castle possible. We will also share ideas for how kids can play with their castle toy and explore the educational benefits of this activity.
What you need to create your very own castle
- Magnetic tiles (various shapes and sizes)
- A flat surface to build on
The more magnetic tiles you have, the bigger your castle can be. One average-size set will usually allow you to build a big enough castle for kids to put their favorite figurines inside.
However, if you use at least 2-3 sets combined, you may even be able to fit inside yourself. Kids can have a magical time living in their homemade castles (or at least, pretending!).
If you’re thinking of adding to your collection so you can build bigger structures, just make sure you check for compatibility. You’ll want to make sure that the tiles in any additional set you purchase are compatible with the ones you already own. If they are not exactly the same size (or, at least, extremely similar in size i.e. a few millimeters difference) it’s likely your structures will be unstable.
It’s also a good idea to include a range of differently-shaped tiles. For best results, you’ll want a large quantity of square tiles to form the bulk of the structure.
You’ll also want to have triangular tiles to hand to make towers, turrets, staircases and other interesting features. Right-angled triangles, isosceles triangles and equilateral triangles are all great shapes to include, as they will give you plenty of options when it comes to the design of your royal castle.
Finally, grab any base plates you have and keep them to hand. These are usually tiles the size of four square tiles combined. They can quickly increase the size of your castle and add variety to its walls.
What to look for in good-quality magnetic tiles
When purchasing magnetic tiles STEM toys, it’s important to consider the quality of the product to ensure that they are safe, durable, and effective. Here are a few things to look for when selecting good-quality magnetic tiles:
- Strength of magnets: High-quality magnetic tiles should have strong magnets that securely hold the tiles together without easily separating. Weak magnets can cause frustration and may not be able to support larger structures.
- Durability: Look for magnetic tiles made with high-quality materials that are durable and able to withstand regular play. Tiles made with cheap materials can break or crack easily and may not be able to withstand rough handling.
- Variety of shapes and sizes: Good-quality magnetic tiles should offer a variety of shapes and sizes, allowing kids to build structures with complexity and diversity. This also encourages imaginative play and creative problem-solving.
- Safety: Ensure that the magnetic tiles are safe for children to use and are free from any harmful chemicals. Look for tiles that are tested and certified for safety.
Tips for building the biggest and best magnetic tile castle
- Opt for building sets with strong magnets: If the tiles you use have weak magnets, it will be very difficult for you to achieve any real height for your structure without it collapsing. Here’s how to make sure you buy the best magnetic tiles.
- Start with a solid base: Choose a flat surface to build on, such as a table or the floor. It’s important to have a solid foundation to build upon so that the castle won’t wobble or collapse. You can also use a large piece of cardboard or foam board as a base to create a more defined castle structure. You can use tiles to create a floor for your castle. This will give it a little more stability, though you can do without if you’d rather save those tiles and use them to make the walls higher instead.
- Use a variety of shapes and sizes: Magnetic tiles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so use them to your advantage. Experiment with different shapes to create walls, towers, and other castle features. Try to use a mix of larger and smaller tiles to add texture and dimension to your castle.
- Incorporate color: Magnetic tiles come in a variety of colors, so use them to create a visually appealing castle. You can use one color for the entire castle or mix and match to create a more vibrant and colorful castle toy.
- Create different levels: Use different sized tiles to create different levels in your castle. This will give your castle a more realistic and intricate look. Use smaller tiles to create stairs or a ramp to connect different levels.
- Add details: Use smaller tiles to add details to your castle, such as windows, doors, and flags. This will help bring your castle to life and make it feel more like a real castle.
- Use base plates: Usually the size of four square tiles combined into the shape of a larger square, these tiles are super handy for creating a strong base for large structures. You can use these to create different floors for your castle. They are also very useful for placing at the bottom of each wall. Due to their size, they can help to give the castle strong and sturdy foundations.
- Think outside the box: Ever thought about which shapes are the strongest? If you’re short on tiles, consider building a triangular castle with three walls. This will cut down the number of tiles needed and free some up to make the walls taller.
How to easily create many different castle designs
To get the most out of this activity, there are a handful of key structures you’re going to need to be able to build.
Including them in your structure will ensure it really looks like a princess castle!
Read on to find out which features we recommend including, and how to build them yourself at home.
Building high towers for your princess castle
If your kids are fans of classic characters like Rapunzel, it’s likely they’ll want to build some super high towers.
Unsurprisingly, the key to this one is using tiles with strong magnets. This will allow the tiles at the bottom of the tower to bear the weight of the ones above without buckling.
Adding a tile at the base and on top of the tower will give it a lot more stability and help it to hold its shape. The tile on the top can also be used as a fun lookout point for your kids’ toy figures.
Creating a spiral staircase
A spiral or curved staircase is a fun and instantly recognisable feature in any true princess castle. To add one to your own magnetic block castle, you’ll need to follow these steps:
- Gather at least 3 or 4 isosceles triangles tiles. The more you have, the longer the staircase can be. Each tile will be one step.
- Use square-shaped tiles to support the steps. You’ll need two square tiles for every 1 isosceles triangle tile you use. Place two tiles against one long side of the triangle tile and lift them up to form a right angle.
- Add a right-angled triangle tile to the wide end of the isosceles triangle tile and one side of the block of two square tiles. This will hold the right angle of the step in place. It will also act as a wall or hand rail going all the way down the staircase.
- Repeat the process, adding square tiles to the outer wall of the staircase to support it as it grows.
Adding turrets and smaller towers
A fun way to add some realistic details to your castle toy is to include some turrets. Turrets are smaller towers attached to a larger one. For these, you’ll want to use square tiles for the walls and triangular tiles for the point.
If you’re going for more of a medieval look, you can skip the triangular tiles and place some small rectangular tiles on the top of the turret. These will act as walls to stop any toys on the top from falling off.
If you want to include turrets, make sure you build a much larger tower first. Connect at least the lower third of the turret to the larger tower so it doesn’t risk sliding off.
Making a balcony
When building a balcony, you’ll need to remember to create a doorway to act as an access point. You can simply remove one square tile in the wall to do this.
Place a square tile against the bottom of this doorway at a right angle to the gap you have made. Place right-angled triangles below (one on each side) to hold the square tile in place. Add walls to the balcony if you wish.
Ideas for how kids can play with their magnetic royal castle
- Pretend play: Encourage your child to use their imagination and engage in pretend play with their magnetic blocks castle. They can act out different fairytales or other scenarios, such as being a prince or princess defending the castle from an attacking dragon.
- Create a story: Encourage your child to create a story around their magnetic tile castle. They can use their castle as the setting for their story and create characters to act out the plot. Kids can have a magical time getting lost in their story and becoming imaginary royal highnesses.
- Collaborate with others: Building a magnetic tile castle can be a great activity to do with siblings or friends. Encourage your child to work together with others to create a larger and more intricate castle.
Educational benefits of playing with a magnetic tiles castle
- Develops fine motor skills: Building with magnetic blocks requires precise movements and manipulation of small objects, which can help improve tactile skills in children.
- Improves spatial awareness: Building a magnetic tile castle requires kids to think about spatial relationships between different tiles and how they fit together. This can help improve spatial awareness and problem-solving skills.
- Encourages creativity and imagination: Playing with a magnetic castle allows children to use their imaginations and have fun being creative in their play. This can help foster creativity and imaginative thinking in children.
- Teaches STEM and helps build STEAM skills, including engineering concepts: Building a castle involves designing and building a structure, which can help teach children about engineering concepts such as balance and stability. It can also help children learn geometry and develop their critical thinking.
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