Cookie Castles

cookie castle

Following on from our recent castle visits, I wanted to help the children understand how the castles, that we saw, went from being fit for a king to dusty, old, broken walls. In a fun way, of course. I thought of using the wooden blocks to build a castle, but I knew the focus would shift from discussion to demolition, in the blink of an eye. It always does.

Time to bake cookies.

cookie castle cutting out

I didn’t have a castle or shield cookie cutter (great for St George’s day too), so I drew the outlines on a piece of black construction paper and used these to cut out the cookies. I used the Rainy-Day biscuit recipe from Nigella Bites (similar to this one).

cookie castle icing

Once baked, we lightly coated each biscuit in strawberry jam. Edible glue as it is now being called by AJ. Rolled out regal icing to the thinnest that we could and still handle. Using the cookie template we cut out the icing. Icing was then put on top of the edible glue jam.

cookie castle foliage

I didn’t have any new paint brushes and no way was I going to use any of the old ones. I needed a different kind of paint brush. Preferably a food quality brush. Then the solution came to me.  Mini marshmallows on cocktail sticks. Obvious really. The end can be left as a blob or shaped to a point.

cookie castle splodging

TF is taking great pride in colouring in pictures at the moment, so I should have seen this one coming. Instead of the delicate dabs, he carefully covered all the icing in red. We also used an icing tube.

cookie castle painting

In retrospect, I probably should have just given them the cocktail sticks and there may have been less food colouring on each cookie. Live and learn, I hope! The mini marshmallows were fun.

bl cookie castlesWe ended up with 15 castles and half a dozen shields. Next stage, after they had dried, was to tell the story.

cookie castle under siege

Borrowing the only knight we have in the house. He has lost his sword and his horse, by the looks of him, but his stance added to my story. We discussed how only the richest and most powerful people could build castles. They had to be on the right side of the king or leader of the country.

cookie castle in ruins

Or else the king or leader, like Cromwell, would throw cannon balls at the castles and try to knock it down.

At this point the children took a bite out of their cookies.

With the roof damaged, the wind and rain began to crumble the walls.

Another bite.

Over the centuries the weather, lack of repair, plants growing in the walls and birds roosting meant that the walls became unstable and fell.

They took more bites.

Finally, local people collected the fallen stones and built their own houses.

Another bite.

So that’s how a castle turns into a ruin.

If nothing else, the children enjoyed this project. Lots of laughter. Lots of discussion.

a row of castles

(Probably make smaller castles next time!)

18 thoughts on “Cookie Castles

  • Wednesday 1 June, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    what a great idea! I love it!

    • Wednesday 1 June, 2011 at 11:33 pm

      We all had good fun. I can imagine doing something similar again, which shows that it was a good project.

    • Thursday 2 June, 2011 at 3:23 pm

      A win-win activity. Everyone happy!

  • Thursday 2 June, 2011 at 12:52 am

    WOW, this is a fantastic idea and a fun way to teach history. Those biccies almost look too good to eat! 🙂
    Anne xx

    • Thursday 2 June, 2011 at 3:25 pm

      It may take some time to eat the rest, but eat them we must. To be honest, they are a bit sweeter than we are used to.

  • Thursday 2 June, 2011 at 1:07 am

    totally, totally, totally, totally, totally love it!!! We will definitely be making castle cookies really soon!!!

    • Thursday 2 June, 2011 at 3:27 pm

      I’m glad you like them. Great fun making these cookies. I may have to take a batch next time we go castle touring.

  • Thursday 2 June, 2011 at 1:25 am

    Home schooling is the only way to learn! I absolutely LOVE it!!

    Blessings, Debbie

    • Thursday 2 June, 2011 at 3:33 pm

      I love it when I hit on an idea that all three children can do. This worked for all of them. There are times that I really wish that we home schooled, but I make up with fun activities at the weekends and holidays.

  • Thursday 2 June, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Brilliant idea! Love the castles, and the marshmallow paintbrushes are genius! We’re studying the middle ages right now – these would be a perfect project. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thursday 2 June, 2011 at 3:35 pm

      I hope you enjoy making your cookies. The children wanted to eat the marshmallows, but I gave them new ones instead. Couldn’t quite bring myself to see them eat them after all that food colouring!

  • Thursday 2 June, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    I have enjoyed catching up with these castle posts Cheryl – sorry been too ill to comment recently. What a wonderful and inspiring way to teach them their history, much more fun than school (and as I currently sit in a history lesson every week, I can say with authority we never get biscuits!!) 😆

    • Thursday 2 June, 2011 at 3:38 pm

      I hope you are feeling better. And during the holidays too. Too unfair!

      Wait to see how I teach molecular chemistry with pancakes and strawberries! Yum!

  • Wednesday 25 January, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    What a cute idea! I always love to round out and incorporate activities/projects with what we’re studying.

    • Wednesday 25 January, 2012 at 2:41 pm

      So much easier to learn and remember when its fun.

  • Thursday 10 April, 2014 at 7:38 am

    Loved this! So much easier to learn history @d than from a dry old book – ad you get to eat cookies! what’s not to enjoy! Thank you! I’ve included the post in this months Britmums Education round up!

    • Friday 11 April, 2014 at 6:51 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. Learning should always be fun.

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