Inspired by her favorite princess and a fun picture book, my preschooler designed a castle of her dreams.My preschool daughter loves Princess Sofia and her animal friends, so I try to tie in her stories to our learning moments whenever we get a chance. We watched an episode in which Sofia and a friend must design and build their own dream castle, and we read Chris van Dusen’s amusing book If I Built a HouseThen, of course, we had to try designing a castle of our own dreams!

House & Castle Inspiration from a Book and a Show


In If I Built a House, the unnamed boy imagines what his dream house will have. The majority of the book shows his imagined house, and the first and last pages show him in his current yard, with building materials before him as he experiments in building. I loved his creative imagination but I also appreciated that the author/illustrator showed him attempting to create his dream with building blocks and straws and more materials. It shows that it was not quite as easy to build as it was to dream, but we certainly loved to see his dream!

In the episode of Sofia the First that we watched, called “The Shy Princess,” Sofia and her friend discuss the items in their castle that they most want. One girl wants a music room, because she loves music. In other scenes, we see Sofia’s brother and sister designing castles of their dreams:  a castle with a huge cannon and a castle with a room for shoes and clothes. I loved how this episode, although actually about the friendship between friends, also had the kids developing STEAM skills as they designed and built!

Strawberry’s Castle Design

In Strawberry’s designing process, we began by making a list of what she wanted. Here are some of the items from her list:

  • Must be all pink
  • Mermaid-hippos in the moat (as in Sofia the First)
  • Slide down the outside like in If I Built a House
  • a dance room
  • a snack room with all the yummy candy and treats I like
  • a water bed in my room
  • a dress up room
  • a dungeon for all the bad people who come to visit
  • a tower for Cedric (he is the sorcerer in Sofia the First)

Once we had her most important ideas down on paper, she was very excited to get started! I love the creativity she demonstrated.

My daughter designed a castle for her Princess Preschool STEAM time with me.

Once we had her artwork created, I had offered to build it with her with LEGO Duplo bricks, or something. She was determined that her picture was perfect and nothing else was needed. Hence, we had a short and simple but delightful Princess Preschool lesson today! Nevertheless, we learned to plan ahead (brainstorm) before we started the art work. Those are important aspects of designing in their own right!

What would you have in your dream house (or castle)?

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We contintued our Princess Preschool STEAM activities by design a castle, after being inspired by a princess show and Chris Van Dusen's book, If I Built a House.

Storybook Science

For this month, my fellow bloggers have been sharing storybook science ideas! Click the image below to see the other posts.

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