I pretty much peed my pants when I saw our latest theme from Koala Crate – the Medieval crate! I was a huge medieval dork as a kid (and, well, still am), and couldn’t wait to share with Travis the projects and ideas about the Middle Ages.
One note in general: I’ve noticed that Koala is getting more… complex, both in terms of theme and the materials we receive each month. I’m not sure if the kits grow more sophisticated as your subscription goes on, or if this is an attempt by Koala to stay competitive in the expanding world of kids’ subscriptions boxes. This isn’t a value judgment, just an observation that our projects feel a little needlessly complicated. Still, you should be able to mostly replicate the ideas below with items from a craft store, if so inclined!
Because we’ve recently been in love with dragon stories and lore (Dragon’s Love Tacos!), it was natural to start with the Dragon Wagon project. We needed to first apply provided tissue paper circles as dragon scales to the sticky sides of a cardboard box.
Whoops, just in time we realized there were shiny stickers too, and made room for those.
My favorite part of this crate was the dexterity Travis showed. He largely took over adding 2 wooden dowels to be the axles, then adding 4 wooden wheels and a foam circle to hold the wheels in place.
Next he threaded through the provided orange rope, to pull the wagon along.
We hadn’t even added the dragon and already the Middle Ages were a huge hit with my boy!
To add the dragon, we adhered four thin streamers of orange tissue paper to the sticky strip on a cardboard dragon head. Koala set this up very neatly so that if you huff through the open mouth, the “flames” wave.
Slide the dragon head into the provided slot on the wagon and your project is complete.
I read to Travis a bit about catapults in the Imagine magazine, after which he couldn’t want to set up the Catapult craft. Again, he insisted on doing a lot of the dexterous work solo. Slip a foam circle onto a clothespin, slot the clothespin into the hole on the cardboard catapult base, and secure it with a second foam circle.
We added sticky-back foam to one end of a craft stick, and adhered the catapult dish (a small plastic circle) to the other end. The catapult then slots into the clothespin and is secured with an elastic.
Now it was time to load up our cannonballs (er, pom poms), provided in fun, rock-like colors and various sizes. Launch!
For a little math in the process, set up a ruler and see how far your pom poms go. It was fun to guess which size “rock” would go furthest.
Well now we needed a target, so we didn’t waste any time before turning to the final craft, the Medieval Castle. This was simply pieces of cardboard which slotted together. Travis was a bit frustrated (the slots were tight), so I finished up the castle and folded the provided cardboard characters for him.
Here’s where the crate scored big points with mama on the imagination scale! Your child can have so much fun with the characters moving about in the castle, laying siege to one another, and avoiding the fire-breathing dragon.
Did I mention I’m a nut about the Middle Ages?
To continue the interactive play, we made Travis his own crown to be king of the castle, with an easy DIY pipe cleaner crown.
Twist two pipe cleaners together to be the base – you may need three pipe cleaners, depending on the circumference of your child’s head.
Cut 5 or 6 more pipe cleaners in half to be the points of your crown, and bend each into a triangle.
Travis and I devised a little assembly line – he threaded a shiny bead on to the point of each triangle…
…after which I twisted the ends around our base. Be sure no wire points will poke into your child’s head.
A proud king!
Thanks for medieval fun, Koala Crate!