The best toy castle to encourage imaginative play

toy-castle

by Samantha Price |
Updated on

Often, when we look back on childhood, what we remember most is dressing up, playing make-believe and having an almost untameable imagination. Playing fantasy games like princes and princesses, especially with the best toy castle as a backdrop, is one of the more popular role-playing games that's stood the test of time.

From traditional castles to castles fit for a Disney princess, there are so many options to choose from. Whether they want to conjure up stories with figurines or make their very own castle fort, you'll love watching their imagination run wild.

Therefore, at Mother & Baby, we've chosen the best toy castle to encourage your little one to engage in imaginative play. Here are some of our favourites from the range that we could find. Below, we've also included some play accessories to add to the experience.

14 of the best toy castles

Best compact toy castle
best toy castle
Price: $54.00
Alternative retailers
Walmart$45.47View offer

This playset is sure to take them on an adventure into the world of Disney, where they'll be able to play with Cinderella, Tiana, Ariel or Belle in their toy castle. Not only that, but this set features their loveable sidekicks like Gus and Lumiere to play with too. The format is shaped like a storybook, which can be folded and transported for playing on the go.

Pros:
• Good value for money
• Clever folding design
• Compact and portable

Cons:
• Smaller than expected

Age suitability: 5 years+
Review: "I got this Lego set for my niece who is a huge Disney princess fan. Listed as age 5+ I would definitely say it's age appropriate and easy to put the parts together. Designed to look like a storybook, the case folds out and provides the base for the princess castle which you need to build and comes complete with a drawbridge. The princesses included are Ariel, who has a carriage pulled by a dolphin, Belle with Lumiere candle, Cinderella with a mouse and Tiana with a frog. Easy to build and full of favourite Disney characters, I would highly recommend this set to all little Disney and Lego fans."

Best realistic toy castle
best toy castle
Price: $24.25

For a realistic take on a toy castle, this castle with Medieval design will mean hours of fun. With lifelike details, it features a drawbridge and turrets for you to build and assemble together. The pieces simply slot together, and once built, provides a backdrop for play with figurines. What could be better than this?

Pros:
• Beautiful paintwork
• Enjoy assembling together
• Sturdy build

Cons:
• Despite age rating, it may be more suitable for older children

Age suitability: 3 years+
Review: "Purchased for my 3 yr old who was too heavy handed with his Dad's 1990's lego castle! I couldn't bring myself to rebuild it again so thought I'd give this cardboard one a go. It's bigger, more colourful and less likely to break. I deliberately showed my son the back of the box first which just shows the castle, and he was thrilled with it. The front of the box features lots of characters which obviously for the price paid, aren't included but I could anticipate would create disappointment. Fortunately, our Lego knights and horses are a good size for the castle, and battery tea lights work well for a bit of atmosphere! Highly recommend this castle for hours of imaginative play."

Best construction toy castle
best toy castle

Rrp: $37.99

Price: $35.99

A great creative outlet, this STEM castle that they can build from the ground up with nearly a thousand pieces will really challenge their problem solving and construction skills. In designs of pink or purple, the possibilities of what you can create with this fantasy castle are endless.

Pros:
• Includes 998 pieces for building
• Encourages their construction skills
• Different colour models to choose from

Cons:
• Pieces may pop off fairly easily

Age suitability: 5 years+
Review: "Absolutely love this play set! The pieces are of a good quality and very strong. This playset has given hours of enjoyable play as it is open ended and you could create so many different things with it (even if you didn’t want to always make the castle). It is definitely for children who are able to sit down and focus for longer periods of time as the pieces can be quite small and fiddly to connect to one another."

Best value toy castle

Defend your castle from mythical dragons with the battlefield play accessories that come with it. With over seventy pieces, we believe this to be good value for money. It's easily portable with a carry case included and is made from safe and durable plastic materials.

Pros:
• Good value for money
• Portable carry case
• 76 pieces included

Cons:
• May include small parts

Age suitability: 3 years+
Review: "Good value."

Best pink wooden toy castle

From Melissa & Doug, this wooden foldable castle is a great way for them to play alone or with friends. Including accessories like furniture, horses, as well as a prince and princess, they'll love playing with the functional drawbridge and secret chamber.

Pros:
• Great added accessories
• Portable carry handle
• Sturdy build

Cons:
• Handpainted design may vary slightly

Age suitability: 3 years+
Review: "Lovely wooden castle for my three-year old to ply with. She loves princesses at the moment and this allows lots of role-play and pretend play. Well made, good layout with lots of stairs, draw-bridge and secret chamber. Carry handle useful and castle not too big. Figures are well-made and the prince and princess and horses are bendable and can be put in different positions. Bed and treasure chest and two thrones too. Great toy."

Best Disney princess toy castle

For the ultimate Disney Princess toy castle, this LEGO playset includes Ariel, Moana, Rapunzel, Snow White and Tiana as well as their five animal friends and loads of playtime accessories. This buildable set features five stories, a bedroom for each princess and a rooftop terrace for tea parties. It also contains a heart-shaped key that locks the castle when it's time to stop playing.

Pros:
• Includes 698 pieces for building
• Great added accessories
• Can be closed to save space

Cons:
• The cost

Age suitability: 6 years+
Review: "We’ve had hours of fun with this beautiful collection, spending time together building such a wonderful piece. My little one has spent hours playing with the figurines in the castle and watching her imagination explode is priceless!"

Best highly rated toy castle
best toy castle
Price: $220.84

From Playmobil, this popular castle set includes absolutely all kinds. You'll find secret tunnels, catapults, trapdoors and drawbridges in this exciting model. Despite the cost, we believe it to be good value for money due to the amount of accessories that come with this playset. Not to mention, it has raving reviews.

Pros:
• Includes 374 pieces
• Great added accessories
• Sturdy build

Cons:
• The cost

Age suitability: 4 years+
Review: "Excellent castle, well worth the money. My 8yr old loves it, it’s very sturdy and great value. 1000% recommend, love all the add ins you can get too"

Best toy castle with variation
best toy castle
Price: $119.89
Alternative retailers
Walmart$178.52View offer

This beautifully decorated toy castle has been designed with non-toxic paints and tested to the highest safety standards. Using natural materials, these detailed hand-finished castle toys are unique and loved by little hands. With different models to choose from, this brand pledges sustainability without the use of plastic across their designs.

Pros:
• Different models available
• Detailed paintwork
• Made without plastic

Cons:
• Fiddly to assemble

Age suitability: 3 years+
Review: "I love this! It’s excellent quality, quick and easy to put together and my 5 year old loves it. I was pleasantly surprised to find the towers come ready assembled, so you only need to slot the walls into place between them. I’m planning on keeping it for the grandchildren as it’s so lovely!"

Best wooden castle

Another great choice from Melissa & Doug, this somewhat traditional wooden castle is one that will stand the test of time. Like the Wooden Fold & Go Princess Castle Toy, it contains a secret chamber, functional drawbridge and convenient carry handle for playing on the go.

Pros:
• Great added accessories
• Portable carry handle
• Sturdy build

Cons:
• Handpainted design may vary slightly

Age suitability: 3 years+
Review: "What a fantastic first castle for a young boy or girl. My little girl loves this toy and I think it would be suitable for most children from about age 3 years - 8 years. Exceptionally well made and nicely painted on the outside. The inside is plain wood but with lots of rooms, arched windows and staircases for imaginary play. A handle has been incorporated into the design so it is very handy for taking away on holidays or days out. So very useful. A wonderful toy and I really cannot think of anything negative to say about it. Extremely happy with the purchase."

Best toy castle based on a show

From the hit programme, Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom comes this toy castle playset for them to enjoy. For use with other Ben and Holly figurines and playsets, it comes with magical furniture and accessories to play with. Featuring magical twists and turns, such as a rotating mirror and magical cauldron, they'll love playing with this toy castle.

Pros:
• Good value for money
• Great added accessories
• Full of surprises

Cons:
• Detachable base provides little stability

Age suitability: 3 years+
Review: "This product is great and kept my grandson occupied for over 2 hours! The characters are all very good with some moveable parts. The castle and items are very well made. The best part is that you can add to it as the other items available can be linked together. The only thing that is annoying is that the stand bases keep coming off."

Best bouncy castle toy
best toy castle
Price: £13.50 (was £36)

www.argos.co.uk

For hours of fun in the garden, this inflatable bouncy castle will easily keep them entertained. With the two-in-one valve, it only takes around five minutes to fully inflate and can be deflated just as easily. It includes eight air chambers so you'll be assured they can bounce around safely under your watchful eye.

Pros:
• Affordable option
• Folds flat for storage
• Easy inflation

Cons:
• Smaller than expected for some

Age suitability: 3 years+
Review: "I bought it for my nephew and he loves it! It took time to set up (blow the air) as castle is quite big but as soon we did it, it looked nice. My nephew is really happy to have it!"

Best affordable pop up castle toy

Whether it's a tent for them to enjoy storytime about their favourite prince or princesses, or a backdrop for their play, this Chad Valley Pop Up tent is a great affordable option for adding to the experience. Your own little prince or princess can enjoy using the functional drawbridge and playing peekaboo through the castle windows and roof.

Pros:
• Affordable option
• Suitable indoors and outdoors
• Peekaboo viewing windows

Cons:
• Hard to fold down again

Age suitability: 2 years+
Review: "This is well made and a great castle for any little prince or princess."

Best cardboard castle toy

What's more satisfying than building and decorating your own toy castle fort? Well, playing in it, of course. Made from recycled corrugated cardboard, these eco friendly playhouses are a safe and innovative way to encourage their creativity. Use indoors, or outdoors provided conditions are dry and calm.

Pros:
• Enjoy decorating together
• Encourages creativity
• Sturdy build

Cons:
• Have to check regularly for signs of damage

Review: "Exactly as advertised and my three-year-old grandson loves it (and my six-year-old grandson). It was very easy to assemble."

Best pop up castle toy

Whether it's grey, purple, orange, pink or blue - these fully lined pop up tents would be ideal for doubling up as a castle or medieval tent during their play dates. Whether they're dressing up as knights, princes or princesses, this tent with matching purple tunnel can add a lot to their play.

Pros:
• Different designs to choose from
• Easily wipeable
• Fully lined

Cons:
• May be hard to fold down again

Age suitability: 5 years+

FAQs

What play accessories should I include with a toy castle?

Of course, to add to the experience of playing with a toy castle, you might want to acquire some play accessories. Anything from crowns, wooden swords and hobby horses would only make playing that much more fun! Here are some of our favourite play accessories for a toy castle.

They'll be able to play princess and princesses with their own card party crowns. Alternatively, you could make your own or use a paper template and allow them to decorate them exactly as they want it.

They can brush up on their sword fighting skills with this set of wooden knight swords. Plus you can decorate them to add to the fun!

This cloak would fit any young King or Queen, and you can also choose between their favourite colours of red, blue, gold, purple and black.

A hobby horse is a classic in a kid's toy box because they're so versatile across many role playing games. Whether they're charging the castle or running royal duties, this hobby horse will come in handy.

How to make a toy castle out of cardboard?

Making your very own toy castle has never been easier. You just need a few cardboard boxes and a couple of supplies to get started. Not to mention, you can involve your kids in the process so that they can add some personal touches too. Below, we've linked a tutorial from WhatsUpMoms on Youtube to start you off.

Of course, it involves lots of cardboard_,_ as well as using a boxcutter to create turrets and shapes (adults only for this part, though). They even manage to create a functional drawbridge through the use of string. Decorating involves coloured paper to create bricks, flags and more.

So, if you think you want to give it a go, why not watch the video for some inspiration?

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