This dissertation revealed two distinct types of castles which are marketed to boys and girls: Fortresses for boys are embedded with the masculine stereotypes of violence and active agents, and Palaces for girls imply domesticity, passivity, and a need for protection. Applying a feminist poststructuralist lens, this qualitative study aimed to examine how children accepted or transformed these gender norms transmitted in popular media symbols of castles, while socially constructing culture through play. Two families, with two to four siblings between the ages three and nine, were audio-recorded playing with different castles, and discourse analysis was used to understand the role of media and gender norms during play. A key finding was how children incorporated media into gender segregated types of play, masculine action-adventure play with fortresses and feminine dollhouse and storytelling play with palaces, which reinforced traditional gender binaries and limits children’s imagined roles. This study adds to the growing literature on critical media pedagogy with elementary aged children. It also provides insights into how gender norms are constructed and challenged in the relationship between child culture and popular media.