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Viking Craft Activities for Kids

Updated: 7 days ago


The word 'Viking' means 'a pirate raid' in the Norse language. As a group of self-named pirates going on raids, they needed good boats to travel in and strong weapons and armour to attack with.


Learn about the Viking voyages and battles by creating your own Viking equipment and vessels with these craft activites:


Viking Longships


Viking Longships were used for lots of different purposes including trading, exploring and raiding. They were light and fast with a shallow hull that allowed them to sail in both deep or shallow waters.


Longships had a very distinctive look. They were long and slender in shape and were made out of wood. They had a single square sail in the centre of the boat. They also had oars to row the boat if there was no wind. The Vikings would store their shields on the side of the boat both to provide protection to the boat's hull and to save space aboard the ship.


Longships are sometimes called Dragonships because they often had a dragon head at the prow (the front) of the boat. This dragon head would strike fear into their enemies and ward off evil spirits.


Find out more about Viking Longships


Activity:


Create your own Viking Longship with this simple craft activity from Happy Brown House.

Create the hull of the boat using an old juice carton then add your oars, sail and even a dragon's head at the front.


Find full details for this Viking Ship Craft for Kids at HappyBrownHouse.


If you want to go even further, why not make your own Viking shields out of small circles of cardboard to hang on the side of your boat?



Viking Helmets


Vikings had armour to protect themselves in battle. Their helmets were made from several pieces of iron joined together with rivets. Their helmets were often a basic dome shape with nose or eye guards. Historians believe there would have been a leather strap that looped under the chin to keep the helmet fixed onto the head.


Contrary to popular belief, Vikings did not have horns on their helmets. Horns would have made the helmet heavy and difficult to wear as well as throwing the wearer off balance. No Vikings helmets have ever been found adorned with horns (though there are plenty of depictions of the Norse God Thor sporting wings on his helmet). The idea of the Vikings wearing horned helmets likely came from the Anglo-Saxon Monks who described the Viking invaders as demons or devils.


Find out more about Viking Weaponry


Activity


There are plenty of online resources decribing how to make a costume helmet with horns. But if you're looking to make an historically accurate Viking helmet, check out this guide from BBC History.


In this craft activity, you will layer paper in strips to create a dome shaped helmet just like the Vikings would have done with strips of iron.


Find the full guide to Make your Own Viking Helmet from BBC History here.




Viking Shields


The Vikings used round shields made from wood, fixed together with a leather rim around the outside. They had a metal boss (dome) in the centre. The Viking would hold the shield with one hand behind this metal boss (it wasn't strapped to the arm like most shields). Shields were often decorated in different colours and designs to represent the region the owner came from. They would have used oil to coat the shield to prevent it from absorbing water when they were out at sea.


Viking shields were often only 80-90cm in diameter so they didn't protect a lot of the Viking's body. But their size meant they were light and maneuverable. These shields were often used as a weapon for attack as well as defence, including ramming or punching their opponents, or disarming their enemies.


Find out more about Viking Weaponry


Activity:


Create and decorate your own full sized Viking shield with this craft from Deceptively Educational.


All you need to create this basic shield is cardboard for the 'wood' and duct tape for the 'leather' binding. Then you can create your own design to decorate your shield, including different colours, rivets, a boss in the centre and more!


Find the full guide to create a Viking Shield at Deceptively Educational.


The web links in this article have been included for reference only and are in no way affiliated with Imagining History. Imagining History has no control over what content is included on these web links so discretion is advised.



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