Like pirates, Vikings are excellent subjects for crafts for children--particularly when you're trying to engage boys. Vikings were ancient Scandinavian warriors and explorers who lived through many parts of Europe from the 8th to the 11th centuries. Vikings sailed rivers, oceans and seas in longboats, which were ships with sails, powered by dozens of men rowing with long oars.
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Though many of our ideas of what Vikings were actually like are wrong, including their use of horned helmets and a savage culture, these images are prevalent in pop culture. If your heritage is Scandinavian, or if you are simply interested in Norse culture, gather your children together to work on some Viking-inspired crafts.
Viking Paper Dolls
Make a Viking paper doll with a few simple materials and steps. Draw an undressed Viking, or a Viking in long johns. Separately, draw pair of boots, a helmet with horns, and a coat, belt and pants-- all should be slightly bigger than the Viking figure. Draw a hammer and a shield proportional to the Viking. When you are finished, color in each item with realistic earth tones and cut them out. Laminate each item and cut out. Place small, clear Velcro dots on the backs of each item and the corresponding spot on the front of the Viking doll.
Create a Viking longboat with your children out of foam, a dowel and corrugated craft paper. First, trace and cut a longboat pattern on a wood-grain foam sheet. If you cannot find wood-grain foam, simply use brown foam and draw a wood grain with a black marker. Trace and cut a sail from brown craft paper and punch two holes 1/2 inch from the top and the bottom. Draw a Viking helmet on the sail. Poke a 6-inch dowel into the front of the bottom hole of the sail and out the top hole. Glue the bottom of the dowel to the bottom of the boat. Cut four circles on the corrugated cardboard. Cover the circles with tin foil and attach them to the front of the boat as shields.
Use a milk jug, a hot glue gun, construction paper and elastic to make a Viking helmet with your kids. Cut a milk jug in half and spray paint the bottom half silver or gold. Use ivory-colored construction paper to make two horn shapes and secure them with tape. Hot glue the horns to the sides of the milk jug. Then, poke two holes into either side of the milk jug edge. Tie an elastic band to either side and secure it on your head. A standard milk jug will work for most adults or older children while a juice or soda jug may work for smaller children.