Sunday, November 6, 2011

Making a Viking Longship

This is one of those posts I took pictures for several weeks ago and just haven't had time to blog about.

Sierra is studying the Middle Ages this year and that includes the Vikings. I learned the hard way last year that we have to plan some hands-on activities for her to do or she quickly loses interest in history. So with the Vikings, we planned on making our own longship.

Unfortunately, the website where I originally found this idea was no longer free and open to the public, so I had to improvise. I can share the results with you though!

How to make a Viking longship:

1) Cut a half gallon carton (emptied and washed out, of course) roughly in half. I made my cut just beside the spout that is often on those containers now.

2) Fold the plastic spout towards the inside of the container3) Glue strips of paper around the outside of the container and draw lines to show that the ships were made out of wood.

4) Draw, color and cut out 2 dragons to go on the prow of the ship. I did the drawing and cutting for Sierra, she did the coloring. I stacked two pieces of paper together and then cut so they would match exactly.

5) Glue the dragons together, leaving a small section at the bottom separated, which you can glue onto either side of the tab at the top of the carton (see pic above)

6) Draw, color and cut out 1 dragon tail (again, I drew and cut, Sierra colored) in the shape shown below. Hold two sticks (I used a wooden skewer broken in half) in a "T" shape and tape the tail to each of the sticks. 7) Glue a straw at the back of the ship and insert the wooden stick of the tail so you have a movable rudder
8) Use a hole punch to make about 4 holes along each side of the ship. Cut straws to an appropriate length for oars. Fold tape over the end of the straws (all we had was blue painter's tape) and then trim into an oar shape (I showed Sierra how to do one, then she could do the rest). Put the oars through the holes
9) Cut out small circles and color them in to be wooden shields hanging on the side of the ship10) Tape a stick or straw to the bottom of the ship. Cut out a square of paper (we used a brown paper bag) and punch holes at the top and bottom to go over the straw and make a sail.

11) Voila! Elementary age-appropriate Viking longship!

Sierra kept wanting to add fire coming out the dragon's mouth, so we had a little discussion about how fire and wooden ships don't exactly go well together.

She also made herself a replica of a Viking house while I was busy one day. I didn't catch a picture of that one, but it's another project that's easy enough to make out of empty boxes and scraps.

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