The Vikings lived in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway and Sweden) approximately 1000 years ago – from around 700 CE – 1100 CE. The Vikings were feared throughout Europe as they travelled around by very distinctive boats called longships (some of these longships were around 40 metres in length!) and raided settlements throughout Great Britain, Germany, France, Spain and Italy. The Vikings also travelled further afield and settled in Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland in Canada.
The longship was the Viking's key to their ability to raid and plunder much of Europe, as the longship was shallow enough that it could sail into shallower bays and up rivers. In fact the word Viking comes from the old Norse word vik which means inlet or bay. So a Viking was a person who went on raids into inlets and bays.
Why did the Vikings raid and plunder across Europe? Some historians believe that the population in Scandinavia had grown too big for its natural resources to provide for everybody, and so the Vikings went abroad for more land to settle.
The Vikings were feared greatly during the Viking age, and now as we look back on history, we think of them as great warriors (imagine Thor the Norse/Viking God of Thunder) who explored Europe and beyond.
Make your own Viking Shield
You will need:
a large piece of cardboard from an old cardboard box
large circle shape to trace around (like a big stock pot or serving plate)
small circle shape to trace around (like a large mug)
Viking shield inspiration sheet
paint in a variety of colours (we used red and white to represent the Danish flag)
hot glue gun
Trace around the large circle shape and small circle shape with your pencil on your cardboard.
Cut both shapes out.
Paint the small circle shape with your metallic paint. Leave to dry.
Have a look at our Viking shield inspiration sheet and draw a design onto your large cardboard circle with a pencil.
Paint the design onto the large circle. Allow to dry.
Now glue the small circle to the centre of your large circle. Allow to dry.
Now to make the handle. First, cut a rectangle of cardboard approximately 25cm x 5cm.
Turn the shield over, and glue the handle in place on the back. Secure in place with a little masking tape.