Ancient Rome is a subject children often study in school. It is also widely depicted in films and cartoons, thus children's curiosity about the place (past and present) is natural. Make crafts with your kids to teach them about all aspects of Rome, from its architecture to its medieval fights to its cultural significance. Bring history to life with exciting crafts meant to entertain, nurture their curiosity and inform them about the world they live in.
Create a racing chariot in honour of the Ancient Romans who once raced in front of crowds of over a hundred thousand people at one time. Red, green, and white are the most popular colours that Romans used. To create the chariot, use modelling clay for the body and wheels, and then connect them with toothpicks. Mold a figurine to create the racer, and place him inside the chariot. The racer figurine should be dressed in battle gear and holding a spear or sword and a shield. Paint your figurine and chariot to bring out more intricate details, such as a look of terror (or confidence) as he heads into the race.
Roman used to make mosaics out of shards of coloured glass and stones. They often depicted religious figures and events. The mosaics were created by setting the glass shards and stones into cement or concrete-like backings, placing the different colours of glass together to create an image. Kids can do the same thing using plaster of Paris or cement decorated with pebbles. For a simple and cheap craft, make a mosaic using small torn pieces of coloured construction paper glued onto a piece of cardstock.
Make shields out of foam core boards. Cut out the shape of a shield and allow children to decorate their own. Roman shields were made in three different shapes: a rounded triangle, a complete circle or a rounded rectangle held vertically. Older children may want to spray paint their board to change the colour. You can also cover these in fabric, or simply decorate them with markers and crayons. Create a handle out of heavy cardboard and glue to the back edges of the shield for kids to hold.
Cape and Shoes
Let kids dress up like Romans so they can really understand the Roman culture. Make a cape and leather strip sandals. Let the kids customise the capes with decorations and patterns, like fabric cut-outs and drawn on crests or coats of arms. The shoes can be made from strips of leather tied together to create a top for a sandal. You can find strips of leather at a craft store, usually sold in a bag of assorted leather pieces. Tie them however you would like; you can wrap the strips around the ankle, or create zigzag patterns across the top of the foot. Then poke the ends of the leather through holes that have been drilled through the outer bottom edges of a shoe sole. Craft foam works well to create a shoe sole, or you can use one from an old shoe. Glue the ends of the leather inside the holes. Then glue another layer of a shoe sole underneath it to give your Roman sandal extra sturdiness.