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How to Build a Model Viking Longboat

Updated February 21, 2017

During the ninth to the 11th centuries, the Vikings roamed the vast European terrain. These Scandinavian warriors, also called Northmen and Norsemen, raided cities with the help of boats called "longships." Encyclopedia Britannica reports that the Vikings' "burning, plundering, and killing earned them the name vikingr, meaning "pirate" in the early Scandinavian languages." Make a Viking longship with the help of your children and use the model to teach them about the Viking age. This project uses a single empty cereal box.

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  1. Print out a Viking longship template by going online to We and Us Educational Design Services. Find this link in the References section below. Cut out the template and set aside.

  2. Cut off the top and bottom flaps of the cereal box using child-safe scissors. Monitor children using scissors, and make sure the scissors are age-appropriate.

  3. Flatten the box using your hands. To do this, press down on the side panels first so that the box lays flat. Then place the template on the cereal box. Trace around the two ship's halves with a permanent marker. Cut out the two ship halves.

  4. Open and flatten each ship half on your workspace surface. Use both hands to grab the middle section of the ship. Bend the cardboard upward so that you create an inverted fold. Repeat this step with the remaining ship half. To secure the ship ends, staple each of the curved sides by inserting four or five staples. Press down on the inverted folds so the ship bottoms lay flat. Bring the two halves together and secure with a bit of tape or hot glue.

  5. Embellish the Viking longship hull with ornamental paper dragon heads. We and Us provides you with a template. Print the template, cut it out, trace it on a piece of paper and glue in onto the ends of the ship's hull.

  6. Roll a pencil around one sheet of A4 computer paper. Roll from corner to corner. Secure the paper with a bit of hot glue. This is your mast.

  7. Print out the sail template from We and Us website. Cut out the template and trace it with a pencil onto a piece of construction paper or scrapbook paper of your choice. Embellish with a glitter glue pen, if desired.

  8. Punch a hole in the top and bottom of the sail with a handheld hole punch. Slip the mast through the two holes.

  9. Glue the bottom of the mast to the middle of the longship with a dollop of hot glue.

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Things You'll Need

  • Empty cereal box
  • Permanent black marker
  • Child-safe scissors
  • Handheld stapler with staples
  • Masking tape
  • Hot glue gun with glue sticks
  • Two pieces of construction paper (8 1/2 by 11 inches)
  • A4 computer paper
  • Glitter glue pen
  • Handheld hole punch

About the Author

Vera Leigh has worked as a professional freelance writer since 2008. Her work has appeared in "Learn Overseas" and "Grad Source" magazines. In addition, she received an honorable mention in "Newsweek's" My Turn contest. She has written features for nonprofits focused on literacy, education, genomics and health. In her spare time, Leigh puts her English major to use by tutoring in grammar and composition.

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