Leif Erikson was a Norse explorer who is believed to have been born in Iceland around the year 970 AD. He was the son of another legendary Norse adventurer, Erik the Red. Leif Erikson is best known for undertaking the first recorded voyage to North America, some 500 years before Christopher Columbus. Leif Erikson, according to the Icelandic sagas, arrived at Vinland, which is thought to be present-day Newfoundland, Canada. He founded a village there, which he named Leifsbudir. To celebrate today, here are some fun activities to help you and your family learn more about Leif Erikson's people and culture.
Figure out where Scandinavia was.
Do some research on a famous Viking like Leif Erikson or Erik the Red.
Make a Viking longhouse out of Legos, Lincoln Logs, or cardboard boxes. Or, to be more authentic go outside and make it with stick and mud. Then, give it a grass roof!
Write your own Viking themed adventure.
Find out what kind of things Vikings did for work.
Look at some pictures of longships. Then make a picture of one using whatever art materials you wish. Label some of the parts of the ship.
Read some stories about Norse mythology.
Make your own Viking shield or sword out of cardboard and duct tape.
Do some research online about what kinds of food Vikings ate. Find a few recipes and have your own Viking feast!
For fun, watch the movie How to Train Your Dragon.
Make a lapbook, poster, or some journaling pages about the things that you learned about Vikings.
Cool facts about Vikings!
the word Viking in the Old Norse language means pirate or raider
We know a lot about Vikings because they carved their stories on large stones in their writing called runes.
Real Viking helmets didn't have horns.
Berserkers were frightening Viking warriors who wore bear or wolf skins and howled like wild beasts in combat!
The Vikings believed in many gods including Thor and Loki
Viking women could own property and would run their farms and finances when their husbands were away.
Viking women sometimes even learned to fight. They were called sheildmaidens.
A Viking legend suggests that Vikings used sunstones (certain types of crystals) when they sailed to help them navigate on cloudy or foggy days.
Viking houses only had one big room.
Most Vikings were not raiders, they were actually farmers.
Here is a list of Viking books to check out:
The Real Vikings by Melvin and Gilda Berger
DK Eye Wonder Viking by Carrie Love and Lorrie Mack
DK Eyewitness Books Viking by Susan M. Margeson
Metropolis Viking Town by Jacqueline Morley and Mark Bergin
National Geographic Kids Everything Vikings by Nadia Higgins
You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Viking Explorer by Andrew Langley
If You Were There: Viking Times by Antony Mason
Adventures with the Vikings by Linda Bailey
Leif the Lucky by Ingri and Edgar D’Aulaire
The Vikings by Elizabeth Janeway
The Adventures of Thor the Thunder God retold by Lise Lunge-Larsen
D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths by Ingri and Edgar D’Aulaire