DIY: Viking Runic Stones.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Today I'm sharing a fun Viking-themed DIY project that's rooted in history. This could be used in a homeschool co-op setting or even as a mini unit study on Vikings. 

The Vikings, who came from what is now northern Europe (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden), used letters called runes and carved their writing and designs into stones or wood. The first runic carvings date back to 200 AD and runes were used to write up until the Middle Ages. 

The Viking alphabet, called the Futhark, is composed of 24 sound syllables or runes. Each rune is composed of combinations of mostly straight lines that made them relatively easy to carve. Bills, stories, and even love messages were written in runes on sticks. Vikings also celebrated men who died heroically in battle with memorial stones. These stones were carved with pictures and runes and were placed in public places for people to admire. 

Today, you will be using "Elder Futhark," the oldest version of the Runic alphabet, to compose a Viking message on a clay stone. 

Toothpicks for carving
Aluminum foil
(Optional) 1 tsp. white flour

1. Roll your piece of clay into a smooth ball in your hands, then flatten the ball to form a flat oval-shaped stone. (Variation: Divide your piece of clay into four equal sections, then roll each one into a ball and flatten it into a stone.)
2. Using your toothpick and the Futhark alphabet as your guide, carve a message or story into your stones. Perhaps you can carve your name? Or maybe you could compose a simple story using the words listed under the alphabet? The possibilities are endless! 
3. With a parent's help, place stone(s) onto an aluminum foil sheet and bake in the oven at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes (or according to package instructions). 
4. Let cool completely. 
5. (Optional) Once cool, add one teaspoon of white flour and rub into the crevices to create a more realistic stone.
6. Once finished, use your runic carving to display your Viking name or tell a Viking tale!

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