´¯`•. March 01, 2017

Story of the World II:  Chpt 14

~~~~ Vikings! ~~~~

While Charlemagne was doing great things in Europe to further education, religion, and civilization in general, up north there were some very disorganized but seriously hard-core people groups called ‘vikings’.  These guys were NOT interested in art, literature, education, or peace.  They were the absolute opposite of Charlemagne.

There is a video that Horrible Histories put out with vikings on it – it’s spoofy and done as a rock video.  The lyrics are crazy – “We’re going to rip your hear out… literally!  We’re going to cut your leg off.. literally!”  It’s kind of shocking in a very harsh way (and I don’t think appropriate for littles).  My kids were very ((((O_o)))) back when we watched it.  I didn’t pull it back up for this chapter: once was WAY more than enough.

There are a ton of movies out there for littles about Vikings.  For the youngest children (and me, since it’s my favorite VT video, ever), there’s VeggieTales’ Lyle the Kindly Viking’. I can pretty much do that film verbatim, with accents.  It’s awesome.  Even if your kids are older?  I highly, highly recommend Lyle.  The humor is just wonderful.

There are also the ‘How to Train your Dragon’ films and TV episode DVDs.  We went thru a *HUGE* phase of these, last summer.  The TV episodes are every bit as good as the first film.  (I won’t watch the second movie – they kill Stoic, and I refuse to see that.  He’s THE best part of the movies, IMHO.  And he lives on in the TV videos, so I don’t need HTTYD2.) These are cute, with good lessons about sharing, helping others, telling the truth, etc.

However, both the VeggieTales and ‘How to train your Dragon’ videos are NOT at all an accurate representation of what Vikings were like.  They didn’t ‘kum-bay-ya’ up in a snowbank.  They were absolutely brutal.

I should also mention the Thor movies, recently put out by Marvel comics, since the chapter deals with the Thor myth.  First, I don’t really like the Thor movies for my kids, because the behaviors and violence is just something we don’t need in our house.  We *have* seen them.  But honestly they have little to do with the Norse/viking mythology.  They really don’t pertain to this history lesson.

I did remember from my childhood a movie I saw once upon three decades ago… it was called ‘Erik the Viking’.  We watched it back during my mom’s ‘hellfire n’ brimstone’ christianity phase, so I figured it couldn’t be THAT bad, right?  So I went and got it from the library for the kids to watch – because I wanted a more realistic representation of Vikings for this.  When I got the DVD, it said ‘in the flavor of Monty Python’ on the back.  It was both crazy and harsh.  But vikings are.  It was STuPiD brutal, though, and done in such a hokey way, it wasn’t horrible.  If your kids watch the Marvel movies, they’d be okay with this.  If you think superheroes are too violent/graphic, then don’t show this to your kids.  We enjoyed it.  (I could do without the occassional outbreaks of ‘Tum-tee-tum-tum-tum‘ that happen, now, but whatevs.)   For this particular lesson?  I highly recommend ‘Erik the Viking’.  It’s comparable to the 80’s Star Wars films for action/violence.  And Mickey Rooney is on this.

You want to show what vikings were like?  This is the movie for that.

Okay, having said, we also had a craft.  It… didn’t go well, and I would recommend you do a better job of this than I did.  It was salt painting, and the instructions are here.  It looks great on the screen, but we had severe issues with it.  Still.

We printed off pictures of dragons, ships, and symbols of vikings from Google (our favorites were here and here and here and here and here).  Originally I wanted to do them on paper bags, but the paper is too fibrous – don’t do it.  So then I got brown bag looking cardstock from my scrapbook stash and printed on that, instead.

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Mistake #1 – I did them on half sheets, to conserve ‘special’ paper.
Just make them BIG.

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Mistake #2 – I caved and let them do Toothless pictures.
It was a bad graphic for this.

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The wolf picture and viking ship picture turned out the best by far.

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The salt thing was messy, and you can’t recover the salt after it’s done,
like you can with glitter projects.  Salt shaken is salt gone.

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Then the salt gets ‘puffy’, which is cool and gave us hope.

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The watercolor paints just made an absolute soppy mess, though.
I’m hoping it’s just a mistake we made.  Something I did wrong.

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We were pretty happy with the (wet) results, hoping that when it dried, it’d be nice.  When it dried?  It crumbled completely apart.  The pictures never got nicer.  We ended up pretty disappointed  with the final result, and chucked them (and a half ton of salt) into the trash.  I’m not saying it wasn’t fun to try, or that your result won’t turn out… we just didn’t have a good result.  We did a project with puffy paint years ago – something about glue and shaving cream?  Maybe that would be an alternative. (I remember that turning out great!)

Anyhow, we did have a good time, ‘Tum-tee-tum-tum-tum’ming our way through viking artwork.  So there’s that, right?

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