Viking means ‘pirate raid’ in Old Norse, and Vikings were pirates who moved around many parts of the world to conquer. The historical legends about them captivate not only adults, but even youngsters. Unquestionably, most children like hearing their grandparents tell them some interesting stories from the olden days. So, here are some fun facts about Vikings for kids that you should share with your young cubs before they go tonight. Needless to say, this article could be a really good teaching resource for the children. Continue reading to learn more about them.
Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions About Viking Facts From Kids
Before proactively telling your grandkids any amazing fun Viking facts below, remember that kids are the most inquisitive humans in the world. Once they get into a new thing, they would ask you thousands of questions continuously without feeling tired. So, well-preparation is always helpful not to let them down. Learn to answer these 10 FAQs, and you’ll be utterly ready to create a remarkable storytelling moment with their help.
1. Where Were The Vikings From?
The Vikings (or Norsemen) originated from Scandinavia, an area that had no countries until the end of the Viking Age. Today, Scandinavia is what we know as Sweden, Denmark and Norway. According to it, most of the populations in these Northern European countries are the descendants of the Vikings in the modern day.
2. When Did Vikings Exist?
The Norsemen existed from the late 8th century to around the 11th century (A.D. 800 to 1100). So, the Viking era already began over 2000 years ago.
3. What Did Vikings Look Like?
The Vikings did not keep records of their own history and culture, but owing to the efforts of a few archaeologists, we have a general picture of what the Vikings looked like. Regardless of gender, the Vikings were pretty much the same. The majority of them had long hair and the same muscular build. Although they were more muscular than we are now owing to the heavy farm work they did on a daily basis, they were lower in height in comparison to us. They also have blonde, black and red hair, but most of them prefer blonde.
Vikings of both sexes enjoyed wearing a lot of cosmetics on their faces, especially eyeliner. In terms of fashion, they chose multi-layered and bright colorful outfits. Particularly, a strap dress with an undergarment or smock underneath was typical of a Viking woman, while the Viking male wore a tunic, trousers, and a cloak most of the time.
4. What Countries Did The Vikings Invade?
The area that Norsemen first invaded was the British Isles, encompassing England, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, and Ireland.
Next, they moved to raid the European mainland, including Normandy, Francia, Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Islamic Levant, Eastern Europe, and Iran.
The Vikings then continued their expansion to the North Atlantic, whereby they colonized Iceland, Greenland, North America, and Svalbard.
5. What Did Vikings Do In Their Daily Life?
The daily lives of Norsemen revolve around hard but exciting farm work. Since the age of 12, the majority of Vikings have been farming and raising animals. Work on a farmstead, on the other hand, was divided by gender. Household chores are handled by women, while farm work is handled by men. Women frequently spin silk, produce cloth, sew clothing, and prepare food. Meanwhile, the men worked on the soil, sowed seeds, and cared for the crops and animals.
A Viking family lived in a longhouse, which allowed farm animals and living family members to coexist. In addition to the strenuous farming activities during the day, the Vikings frequently gathered around the fire to chat when night fell. The creepy legends about devils and monsters in the forest were always the stories they told each other in their spare time.
6. Were There Black Vikings?
Yes. According to reliable historical evidence, a small number of Vikings had black or brown skin. For centuries, dark-skinned people either traveled to Scandinavia by their own free will or were forced to do so as slaves. Through farming, marriage, combat, and other cultural activities, some assimilated with the Vikings over time.
7. What Did Vikings Do For Fun?
The Vikings worked hard but also played hard. In fact, they had a lot of entertaining activities that occupied the time they were on trade conquests or at home. They popularly enjoyed a board game called ‘Hnefatafl’. We don’t know exactly the rules of this game, but according to some historical factors, it was pretty like our modern-day chess.
Outdoor games were a lot more enjoyed by The Vikings. They have been known as the most combative people during the times, so it’s not surprising to know they participated greatly in wrestling, stone throwing, archery, swordplay, tug of war, running and swimming. The Viking people played tough. Therefore, a lot of attendants got hurt or even died during the games.
8. Day In The Life Of A Viking Child?
Viking children knew how to play in the same way that modern children do, of course, with the exception of using technological devices. Small ships, swords, dolls, and animal figures were discovered in ancient Viking settlements. They were, on the other hand, forced to work from the age of 12 to 16. Every day, play takes up a very small amount of time. Children must help their families with housework, go to the forest to collect cribs and fruit, or be trained to be true Viking warriors in the near future.
9. Are There Any Vikings Left Today?
No, not in the sense of acting as looters, colonizers or pirates. Nevertheless, many people in Europe and some parts of the world now have their Viking blood inside. That’s so cool!
10. When Did Vikings Die Out?
The events of 1066 in England marked the end of the Viking Age. It was the failure of the attack made by Norwegian King Harald III on Saxon King Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066 that caused the death of the Viking Age. When the raid stopped, the era stopped.
Interesting Facts About Viking For Your Grandkids
- Vikings did not wear horned helmets like in many cartoons and Hollywood movies. A Viking would wear a helmet with a simple skullcap to protect his head from external impact in battles.
- Viking children did not go to school. Actually, there were no schools for Viking children back then. They were all at home to help their families with house farm work and play among a group of kids in the village.
- ‘Vikings’ isn’t what they called themselves. They referred to themselves as ‘Ostmen’, which literally means ‘the men from the East’.
- Most Vikings loved blonde hair. Some Vikings would feel ashamed if their hair wasn’t blonde, and they tried to dye it.
- Vikings were hygienic. Yes, they were. Viking people were extremely clean. Toothpicks, nail clippers, combs, razors, and ear cleaners have been discovered by archaeologists in the ancient Norse graves. They were known to bathe weekly as well, which was more than most Europeans did at the time.
- The Vikings worshipped many Gods. They believed in Odin (the God of war), Thor (the God of thunder), Loki (the God of mischief), Frey (the God of peace and fertility), Frigg (the God of marriage), and so on.
- Women in the Viking Age had more freedom and power in their society than many other women these days. If their marriages ended, they could own property, file for divorce, and reclaim their dowries.
- Not all Vikings were bloodthirsty. Some of them came to another location of the world to just find a better land and climate to live their peaceful life. Every day, they worked in their own farmsteads, lived in longhouses with their loved ones, and disturbed nobody.
- Over-50-year-old Vikings were regarded as exceptional. The life expectancy of a Viking is estimated to be 31 to 50 years. So, it must be extraordinary if someone during the Viking times had lived beyond this year of age.