What You Do:
- Lay the aluminum pie pan upside-down on cardboard and trace around it with a pencil. Cut out the circle using a box cutter. (Psst – this step should be performed by you and only you!)
- Create a handle for the shield by drawing and then cutting out two 3" x 1" rectangles, one on top of the other, in the center of the cardboard circle. There should be a half-inch space separating the rectangles. Wrap the center space with tape.
- As you’re cutting, have your child begin to plan colors and a pattern that will be on the visible side of his shield. Traditional Viking shields were often in patterns that used red, black, silver, gold or yellow, but don't let this limit you; encourage your child to express himself through art!
- Place the pie pan upside-down on top of the cardboard circle. Help your child wrap a strip of tape around the pie pan and the cardboard. Make sure the ends of the tape fall onto the cardboard side so that they won't be visible.
- Have your child cut lengths of colored tape. Help him arrange them in a pattern or design on the front of the shield. Loose ends can be wrapped around to the back of the shield so they won't be visible, and so they'll help secure the pie pan to the cardboard.
Not only Vikings used shields – superheroes, knights and Roman soldiers carry them, too! This activity can also be revived around Halloweentime for various costumes, or any time you want to add a sturdy accessory to your play chest!
Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.