Crafts for Kids on the Celts
Use yarn to "trace" your choice of Celtic Knot from this collection of patterns. You not only make an attractive craft, you also see and understand that Celtic Knots had no beginning and no end. Very simple to do and a good choice for younger kids.
The Celtic influence left us so many intricate designs that Celtic coloring pages are a given. Here's a collection of about 16, at last count. You can also use these designs to make bookmarks (see below) or other crafts (like the potato putty idea below).
This craft stays completely Irish, using potato putty to make a Celtic design, and the results are impressive. If you're not into potato putty, try making this with (green) clay for the same effect. It's a great idea!
There are several bookmark ideas using Celtic designs:
This Celtic bookmark project uses very thin clay, so you would need a pasta roller or something similar to get the clay that thin. If you have it, the results are impressive. If not, just photocopy the design on paper & color. (Note: The link to the design template is a little hard to see. It is centered near the top of the page and is not underlined.)
The second Celtic bookmark option is a pretty simple design to just color and glue (add a tassel if you want). The source here is an archived webpage, so hopefully it will stay up for a while so we can benefit!
These Celtic bookmarks are listed as "table decorations," but I see bookmarks!! They are already in color, so just print and go. You may want to glue them on something sturdy, like cardstock or colored paper, and then also laminate and/or add a tassel. The same source also offers Celtic Fact Cards, which are in full color and pretty cool. Lastly at the same source are Celtic Wall Hangings, which are full-color, 1/2 page round designs. Use these to decorate walls, or notebooks, or whatever!
I used this Celtic bookmark pattern in a unit on scribes & illumination. Although the original project at the link uses very thin clay, I photocopied a copy for each student on white paper, and the kids cut it out, colored it with colored pencils, pasted it on a slightly larger background of decorative scrapbook paper, and then "illuminated" it with gold (& other colored) glitter glue. The design appears to be some sort of bird and is very similar in concept in pictures from the Book of Kells. (Note: The link to the design template is a little hard to see. It is centered near the top of the page and is not underlined.)
Art & Religion Crafts
This Orthodox Christian Icon Coloring Book provides a great resource for Byzantine religious art projects! Use the designs not only for coloring, but also for projects imitating the mosaics in the Hagia Sophia. Mosaics can be made from dried beans, torn paper, dyed & crushed eggshells...your imagination is the limit. Crafts stores even sell mosaic pieces for kids' projects. For heavier mosaics (like the dried beans), make sure you are working on a sturdy backing, like cardboard.
Triptychs were a classic form of Medieval art, used primarily in churches. To make your own, print out medieval art on a colored printer and paste it on to a cardboard triptych-shaped base (an empty cereal box makes the perfect cardboard for this!). Then glue narrow gold ribbon or other trim around the edges. Use these instructions to make a 3-panel triptych base. For some sample art, here is a picture of a real triptych, and click here for more art -- the Last Supper.
These are fabulous instructions for making a fresco with your students! Copy (& simplify) a sample of artwork from the Byzantine or Renaissance, and follow the instructions to transform it using plaster of paris and paint.
This site gives you patterns for a shield/coat-of-arms plus clipart to decorate it with. Scroll down this page to see the dragon, bear, unicorn, etc., and then click on the link below that for more clipart figures! Hint: Use cardstock or poster board for shield base--it's easier than cardboard!
Watch our video demonstrating How to Make a Coat of Arms Shield for kids by Carol Henderson.
Find instructions for chain mail at the History For Kids site.
Protect your castle with a catapult made out of Popsicle Sticks!
This site is loaded with ideas for crafts, games, and activities to create an entire event with a Knights theme. Start at the crafts page, and follow the links at the bottom of the page for more ideas!
Print out this set of Medieval Life Flashcards, and then use to play "Go Fish" or another card game! Or use some of the illustrations to decorate another project or a Lapbook.
Wondering what craft you could possibly do for Hands-On History when studying the Black Plague? Well, aside from playing Ring Around the Rosy (read this nursery rhyme's history here), I prefer to plant herbs with my students...i.e., the "pocket full of posies." I tell them the uses of common herbs in the Middle Ages as they plant. Great herb choices are parsley, basil, dill, lavender, or whatever else you'd like, and let the kids choose what seeds they want to plant. Get the self-contained pellet pots and disposable plastic bowls for transporting them home to make this project really easy.
Medieval Times Thematic Unit by Cynthia Ross. Teacher Created Resources, 2004.
Reproducible activites based on the books Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest, Adam of the Road, The Door in the Wall.
The Victoria & Albert Museum offers instructions & explanations to create a medieval book. Make your own quill pen and practice writing with washable ink!
This crown by First Palette is a more authentic Medieval crown than most. All you need are sturdy paper strips (cardstock), red crepe paper, fasteners, and misc. decorations. Suitable for the older child, this one gets our two thumbs up!
For the younger students, here is a fun and simple king's crown or queen's crown to color, cut, and paste together. It's wearable when you finish!
Make the medieval siege weapon, the trebuchet. This is an advanced craft. Or try one out of Lego blocks! Here is another Lego design. This trebuchet is no longer on its original website, but still available on the Way Back Machine!