“Oar-some” model boat


This is a Viking long boat that AJ made for her homework this week. We picked up the instructions and templates here. (edited: Sorry, template we used has since been removed, but there are others available online.) At 10 years old, she was able to follow the instructions and do it pretty much by herself.

I sometimes think it is tough on my children as everyone wants to join in with this type of project. The other two children stood around dropping big hints that they wanted to make one. The parents hung around and wanted to suggest modifications, but the project had to be hers. She did allow us to make some suggestions. (I did help with some of the cutting out. I think it was to keep me from interfering anymore.)

We suggested using a fabric sail and wooden skewers for the sail, so that the sail could be lowered and pulled up again.

We had read that the Vikings may have had an advantage at sea as they understood how to make good use of their sail.

She added a straw with tissue paper, so that it works the same way as our fire breathing dragons. I’m pretty sure I’ve read that their boats were decorated to scare the locals and a fire breathing sea dragon would fit the bill. Imagine the sight of such a beast approaching your coastal village from the sea. Maybe at night. I’d run!

She fixed the shields on with metal split pins. Holds them secure, as well as adding embellishment to the shields. All the shields have the names of the owners written in runes on the front. Very sensible. I picked up some wood effect scrapbook paper, which she cut into planks and glued on the boat.

Also added six wooden skewer oars on each side and burlap sacks, which either hold supplies or their ill gotten loot. This is a battle ship, which is why it is low at the sides and open.


I grabbed a few photos before she whisked it off to school this morning. Not bad for an eleventh hour build…. inspiration is always more sharp at that hour I find. Good job too!

I’ve promised the others that they can make one too or something of their choice this half term, which starts in just a few hours. Glue stick to the ready! And yes, we have made lots of “Oar-some” jokes about it. Not sure we’ll have another chance.

(AJ has written a bit more about how she made her boat on her blog. Read it here. )


12 thoughts on ““Oar-some” model boat

  • Friday 26 October, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    What a fantastic job she has done…so much detail! We have a similar one made of wood that the boys loved playing with when they were smaller, endless bloodthirsty battles! 😀

    • Friday 26 October, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      We planned to make it from wood, but time ran out. Thank goodness for cereal boxes. Boat is staying at school for a while, but I’m quite sure it will inspire play when it returns. Probably not peace loving and harmonious. 🙄

  • Friday 26 October, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    wow. that is completely amazing!
    tell miss aj that she did a fantastic job!

    • Saturday 27 October, 2012 at 7:46 pm

      The instructions are fab and she loved adding the bits and bobs. Lots of fun amd smiles. 😀

  • Saturday 27 October, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    That Boat looks great! Now I know that you guys are very creative! 😀

    • Saturday 27 October, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      AJ had so much fun making it!

    • Monday 29 October, 2012 at 8:46 pm

      Thanks, Christa. She had fun making it.

  • Thursday 1 November, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Fabulous! thanks so much for sharing on craft schooling Sunday, you’ve earned a feature, yippee!

    • Monday 5 November, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      Thanks sara. I can recommend it as a fun activity. 😀

  • Thursday 11 September, 2014 at 3:10 am

    Could you please describe how you created your sail in more detail? I would like to recreate it!

    • Thursday 11 September, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Seems so long ago. My daughter, with the help of her father, rigged the sail. I really only helped with a bit of cutting. If you look at the third and last photos, it gives an idea about how they used the string to wrap around the wooden skew. There is one extra piece of string which goes from the bow to the stern. Hope that helps.

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