Playing is fun. But playing is also an educational experience and can be used to better yourself. In the Viking age playing was not only for children but also adults played with each other. In old Nordic sagas it is described how men used jumping-games, throwing-games and running-games. Games and playing was their way of practicing before going to war and could therefore mean the difference between life and death.
The children's plays and games were like the adults and in that way prepared them for the adult life ahead. Toys in the Viking age was therefore miniature versions of adult object such as spears. Further wrestling was a fun activity done by Vikings of all age.
One of the most popular activities in the Viking age was tug of war. This allowed the Vikings to gain strength and experience in handling the robes used to control their ships. From 1900 to 1920 tug of war was an Olympic discipline and honouring its Viking heritage a Danish/Swedish team won gold in 1900.
Today you can try the Viking games at the Viking area of Gerlev Fun Park and in this way at first hand experience fun and games like done by the Vikings a thousand years ago.
'Follow the Vikings' is a collection of ten small educational pieces on Vikings, published in Danish by forlagetepsilon.dk. The ten pieces are all linked with historical Viking sites in Denmark and therefore allow you to both figuratively and literally follow the Vikings.
• Follow the Vikings – The last journey
• Follow the Vikings – Castles
• Follow the Vikings – Kings
• Follow the Vikings – Legends
• Follow the Vikings – A king and a ship
• Follow the Vikings – The everyday life
• Follow the Vikings – Ships
• Follow the Vikings – Offerings
• Follow the Vikings – Rune stones