Iceland Unit Study: Viking Runes Stones Matching Activity

As we continued our study of Iceland and the Viking history, we took some time to examine the language of that time period. Iceland’s language has been centuries in the making, originating from Old Norse. Archeologist have discovered many examples of this, much of which was written in Iceland, including poems and stories about gods, kinds and history. Younger Futhark was a Runic script used to write Old Norse, and was the main alphabet in Norway, Sweden and Denmark throughout the Viking Age. Eventually it was replaced almost completely by the Latin alphabet.

A few days prior we did a tracing activity with the 16-characters of Younger Futhark. We had so much fun, I wanted to do another activity based on these symbols. Much of “writing” done during this time period was chiseled into stone. I had some paint markers I had purchased on Amazon, and decided to make a simple matching game for my girls.

I found 16 black river stones and make sure they were clean and dry. I drew a line across each rock to divide them in half and drew two characters on each stone. I let the stones dry overnight. They looked so pretty!

I gave each girl eight stones. The rules were very similar to dominos. If you have a matching side, add it. If you don’t, skip a turn. Whoever gets rid of all their rocks first wins.

My toddler (20 months) wanted to collect all the rocks, haha. It was hard to convince her to match them up. My older daughter (3.5 years) caught on pretty quickly and we played several games of this before they got bored.

I really like this activity because it challenges little ones to recognize patterns and differences. Also it was fun to play with Viking symbols for the morning too! 🙂

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