Thursday, August 9, 2012

Creating Greek Warriors for your Felt Board

In a previous blarticle, I delineated briefly how I had come to create a number of creatures and characters for Alice's felt board.  I have also mentioned how she likes to act out history and language arts lessons using her felt board.

In order to allow her to retell the stories of the various wars of the Greeks in history, I created "Greek" warrior's clothing for her felt board people.

Start with the same cookie cutter you used to create your fabric "dolls".  This sets the size for your helmets and tunics.  I chose to make helmets out of yellow felt.  Whatever color you choose, start by creating a shape that is slightly larger than the head of your felt "dolls" and has a "T" sticking out of the top.  

Then cut out a wedge to be the right under the T and a curve for the shoulder on the opposite and lower portion of the circle.  Cut a second circle which will become the shield.  

Cut a white rectangle that covers the area from the shoulders to the knees of your "doll".  then cut a "V" at the neck and shape the shoulders somewhat to fit your "doll".  Color the tunic with a few lines to show the flaps and pleats of a warrior's skirt and breast plate.  Use Puff Paints or another fabric paint to do this coloring.

Use the same fabric paint pens or "puff paints" to color one side of your helmets for Athens and the other side for Sparta.  Use the same colors on the shields so that one side of the shield has "Medusa" for Athens and the other side is painted for Sparta.  Make another set of helmets and shields that can act as the "neutral" so the plain helmets can stand for the warriors of Troy, Persia, ect. . .

You can make bows, arrows, pikes, and swords if you want, but we have found them unnecessary.  Make sure that there are Spartan Helmets and Athenian Helmets that "face" the same way for when the Greeks fight together as in a Thermopylae and in the battle of Marathon, but that there are also helmets in opposition so you can also "act out" the Peloponnesian War. 

Of course, to really do the Greeks Justice, you'll also want a wooden horse and representatives of the Gods as well.  For anyone who would have worn war garb, like Athena, you already have instruction on how to make the clothing, now just give her some beautiful hair and an owl and you are set.  Togas and Gowns would be made in much the same way as the tunics, just make the initial rectangle go from neck to ankles.  Each God and Godess has something they carry that distinguishes them from one another.  Zeus has his thunderbolts, Athena her Owl and war spear , Poseidon his trident, Apollo his Lyre, and Dionysus his goblet.  For a resource that introduces all the Gods of the Greek Pantheon to children, Check out The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus by Aliki, or get the Mythology Fandex.

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