Medieval books were more than just stories and words on a page. Medieval books were an art form! Books during the Middle Ages had to copied by hand! Think of your favorite book? How many pages is it? Now imagine that the only way to get a copy of your favorite book was to hand write each and every page. That would take a long time! That meant that books were pretty rare to own, but it also meant that the people who wrote or copied books took great pride in making sure that their books looked nice. Because of that, something called Illuminated Manuscripts became common. An Illuminated Manuscript is a page in a book that has some really fancy letters and designs around the words on the pages. It made the books look fancy and absolutely beautiful! They were often very colorful letters and full of leaves and symbols. You can even color or create your own Illuminated Letters! If you want to color a letter or two, the whole alphabet is available here. However, if you want to design your own letter like I did, you can find instructions here. I used some aluminum foil, a toothpick, and markers, but it does require patience!
One of the most important parts of an Illuminated Manuscript were the details in the book aside from the stories. These manuscripts often had pictures, swirls, patterns, designs, details, or initials! The designs and the patterns helped to make the book prettier and more interesting, and the initials let people reading the manuscript know who had made the images that they were looking at. Do you think you could create an Illuminated Manuscript? Can you create colorful designs and patterns and mark it as your own? Thanks to My Kids’ Adventure, you only need a couple of supplies to make your own! And on their site, you can also see some pictures of real, medieval Illuminated Manuscripts!
Another way that people could claim something as their own, was by using their family crest, or coat of arms. The coat of arms was used to establish someone’s identity. The coat of arms was a shield shaped object that held symbols that meaningful to a family name (that would be your last name!). The symbols were supposed to show what was important to a family or person. But sometimes, the symbols were used to intimidate or scare other people. Now, let’s see if you can make your own coat of arms that represents you! This site has printables available here! You can find as many ferocious things as you can to intimidate your enemies with your coat of arms! Or you can design your own! Be sure to include things that are important to you and make you stand out from others!
Creativity was an incredibly important part of Medieval art. The ability to create your own art was valued! One such important form of art was stained glass! Stained glass was a beautiful way to show off someone’s artistic ability. You could use lots of colors on glass, and the sun could shine through and create beautiful colors of light! Can you create a stained glass masterpiece like what was seen in the Middle Ages? With some tissue paper, you can create your own work of art thanks to the Artful Parent!
While we have spent plenty of time talking about books and art, I’m sure you have worked up an appetite! So grab mom or dad and get ready to make some edible books! These books use fruit leather, so no need to worry about getting stuck on the pages! Check out Hungry Happenings for the full recipe and how to make these delicious books!
I hope you enjoyed our lessons on the Middle Ages! Be sure to come back tomorrow to learn about Native Americans!