[ANSTHRLD] Heraldry for kids?

Charles Ó Floinn Tons at raf662bravo.com
Thu Jan 26 16:03:13 PST 2006

I have a freeware program that includes childrens charges in it (Bunnies,
dragons, turtles, anchors, ships, etc.).  You choose the graphic (I can
easily pick the graphic using my Paint Shop program too) and print it.  The
backgrounds on the graphics are removed so your printer does not take a long
time to print invisible flaw dots like some others have done.  And what else
is nice about this program is that it has a very simple database file that
allows those of us with even moderate text editing experience to add any
number of charges to the list.
Since I downloaded the entire zipped program and it is FREEWARE, I can share
the entire installer (preserving the appropriate paragraphs in the
appropriate text files) with anyone who wishes it.  Seems to me it is tailor
made for just such a program.

{ Charles Ó Floinn, í
Thorn at raf662bravo.com
Herald, Shire of Rosenfeld
Kilgore, Texas

-----Original Message-----
From: heralds-bounces+tons=raf662bravo.com at ansteorra.org
[mailto:heralds-bounces+tons=raf662bravo.com at ansteorra.org]On Behalf Of
Jennifer Smith
Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 8:45 PM
To: 'Heralds List, Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA,Inc.'
Subject: RE: [ANSTHRLD] Heraldry for kids?

> Whats this about a program for teaching children about
> heraldry?  I have been asked, in a general way, if I
> could find a way to teach, or have taught, a
> children's heraldry class in the fairly near future.
> I had not yet put much work into it, but had been
> letting the idea float around in what passes for my
> mind.  I had intended to ask on the list if anyone had
> any ideas about how I might approach this task, but
> hadn't done so yet.  But now I see mention of an
> existing program...nifty.

I don't know anything about an existing program (unless perhaps you refer to
the revived children's "badges" (not armorial badges), and there is one for
heraldry, but that's about all I know about that), but I have taught
children's heraldry classes before. (Whew, there's a sentence for you...)

I've done both "felt" and "construction paper" classes. The former also
works for adults, but doesn't work as well for kids who want to take
something home. The latter works best for kids. It works like this:

1) Get a variety pack of bold color construction paper. Separate out the
orange and brown and pare it down to only one shade of blue.
2) Print out a bunch of basic charges on plain white paper. I make mine
about 3-4" square, and do basic geometrics (mullets, lozenges,  annulets),
some animal charges (lions, eagles, dogs, heraldic dolphins), then odds and
ends (swords, escallops, cinquefoils).
3) Get a bunch of el-cheapo 8-color crayon packs (RoseArt, whatever's on
sale, etc), and remove the orange and brown. Extra Credit: redo the wrappers
with new ones that read "Gules" instead of "Red", etc. (A herald up in
Northkeep thought that one up!)
4) Don't forget cheapy kid safety scissors and glue sticks!
5) Enjoy.

I usually start out with a brief explanation of how heraldry is useful so
you can figure out, when all the fighters are in armor, which one is your
dad. Or fighting your dad. I introduce the tinctures, and tell them the
funny names we call them all ("azure", instead of blue, kind of like "azul"
like Dora says). We talk a bit about common signs (big "M" for McDonald's),
and street signs (to get the point of contrast across, think stop signs).

Then at some point, judging on the fidgety factor, I let them pick out the
color for their background, and then let them pick one or two or three
charges and hand 'em crayons and scissors and let 'em go to town.

The older kids can handle the idea of field divisions, and even some basic
ordinaries, and arrangement (three and one, one big central thing with stuff
around it or in chief, etc). But after a point I just let them color and cut
and glue all sorts of wackyness. Watch to see which kids picked up on the
contrast idea, and feed them more heraldic tidbits, particularly as they get
older. :)


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