Gondolas are Venetian boats used for transport and leisurely rides down the lagoons and canals in Venice. These boats are more iconic than functional today, standing as a symbol of Italian history. To teach kids about Italy, use gondola craft lessons and fill in the relevant information as you go. There are a few ways to make a gondola craft suitable for children of different ages and with different levels of motor skills.
A two-dimensional gondola craft is suitable for younger children who lack the ability to draw, cut and fold. Trace the outline of a gondola onto a piece of card-stock or thick construction paper using a black, permanent pen. Include the long body, with the peaked bow and stem at either end. Include the beak, or notched piece that sits on the back of the boat where the gondolier sits and steers. Let children color in the gondola, differentiating the body from the beak and the seats from the body of the boat. Add glitter, ribbon, construction paper and glue-on gems.
Make a three-dimensional gondola with older children who can cut and fold construction paper. Start with a standard sheet of black construction paper to represent the traditional black color of gondolas. Fold the paper in quarters, then cut the bow shape into either end to represent the front and back of the boat. Unfold the piece of paper. Glue together the sides of each end, which you just cut into a bow shape, to create an opening in the center of the boat, where passengers sit. Trace the shape of the beak onto a piece of gold construction paper, cut it out and glue it to the back end of the gondola. Decorate with glitter pens, glue-on items, ribbon and tissue paper.
Create two-dimensional figures to ride in your boat. Measure the inside of the boat and attempt to make your figures to scale. Include the gondolier, who traditionally wears black pants, a black-and-white striped shirt, a red scarf around his neck and a black hat. Make his paddle and attach it to his hand. Draw one or two figures to be the riders. Cut out your figures and stick them in the boat. Tape or glue them inside.
Canals and Lagoon
To create the scenery for your gondola ride, find a tall shoebox or other cardboard box. Draw the skyline, buildings, markets, apartments and other structures on the sides of the cardboard box and color them in. Glue blue and green tissue paper to the bottom of the box to represent the water the gondola will float down. Place the gondola and riders on the tissue paper to complete your Venice scene.