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Leif Eriksson – Viking Explorer  

You might have heard that Christopher Columbus discovered America, but this isn’t true. Native tribes had been living there for thousands of years when Columbus landed his ships. Additionally, at least one other European explorer had landed on North America before Columbus – Leif Eriksson the Viking Explorer.

Science for Kids Website on Leif Eriksson - Statue of Leif Eriksson Near the Minnesota State Capitol

Science for Kids Website on Leif Eriksson – Statue of Leif Eriksson Near the Minnesota State Capitol

Leif Eriksson was the son of Erik the Red, the great Nordic explorer and warrior. Erik had been kicked out of Greenland and had moved to Iceland. Here, he built a settlement. His son, Leif, sailed to Norway, where he was converted to Christianity by King Olaf I. On his way back to Iceland, Leif landed and discovered North America. He called the place “Vinland,” because the land was covered with wild grapes.

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All about Leif Eriksson Fun Facts for Kids - an Illustration of Leif Eriksson Discovering America by Christian Krohg in 1893

All about Leif Eriksson Fun Facts for Kids – an Illustration of Leif Eriksson Discovering America by Christian Krohg in 1893

Fun Facts About Leif Eriksson For Kids

  • Leif Eriksson visited North America around 1000 A.D., almost 500 years before Columbus made his journeys.
  • Eriksson spent a winter there before returning to Iceland. He never sailed to America again.
  • Other Viking explorers visited North America. They were meant with fierce attacks from native tribes.
  • Researchers aren’t sure exactly where Leif landed, but they believe it might have been at Labrador or Newfoundland, in Canada.

Leif Eriksson Vocabulary

  1. Warrior: a fierce fighter
  2. Settlement: village or community
  3. Christianity: belief in and worship of Christ
  4. Convert: join a religious faith
  5. Fierce: harsh, dangerous, hard

All About Leif Eriksson Video for Kids

Watch this awesome video for kids about Leif Eriksson:

Leif Eriksson Q&A

Question: How do we know about Leif’s adventures?

Answer: Several versions of his adventures were passed down through storytelling. They were written down in the book, the Saga of Erik the Red, or “Eiriks saga”, which was published in 1300. Because the stories were passed down for several generations before being written down, they might not be completely accurate.

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Question: What is the correct spelling of Leif Eriksson’s name?

Answer: Leif’s real name in Icelandic is Leifur Eiríksson because the Norse alphabet did not have the letter ‘C’. However, his name is adapted and accepted in several different spellings. Some of the names used are Leif Eriksson the Lucky, Leif Eriksson, Leif Ericson, Eiríksson, or Erikson, and Norwegian Leiv Eriksson den Hepne.

 

Enjoyed the Easy Geography for Kids all about Leif Eriksson info? Take the FREE & fun all about Leif Eriksson quiz and download FREE all about Leif Eriksson worksheet for kids. For lengthy info click here.

 

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MLA Style Citation

Declan, Tobin. " Leif Eriksson Facts for Kids ." Easy Science for Kids, Jun 2018. Web. 19 Jun 2018. < http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-leif-eriksson-viking-explorer/ >.

APA Style Citation

Tobin, Declan. (2018). Leif Eriksson Facts for Kids. Easy Science for Kids. Retrieved from http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-leif-eriksson-viking-explorer/

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