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Becoming A Knight

Shakespeare for Kids

Becoming a knight was hard work! Boys generally started training when they were seven and continued until they were in their 20s.

What sorts of training do you think they did?

A knight had to be strong, and also able to move quickly in battle. To stay in shape, knights practiced wrestling, running, and events like the shotput and javelin. These activities helped them build up strength and endurance. Knights also had to be expert riders. Knowing how to stay on a horse while fighting was one of a knight's most important skills.

Boys trained with practice weapons and even wore armor made for children, although not in battle. Instead, boys wore their armor on ceremonial occassions. Armor was an important part of life for knights-in-training because it helped show off how important their family was. A family that could afford to have armor made for their sons must be rich and powerful!

It could take up to three months for a workshop to produce just one suit of armor. Sometimes, for very fancy armor, it took even longer! Armor was also very expensive, costing about the same as one whole year's salary for a craftsman.


Use the activity below to write your own training schedule. What would you add?

  • Weapons training
  • Running
  • Wrestling
  • Horse riding
  • Javelin and shotput
  • Courtly manners

Listen: A Child's Gauntlet
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Training Time

Make Your Own Training Schedule
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Making Armor
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