Posts Tagged ‘Ancient Egypt’

Mummy Dolls

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

mummy-dollsFor our study of Ancient Egypt, we made some mummy dolls. This is how we did it.

My daughter’s doll house dolls were matted, so I upgraded her dolls. I decided to turn the old dolls into mummies. First we washed the doll with water and spices. We used cinnamon to represent the spices, and after doing research, I discovered that cinnamon was one of the spices used on mummies anyway. Second, we immersed the mummy in salt and spices. Third, we washed it with oil and spices. Lastly, we put on strips of linen. Actually, the strips were from an old bed sheet, and instead of sticky resin, we used white school glue mixed with little water.

mummy-dolls-2The gluey mixture was very messy. If I had it to do over again, I would put wax paper under the whole project. (I didn’t want to put newspaper under it, because obviously the mummy would stick to the newspaper. But scrubbing the glue off the table wasn’t fun.)

It took two days for the mummies to dry. That is, except for Bryan’s. His mummy had so much oil on it that it seemed wet from the inside. Bryan decided to submerge it into salt, so that the salt would extract the moisture. (He learned that from our reading about mummies.) Sure enough, it worked. After only two days of sitting in the salt, the mummy was as dry as the Egyptian sand.


Egyptians Game

Saturday, September 25th, 2010


I picked up a game about Egypt called “Egyptians” at a yard sale for $1 last summer. I thought, sure, why not? I was about to teach a unit on Ancient Egypt in the fall. So now we’ve played the game several times, and the children have enjoyed it. The game is for two to four players, and the age is 7 and up. There is a game board, and the players are represented by camels. The object of the game is to collect six pharaohs and entomb them in your pyramid. Tomb robbers can steal from your pyramid, so you’re never really safe until you’ve won.

You answer questions about Ancient Egypt and collect pharaohs as you land on certain squares on the board. I was surprised a week ago by how many questions my children could answer after just two weeks of studying Egypt. (They must be reading Ancient Egypt books in their free time, because I didn’t teach them the answers to some of those questions. That’s one good thing about having fun books lying around. It makes kids want to study on their own.)

The most dramatic (and loudest) part of the game is when pharaohs do battle. One player puts down three pharaoh cards (for example) and another player puts down three pharaoh cards. Both players roll a die to see who rolls the highest number. The person with the highest number gets all six cards. My daughter acquired a huge pack of pharaoh cards by participating in a lot of battles. It was uncanny how she always won those battles.

When four people play the game, it can take two hours, which was tedious to me. My older two sons played the game (just the two of them) before I had a chance to look at it, and they said the game was way shorter with fewer people.

Drawing on Papyrus

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010


I bought some papyrus paper at a teacher supply store. I looked on the back, and the papyrus was actually made in Egypt. I gave one sheet to each child, along with a pencil. My 10-year-old son grabbed one of our Egypt books, opened it up for ideas, and drew a scribe along with some hieroglyphs. The children colored their drawings with colored pencils. (I use Prismacolor colored pencils because they glide on more smoothly, and there are some metallic colors.)


drawing-on-papyrus-2My 8-year-old son wanted something easy, so I showed him a coloring book of Ancient Egypt. Children find black and white sketches easier to draw than finished illustrations from books.

My 7-year-old designed his own picture based on a page from another book. He wrote a story in hieroglyphs. His picture is absolutely precious. It looks similar in style to all the other drawings he makes. He loves drawing, almost as much as my oldest son, Bryan.


My 5-year-old girl took one look at the coloring book page that she had chosen, and she decided to trace it. Too bad that papyrus is so thick. We did this project after dinner one night, and my husband heard her scream and cry when she found out she couldn’t trace it. My husband took the coloring book, photocopied the one page she chose, taped it to the window, then taped the papyrus to the window. Luckily there was still enough light outside to trace the drawing. (The lights were off in the room where she was drawing, so that she could see through the papyrus.)


When she finished tracing it, she was so proud of her work. She colored it and added a few random hieroglyphs. (She didn’t realize that her brothers were writing real stories with their hieroglyphs, and she wanted to do what they were doing.)

We put their finished papyrus papers into their Egypt notebooks, sliding them into the sheet protector.



Thursday, September 16th, 2010

hieroglyphsMy children have enjoyed drawing hieroglyphs and rubber stamping them. (If you want to see the hieroglyph rubber stamps, look at my YouTube video on Ancient Egypt.) My 10-year-old son said that he was a scribe, and he wrote a full page of hieroglyphs in pencil, telling a story. He rolled up the sheet of paper, came over to me, and said, “Where is my Ancient Egypt costume?” I told him the one I made was too small; that it was his brother Stephen’s now. Maybe next week or the week after I’ll make him another one. (Besides, I’m still figuring out how to spread the fabric glue faster, because for my conference workshop next March, I’ll be doing a workshop entitled “Using Simple Costumes and Props to Teach the Bible.” In that conference workshop, my opening act is to make a simple Bible costume in five minutes with no sewing. I’m researching the fastest way to make it.)

Anyway, my son wanted to be an Egyptian scribe because, he said, his work contained all the wisdom of Ancient Egypt.

For rubber stamping the hierpglyphs, we dipped the rubber stamp (with one hieroglyph on it) into some gold paint. Then we stamped it on black paper. I’ve never seen that done before. I just made it up because it looked cool. To make it easier, put a very shallow puddle in a wide jar lid. Then when you dip it, it won’t be completely immersed in gold paint. (Yellowish-gold paint is the best color for this project.)

Bryan wrote the following message in hieroglyphs (he made this up out of his imagination): “The black bird flying over a red sunset is a good omen. A bad omen is a viper sitting in the garden.”

Stephen wrote: “A good omen is a flower at sunrise. A bad omen is a vulture around a pyramid.” He just made that up, too, based on Bryan’s sentence structure.

My daughter just rubber stamped the entire hieroglyph alphabet, and Nathaniel wrote a simple sentence and signed his name, all in hieroglyphs.

Later when we watched a video about Egypt, the kids were actually reading the hieroglyphs on the walls of Egyptian tombs! They recognized the different sounds, anyways. I thought that was neat.