Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’


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.

Egypt Cookies

Monday, September 13th, 2010


My kids decorated cookies to represent the country of Egypt. First I mixed up a batch of sugar cookies and put them in the fridge. The next day, I took half the dough and rolled it out. I cut out four rectangles using a knife. With a spatula, I tried to transfer the dough rectangles onto the cookie sheet. I said “tried” because a couple of them fell apart. (I’m not good at making pie crust either.) I smooshed them back together on the greased cookie sheet, with no one noticing. I baked them. They cooled.


Then I called the children over. They cheered and jumped up and down with glee. “Are we having this for lunch?” they asked.


I didn’t answer. I told them to sit down. I handed each kid a butter knife, and I put the white icing in the middle of the table. The kids covered their cookies with icing as the base or “glue” that would hold everything else in place.


When no one needed white any more, I dyed the rest of the icing green. The children used their knives to make an upside-down triangle on the top of their cookie, representing the fertile Nile Delta. They made a fat line going down the rest of the cookie, about the thickness of the butter knife.


Normally to make sand on a cake, I crumble up generic graham crackers from Walmart, the ones that cost $1. But I was in Rosaurs, and their cheapest graham crackers were $4. So I bought generic lemon cookies. We scraped off the stuff in the middle of the cookie and put the bare cookies into a ziplock bag. We pounded the cookies to smithereens. (One of my sons used the wrong end of the mallet and punched lots of tiny holes in the bag, so watch which end you’re using. A hammer would work just as well. Use a nice, thick bag, not a cheap one.)


I snipped off the blue tube of icing – it’s called “writing gel”– and you can find it at your grocery store near the icing. Otherwise there’s no way for you to make the thin line that the Nile River needs to be. The kids squeezed it like a tube of toothpaste down their cookie.

We added three chocolate chips for the three great pyramids. And voila! Edible Egypt! I fed my children vegetables, fruit, and protein before they ate the enormous cookie. What a delicious history class! The kids ate their homework, and no one got in trouble.

Map of Egypt

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

map-of-EgyptWhenever you study a country, you ought to color a map of it, no matter what age you are. It helps you to remember the shape of the country, the rivers, and whatever else is on the map, like the major cities. I love this particular map of Egypt because it has some cartoon-like cultural stuff on it. Kids love it, and they can see where the pyramids are located, where Abu Simbel is (I walked around there!), and where Upper and Lower Egypt are (in opposite locations than you would think).

We colored the Nile River blue first. Then we put green along the river, because I’ve been on the Nile River, and it’s green right next to the water, where there are palm trees. The rest of the land is sand dunes. So the children colored the rest of the land light brown or yellow to represent the sand. Having a strong grasp of how Egypt looked, the kids were ready to make Egypt cookies.


Friday, September 10th, 2010

EgyptAlmost two decades ago, I had a chance to go to Egypt. Since I was living in England at the time, it didn’t cost very much to go on a cruise down the Nile River. I have to say, it was the most exotic-looking place I’ve ever been. Because I’m a tightwad, I took a cheaper tour that did not include the pyramids, and now I regret my decision. The most famous sight in Egypt is the pyramids, so I should have splurged and spent double the money. Oh, well. I asked my husband if we could take our children to Egypt on a “field trip,” you know, after I’m rich and famous. He said, “Are you kidding?! They’re killing Americans over there!”Egypt-2

The thing that struck me most strongly about Egypt was the enormity of all the stone sculptures. Almost everything was done in a very large way. Palm trees lined the edge of the Nile River, and beyond that were sand dunes as far as the eye could see. White long-necked birds flew along the edge of the river.

I entered King Tut’s tomb, which was almost like a cavern cut into the mountain. It was smaller than I thought, but everything was so elaborate, including the paintings that covered the walls. Hieroglyphs were painted everywhere, telling stories about the young king’s life.

Sphynxes lined different Egypt-3cobbled streets, and I saw the ruins of many famous cities, including the Colossi of Memnon statues in Thebes. They were tall and creepy, and they were roped off, so you couldn’t actually touch them.

Abu Simbel was a temple in Ramses. It had four large statues of men sitting at the entrance. Inside, large statues lined the hallway, and an eerie feeling crept over me, almost like there was something demonic about the statues. I had a sense of awe, but it was a creepy awe that included a strange fear. I can’t quite explain it, but I was glad to be out of there when the tour finished.