Oh, the vibrant beauty and rich mystique of ancient Egyptian culture! Here, solemn ritual meets engineering wonder with enough of a dose of creepiness to satisfy a pair of 10 year old boys at Grandma Camp! Their 8 year old cousin doesn't mind either. She's a team player all the way, part of one trio of campers I entertained last week, striving for a satisfying combination of historical learning, crafting, and deliciously gory fun!
The best intro to this topic arrives via generously illustrated books. I use them to briefly describe the attention given passage to the afterlife by upper class people of this culture: upon arrival, the person would "need things" - a remarkable stash of supplies dutifully buried with the body of the deceased. The centerpiece of all this finery is the burial capsule - a sarcophagus - the first word on a list of terms we're now as comfortable with as a seasoned Egyptologist!
this free printout at Lonely Planet Kids is a worthy learning tool, employing math and crafting skills in the process of construction.
A two page pattern, printed on brown card stock, goes to each junior archaeologist. Kids choose paints or markers for color, consulting books for authenticity. Tiny stick-on "jewels" accent their work. (Find these at major craft stores in the sticker aisle.)
Each of the children carefully chooses colors and paints with pride. I am pleased, attributing our success partially to my purchase of quality materials. Sable size 2 rounds make a fine point, and the young artists comment on how easy it is to stay within the lines as they apply craft acrylic paint.
Once complete, tops and bottoms are carefully cut, dashed lines scored and folded, corners glued, and coffins are ready for occupancy!
But who's going to dream away inside each eternal dwelling? Well, grandma's got that covered, too! In fact, we have a choice!
With dinner time approaching, we settle for "wrapping things up" 😉 with soft bodies, but as we "close the lid" on this project, our plans include returning soon to make life size stick mummies for Halloween use!
Hope you enjoyed our trip way back in time! Grandma's tired now. Going to lay down inside my sarcophagus. Wake me up in 4,600 years, please!
This is not a sponsored post.
The Egyptology Handbook: A course in the Wonders of Egypt - The Templar Company Plc. 2005
an illustrated fictitious diary of "Miss Emily Stone's" ill-fated expedition to find the tomb of Osiris
Mummies - National Geographic Kids - Elizabeth Carney 2009
32 pages of graphically photographed mummies representing several cultures and preservation methods
Pyramids and Mummies - Simon and Schuster - Anne Bolton 2007
large, triangular shaped, and informative - features fold outs and pockets of extra goodies (our favorite of the batch!)
Kids Discover Magazines - Mark Levine, publisher
Pyramids, Ancient Egypt, and Mummies titles - lots of info in a very appealing format for children
Fictional fun reading:
Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine - Scholastic, Inc. - (grade 3-5 reading level):
The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb - 1993
The Return of the Mummy - 1994
The Mummy Walks - 1999
Suggested list of terms to learn: Egyptology, sarcophagus, canopic jar, pyramid, Book of the Dead, pharaoh, mummification, linen, amulet
Lonely Planet Kids (AU) is a terrific source for educational inspiration and project ideas. Look here (on the blog) for excellent free printables on a variety of topics in science, nature, and history.
Salt dough recipe for mummy head: Mix and knead 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup water - air dry, bake at 300F for one hour, or microwave in 10 second bursts before painting - for amount needed for 2 or 3 mummy heads only, mix 1/4 cup flour, 1/8 cup salt, and 1/8 cup water