My Eldest picked this International Theme Day as he enjoyed reading the “Kane Chronicles” series of books by Rick Riordan which made him really interested in the Egyptian Mythology. However, even if you don’t want to focus on Egyptian Mythology this Theme Day is a great way to learn about a different country. Whatever your focus, any time is a good time to learn about a different country, so enjoy!
Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do and in what order.
Take out a globe or atlas before you have this Theme Day or go online to show your child where Egypt is and compare it to where you live.
For information about Egyptian music check here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Egypt or here: http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/timelines/topics/music.htm
For some traditional Egyptian music listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGaRZbaosOs or here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1ZxTnjta3I&list=PL94CE9539A405021A
The Egyptian National Anthem is called “Bilady, laki hubbi wa fu'adi” ("My homeland, you have my love and my heart"). To read the translated lyrics check here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilady,_Bilady,_Bilady To hear the anthem in instrumental form check here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nEc9gUnm-M and to hear it sung listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVEF9Wbl-zM
You can find many free colouring pages online by using your favourite search engine and typing in “Egypt Coloring Pages” or print out my “Welcome to Egypt Coloring Page.”
JOURNALING QUESTION PROMPT:
Write out one or more of the following questions in your Family Theme Day Scrapbook or on a piece of paper to glue in your scrapbook: What do you know about Egypt? What do you know about Egyptian Mythology? What would you like to learn about Egypt?
NOTE: I like to do the journal prompt last for International Theme Days to see what my children have learned: Would you like to visit Egypt? Why or why not? If you travelled to Egypt what would you like to visit or do? What are three interesting facts you learned about Egypt? Would you have liked to live in ancient Egyptian times?
Choose the level of your child:
¨ Toddler – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and have your child draw a picture of the answer
¨ Preschooler/Kindergartener – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and write the answer down for him/her leaving one word for him/her to write out himself/herself with your help. You could also encourage him/her to draw a picture as well.
¨ Early Grade School – have your child either write out the answer himself/herself (encourage phonetic spelling) without your help, or offer to help with spelling each word out loud one word at a time.
¨ Grade School – have your child write a sentence or two on his/her own and then read over and discuss the response. (You decide whether to correct the spelling or not)
¨ Older Child – have your child write a longer response (paragraph).
¨ As A Challenge – instead of a question ask your older child to write a story or poem about Egypt.
Print out a Greece Word Search:
Check here for the answer keys:
Raid your child’s bookshelves to find any books about Egypt
Go to the library with your child to find some books about Egypt
Go to the library on your own to find books on about Egypt from both fiction and nonfiction to have already on hand for your theme day. Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject (search for “Egypt” under “Children’s Books”). Reserve them if you can to save time.
Try to find some of these nonfiction/learning titles about Egypt:
· The Best Book of Mummies, by Philip Steele, Kingfisher, 1998— If your child is interested in mummies this easy to read book offers more detail on the subject.
· Egypt: The People, by Arlene Moscovitch, Crabtree Publishing Company, 2008 – Informative but not too intimidating, I love these Bobby Kalman Books when it comes to learning about a new country/culture. Also in this series we looked at Egypt: The Land, and Egypt: The Culture.
· Hieroglyphics, by Kremena Spengler, Capstone Press, 2009 – Easy to read text is great for beginner readers and it offers some basic information about hieroglyphics including an alphabet and number chart.
· Hieroglyph Detective: How to Decode the Sacred Language of the Ancient Egyptians, by Nigel Strudwick, Chronicle Books, 2010 – This thick pocket sized book would be great for older kids who want to delve deeper into researching hieroglyphics.
· King Tut’s Tomb, by Amanda Doering Tourville, Capstone Press, 2009 – This is a great easy to read book with basic facts about the boy king or more specifically his mummy!
· Pyramids of Giza, by Sheelagh Matthews, AV2 , 2012 – This is a great learning book with photos and plenty of facts.
· Top 10 Worst Things about Ancient Egypt You Wouldn't Want to Know, written by Victoria England and illustrated by David Antram, Gareth Stevens, Publishing, 2012—My kids love these books! This one focuses on 10 main subjects rather than a single one (like the book You wouldn’t Want to be Cleopatra! AN Egyptian Ruler You’d Rather Not Be).
For some books about Egyptian Deities try these books:
· Ancient Egypt: Tales of Gods and Pharaohs, retold and illustrated by Marcia Williams, Candlewick Press, 2011 – Done in a comic book-like style, this fun book is a great introduction to Egypt’s fascinating mythology. My kids adore her style and have read others by this author/illustrator.
· Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, by Janeen R. Adil, Capstone Press, 2009 – Perfect for early readers this book offers large text and simple introductions to nine Egyptian gods and goddesses.
· Gods and Goddesses in the Daily Life of the Ancient Egyptians, written by Henrietta McCall and illustrated by John James, Peter Bedrick Books, 2002 – A more thorough look at fourteen Egyptian gods and goddesses , this book would be great for older kids.
· Understanding Egyptian Myths, by Sheri Doyle, Crabtree Publishing Company, 2012 – Older kids who want more information about Egyptian Mythology will like this book. It has more detail with facts and stories.
Here are some picture books about Egypt:
· Gift of the Nile: An Ancient Egyptian Legend, retold by Jan M. Mike and illustrated by Charles Reasoner, Troll Associates, 1993 – The tale of the Pharaoh Senefru and his friendship with Mutemwia.
· What’s the Matter, Habibi?, written and illustrated by Betsy Lewin, Clarion Books, 1997— Find out what happens when Habibi the camel runs away.
· Who Build the Pyramid?, by Meredith Hooper and illustrated by Robin Heighway-Bury, Candlewick Press, 2001—Many people claim to be responsible for the building of Senwosret’s pyramid. Who do you think?
NOTE: I had already planned on making some sort of hieroglyphic craft for this Theme Day but when I found a link on Pinterest for Sand Dough carved Hieroglyphics I just had to include it. I found the idea here: http://www.firstpalette.com/Craft_themes/People/hieroglyphic_stone/hieroglyphic_stone.html
VERDICT on the Sand Dough: I liked the look of the sand dough but could not stand the smell of it! It was so bad that after I took the photos I threw the craft out and had to wash the table top they were drying on with a lot of soap and water to get rid of the smell!!! I don’t know why the dough was so pungent!
Materials: Self-drying clay or sand dough (beware of the smell though – see note above) (http://www.firstpalette.com/tool_box/art_recipes/sanddough/sanddough.html) , a copy of my Egyptian Symbols worksheet or Egyptian Hieroglyphics printable (or a book from the library with hieroglyphics in in), toothpick, plastic butter knife, waxed paper.
Step 1: Roll out the dough and cut it with a plastic butter knife to form a nice rectangular shape.
Step 2: Have your child “carve” hieroglyphics onto the dough and then let the dough dry on waxed paper.
MUMMY CRAFT STICKS:
Materials: Craft sticks, first aid bandages (preferably the self sticking kind...that worked really well with this craft), googly eyes, white glue, (Optional) Pipe cleaners.
Step 1: Wrap the first aid bandages around the craft stick until happy with the look. My Eldest liked it wrapped tightly; my youngest wanted a loose wrap because that looked more like the monsters. (Optional: my Youngest wanted arms on one of his mummies so we used green pipe cleaners and wrapped those around the craft stick first). NOTE: If you don’t have self sticking bandages you will ned to glue them on with white glue and then let them dry on wax paper.
Step 2: Glue the googly eyes onto the craft stick.
Materials: a copy of my sarcophagus template, a small piece of cardboard (the size of the template), brown paper (like from a lunch bag), markers, and clear tape.
Step 1: Have your child cut out the sarcophagus template (or have your child draw on the template as a colouring sheet to simplify this craft).
Step 2: Have your child trace the template onto a piece of cardboard and then cut the cardboard out. Younger children may require help as cardboard is quite thick and thus a little tricky to cut.
Step 3: Use the template on the brown paper and trace lightly in pencil. Now have your child draw and colour a sarcophagus picture onto the brown paper. We had some library books open on the table to use as guide lines.
Step 4: Cut around the shape of the sarcophagus on the brown paper but not along the template sketch. This time you want a wide gap around the shape because you will be wrapping it around the cardboard.
Step 5: If your child desires, have him her place the previous mummy craft onto the piece of cardboard as if laying the mummy inside the tomb. My children didn’t want to wrap up their mummies so we skipped this step.
Step 6: Next, wrap the cut out and colour brown paper around the cardboard (covering the mummy) and fold the extra paper around the back (to seal the mummy in the tomb) to create the top of the sarcophagus. Tape the folded paper onto the back of the cardboard.
Materials: A copy of my Paper pyramid Template, crayons or coloured paper, glue stick and clear tape, (Optional) a piece of hard brown cardboard (like from the back of a package of colored paper or from a cereal box).
Step 1: This craft can be done two ways. You can cut out the template and use it to trace onto coloured paper or you can colour right on the template. My kids chose to colour on the template so to make three pyramids we used three printable templates.
Step 2: Once the pyramid(s) are cut out you fold on the dotted line or where the dotted line would have been if you are using coloured paper) and apply glue stick glue to the tabs. This part might be tricky for younger kids. Help them pinch the sides one at a time together and if necessary use a little clear tape.
Step 3: Continue with all the tabs and then use clear tape with the last tab as that one is hard to glue.
Step 4: (Optional): We decided to glue our pyramids to a small piece of hard brown cardboard to resemble the dessert.
EGYPTIAN CUFFS AND NECKLACE/COLLAR:
Note: An Egyptian Collar is called an Usekh and is more like a necklace than an actual collar since it is not attached to a garment but instead is draped around and supported by the neck and shoulders. Egyptian cuffs or bracelets are another ancient tradition as old as 5000 BCE!
Materials: Paper plate, paper roll, gold or yellow paint, colored paint (red, blue, white, green...), (OR use markers instead of paint for an easier craft), child safe scissors, paper to cover the table and an art smock or old clothes if you are painting, wax paper to use as paint pallet and to leave the crafts on to dry, paintbrushes, a cup of water to clean the brushes.
Step 1: Take a white paper plate and cut out the middle by first cutting a slit at the top. Then cut out a wedge from the top so that it will fit around your child’s neck comfortably. Take away a small amount at first (easier to remove more than to add it back).
Step 2: Next have your child decorate the paper plate. We looked at pictures from our library books and online for inspiration. I quite like the effect of the gold paint (if you can find it). We did the painting in two phases. Gold first and then let it dry and then the other colours to add the decorations.
Step 3: Paint the paper roll. We used gold and then let it dry and then added more paint once we cut out the cuff.
Step 4: Cut out the cuff to the size you want and then cut lengthwise so that it will easily slide onto your child’s wrist.
EGYPTIAN HARP CRAFT:
NOTE: For information on Ancient Egyptian Music check here: http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/music.htm
NOTE: This is a more difficult craft. Sometimes we like to challenge ourselves with a craft and for this Theme Day, the harp was a challenge!
Materials: empty shoe box, old ruler (a paint stir stick would work, too), packing tape, paint, long elastics, brads or paper fasteners, a thumb tack, hard construction paper, ball of clay, white paper, black marker, white glue.
Step 1: We painted the top of the shoe box and the sides that had writing on them, but you can paint all over if that’s what your children want.
Step 2: Because I didn’t have a paint stir stick we used an old wooden ruler and painted that to match the box.
Step 3: We cut a small rectangular slit out of one side of the shoe box (shorter end) that would fit the ruler/stir stick. We placed the ruler into the slit and kept it in place at a slight angel using clay inside the box. You could glue the clay into place for something sturdier.
Step 4: We cut a light slit on the shoe box lid so that it would fit on top of the box. Next I made small holes about 1 cm apart on the lid in the middle of it and stuck the brads/paper fasteners through, unfolding their tabs on the other side of the lid.
Step 5: Next tape the lid onto the box using strong packers tape.
Step 6: We looked at pictures of Egyptian harps online and in books and decided on a crane like head for ours. I drew a basic head and left room for a tab at the bottom of the drawing and then had my eldest draw details (the eyes and stripes) on both sides. We then folded over a tab at the bottom of the cut out head and taped it to the lid (centering it on the other side of the box opposite the ruler.
Step 7: My youngest decorated pieces of white paper with black marker the would fit onto the box with any type of design or with hieroglyphics (using one of these printables: Egyptian Symbols worksheet or Egyptian Hieroglyphics printable . He then glued the paper to the box using white glue.
Step 8: Using the packing tape we taped one end of each elastic to the ruler and then hooked the other end onto a brad/paper fastener. The longest one (placed at the top) broke on us so we taped one end and tied the other to the fastener. Voila! An Egyptian harp!
DRAWINGS: If your child likes to draw try to find this book:
Ancient Egypt Drawing Book, by Ralph Masiello, Charlesbridge, 2008
For more craft ideas inspired by Egypt try these craft books that also offer facts:
· Arts and Crafts of Ancient Egypt, by Ting Morris and illustrated by Emma Young, Smart Apple Media, 2001 – More facts than art projects in this book (four) but a great look at the past culture of Egypt.
· The Ancient Egyptians: Dress, Eat, Write, and Play Just Like Egyptians, by Fiona Macdonald, QEB Publishing, 2007 – Thirteen projects (including one recipe) with one project per factual page.
· Ancient Egypt: Come and Discover My World, by Amanda Martin, Easy to read book with photos of children dressed up and acting like Egyptians. This offers a lot of art projects and factual info as well.
For information on Egyptian cuisine check here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_cuisine or here: http://www.touregypt.net/recipes/recipeweek08092004.htm
For books about Egyptian foods in the past complete with a few recipes try these titles:
· Food and Cooking in Ancient Egypt, by Clive Gifford and illustrations by Pal Cherrill, Powerkids Press, 2010 (part of the “ Cooking in World Cultures” series).
· Foods of Egypt, by Barbara Sheen, KidHaven Press, 2010
NOTE: Bread was the most common food source in Ancient Egypt and even today Egyptian pita is commonly found.
I found a recipe for Egyptian Pita called Aish Baladi here: http://breakurfast.wordpress.com/2011/10/30/egyptian-pita-aish-baladi/ but if you are wary of trying to bake your own you could always just buy some pita form a grocery store. My boys were excited to try making their own.
Dip the pita in some delicious hummus for a tasty snack. You can buy hummus in the deli section of your local grocer or if you have a food processor make your own as it’s not very complicated. I used a different recipe (one whose source I’ve long since forgotten), but you could try this one: http://www.alternativeegypt.com/Food-&-Recipes/Egyptian-Hummus-Recipe.html
Egyptian tea is black and sweet, usually served in a glass and with milk if desired. If you don’t want your kids to drink caffeine then pass on this or serve a herbal tea. For something Egyptian try a hibiscus tea, which is said to be the preferred drink of the pharaohs and is used for toasting at Egyptian weddings. Another caffeine free drink to try is to make some hot lemonade and steep mint leaves in it and then serve with honey (this is a medicinal tea used for sore throats in Egypt). For a lemon mint tea recipe try here: http://open.salon.com/blog/lisabnyc/2011/02/20/egyptian_refreshment
Lentil soup: There are many recipes for lentil soup that you might like to make for this Theme Day. My kids adore spicy foods and to my amazement I discovered they like lentils! When I found this recipe for Spicy Egyptian Lentil Soup I knew I had to make it. http://www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com/2011/01/24/spicy-egyptian-lentil-soup/
Mummy mini pizzas – If your kids are not keen on trying new cuisine you could serve up some Mummy mini pizzas. Use a mozzarella cheese strings to create these fun pizzas on toasted English muffins. Olives make good eyes.
Koshari (Egyptian Rice, Lentils and Macaroni with Spicy Tomato Chile Sauce):
When I was researching I found that Koshari is considered the national dish of Egypt. We got our recipe here: http://www.daringgourmet.com/2013/02/21/koshari-national-dish-of-egypt/ If your kids don’t like spice you could serve with your own tomato sauce.
Lemonade/ Qatarmizat: It’s believed that medieval Egyptians invented lemonade and so for our Around the World Party in 2012 we made some to serve in fun paper cups decorated with hieroglyphics. For a photo of these decorated cups check out our More Goodies Photo Album on our Facebook Page.
Umm Ali/ Oum Ali: This is a traditional warm Egyptian dessert. I found an easy recipe for it here: http://mongoliankitchen.com/oum-ali/
Mummy cupcakes – there is nothing traditional about this recipe but for less adventurous kids, make some cupcakes and decorate with crisscrossing icing to create simple mummy cupcakes.
Print out a copy of my Egypt Flag Coloring Page and have your child follow the instructions on it to color it. I apologise for inaccuracies and for no detail in the writing at the bottom of Eagle symbol. This was a difficult flag to draw and for the purposes of basic education I simplified the design.
Print out a copy of my Basic Geography of Egypt Map and have your child colour it. Then together as a family search an atlas or online for the capital city of Egypt. Have your child write the answer on the worksheet. Your child could also write down the names of nearby seas. Please excuse any anomalies in the shape of the country or inaccuracies as the worksheet was drawn by hand and hence is not perfect.
Print out a copy of my Geography of Egypt/Africa Map and have your child color it to see where Egypt lies in comparison to the rest of Africa.
EGYPTIAN LANGUAGE (MODERN):
Egyptian Arabic is the contemporary language of Egypt. Print out a copy of my Common Arabic Words Printable to learn a few simple words. I apologise for inaccuracies (and certainly welcome any corrections). I complied the list using this site : http://www.linguanaut.com/english_arabic.htm and a Egypt Nile Valley Pamphlet from www.egypt.travel that we picked up at a local Heritage Festival in the Egyptian Pavilion.
Use these Printables to learn more about Egyptian symbols:
Egyptian Symbols/Alphabet—Use this chart for a basic phonetic alphabet. This has symbols linked with basic sounds (I found the information in a few places and I apologise for any inaccuracies in my drawings. I also discovered that some symbols had multiple sounds and some sounds had multiple symbols so I basically mixed a few of these together to get one simple phonetic alphabet. I am not an Egyptologist so I’m sure I’ve made a few errors but hopefully enough is correct for learning purposes. Here are my sources: http://mrswarnerarlington.weebly.com/unit-44-seeker-of-knowledge.html and http://art-zoo.tripod.com/artgallery/id14.html and http://discoveringegypt.com/egyptian-hieroglyphic-writing/egyptian-hieroglyphic-alphabet/ and this really great one http://www.artyfactory.com/egyptian_art/egyptian_hieroglyphs/egyptian_hieroglyphs_A-B-C.htm.
Egyptian Hieroglyphics—I found some symbols here: http://www.egyptartsite.com/symlst.html and here http://www.ancient-symbols.com/ancient_egyptian_symbols.html and here http://symboldictionary.net/?page_id=676 and here http://www.crystalinks.com/egyptiansymbols.jpg I apologise for any inaccuracies in my drawings.
Blank Hieroglyphics Chart—As your family reads about Egypt you may discover some more hieroglyphics. Use this Blank Chart to record the ones you find and like. We discovered some basic symbols for numbers as we read.
NOTE: A Cartouche is a collection of hieroglyphics that represent a royal name. The symbols are encircled by an oval with a line at the bottom. For more information check here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartouche
Materials: Some coloured paper, a pencil, black marker, a copy of my Egyptian Symbols worksheet.
Step 1: Draw an oval on the paper and add a line at the bottom.
Step 2: Have your child try to copy the symbols that correspond to the letters or sounds in his/her name.
Print out a copy of my Egyptian History Chart and as you read about Egypt record your favourite facts in the spaces provided.
There are many different Egyptian deities. I asked my son to help me narrow the numbers down to create these printables. The following link has two pages for a chart that has nineteen deities named and includes a third page that has a blank chart to include any other deities your family may find interesting as you read about Egyptian Mythology. Print out a copy of my Egyptian Mythology Charts and together as a family see if you can fill in the chart while you read about the various gods and goddesses.
Older kids may be especially curious about the process of mummification (warning: not for the faint of heart). For a great online tool try this website that features a fun interactive game called “prepare a Mummy” (my boys loved that): http://resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/homework/egypt/mummies.htm
If your younger kids are interested but you don’t want to get too graphic and gross try this activity which older kids will probably like, too: HOW TO MUMMIFY AN APPLE. http://timetravellerkids.co.uk/fun-stuff/free-projects/ancient-egyptian-projects/how-to-mummify-an-apple/ I must admit that our apple didn’t dry out and after a week it leaked through the plastic and onto the plate so we threw it out. Yuck! If you try this experiment and have luck we’d love to here from you! Let us know on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Family-Theme-Days/194379807256174) or via email email@example.com. For a photo of our failed attempt look on our More Crafts and Activities Album.
For tourism try this link: http://www.touregypt.net/
For more about symbols try this page: http://www.landofpyramids.org/symbols-for-egypt.htm
For famous Egyptian landmarks try this site: http://famouswonders.com/africa/egypt/
For more info about history and mythology check out this page on Rick Riordan’s website— http://www.rickriordan.com/my-books/kane-chronicles/explore-egyptian-mythology/greatest-hits-of-egyptian-history.aspx
NOTE: To learn about Ancient Egyptian Games and how Egyptian kids played check here: http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/egypt/games/ and here: http://www.experience-ancient-egypt.com/egyptian-board-games.html
Make your own ancient Egyptian board game! You need to make two sets of pawns called cones or reels. We made ours using modelling clay. To make a Senet game board draw a grid of 3 rows with 10 boxes in each row. We glued our board to a small shoebox so we could keep the pieces and instructions inside. Paint 4 craft sticks so that only one side is coloured. For each painted side you move one space. If you throw 4 plain sides then you move 5 spaces! The object of the game is to be the first to move all your pawns from square 1 to 30. Here’s the catch…if you land on a square that already has a pawn you take their place and move the opponent’s pawn back to the spot you left.
For a picture of a Senet game board check here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senet and for great instructions try this link: http://www.bgfl.org/bgfl/custom/resources_ftp/client_ftp/ks2/history/senet/index.htm
I’ve read that ancient Egyptians played dice games but couldn’t find an example of one. You could always pull out your own dice and play Yahtzee for this theme day. For a scorecard you can check here: http://www.yahtzeemanifesto.com/scorecards.php
For some fun online Egyptian inspired games check out this page with many links: http://www.rickriordan.com/my-books/kane-chronicles/house-of-life/egyptian-games.aspx
Q: Who changed King Tut’s diapers?
A: His mummy!
Q: What kind of music do mummies like?
A: Wrap Music!
Q: If a mummy gave you two dimes as change for a quarter what just happened?
A: Egypted you! (He gypped you!)
Q: Why did the mummy need a doctor?
A: He was coffin!
Q: Why are mummies good at keeping secrets?
A: They keep things under wraps!
Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand) to find your child’s favourite shows with an Egyptian theme.
For some cartoon movies try:
· Scooby Doo: Where’s My Mummy!
· The Prince of Egypt
Try to find this non-fiction title at your local library:
· Families of Egypt, Master Communications, Inc., - Part of the “Families of the World” series, this 30 minute show was an interesting look at two Egyptian families (a six year old from Luxor and a seven year old from Cairo).
Many museums have sections that feature ancient Greek artifacts. If you are lucky enough to live near a museum that does, go there for an afternoon and explore the ancient world together.
Journaling about Egypt
Make some Egyptian Foods!
Photo: G Klewchuk
Colouring Page for an Egyptian Theme Day
Photo: Jason and Danielle P
The Pyramids of Giza
Try one of our Egypt Word Searches
Hieroglyphics carved in clay!
Simple Paper Pyramids
Paper Plate Egyptian Collar and Paper Roll Cuff
Paper Plate Egyptian Collar and Paper Roll Cuff
Mummy Themed Foods
Egypt Learning Printables
Learning About Hieroglyphics
Leaning About Egyptian History and Mythology
Make an Ancient Egyptian Board Game!
Valley of the Kings
Relics from Ancient Egypt
Photo: Jason and Danielle P
Photo: Jason and Danielle P