Ancient Egypt. There aren't just oodles of books to go along with it. The activities and digital resources are seemingly endless. Here's my list of 19 activities you can do to go along with your study of Ancient Egypt.
(I'll note which chapters of Snapshots of Ancient History different activities would go best with along the way!)
1. Mummify an Apple. What study of Ancient Egypt would be complete without making your own mummy? Hop on over to Time Traveller Kids for a how to on making a mummified apple.
This activity would go perfectly with chapter 7 in Snapshots of Ancient History.
2. Time Traveller Kids has several other hands on crafts to go with Ancient Egypt, including a perfume cone, a diadem, and a mummy wrapping activity. If you like doing crafts, there are enough here to go with each chapter on Egypt in Snapshots of Ancient History.
3. Build a Pyramid. Building your own pyramid is a must-do in any study of Ancient Egypt and the perfect companion to chapter 8 in Snapshots of Ancient History. Your options for building one are nearly endless. Basically, if you can build with it, you can make a pyramid with it.
You could go with the classic sugar cube pyramid. For this you'll need sugar cubes, Elmers glue/craft glue, and a work surface like a cardboard square or a baking sheet. Then let your kiddo build away! Once they've constructed a pyramid, if they want it to look a bit more authentic, you could add glue on top and sprinkle it with sand, or you could use food coloring to create yellow water and then apply it with an eyedropper. (The colored water option is great if you don't want have to find a place to store this pyramid for the next 6 months. Let your kiddo build and destroy a pyramid all in one go!)
Build a pyramid out of legos. Low prep and low mess. It's a win-win.
Build a pyramid out of toothpicks and marshmallows. Or apple pieces. I've found that small apple chunks offer far more structural support (and nutrition) than the traditional marshmallow connectors. This is obviously going to take a lot more engineering skills than just stacking sugar cubes or Legos, so this option is better left to older kids.
For a larger, more impressive pyramid, you could build one out of plastic cups or even cardboard boxes.
4. Create your own Nile floodplain. To explore how important the Nile was to Ancient Egyptians and see how the flooding helped farming, try creating your own Nile floodplain. Hop over the Creekside Learning for a step-by-step tutorial.
5. Mythology Cards. If you want a more hands on way to learn about the Egyptian gods, the blog Research Parent has created a free printable with Montessori-style Egyptian god cards.
These cards would be a great extension to chapter 7 of Snapshots of Ancient History.
6. Egyptian Printables. If your kids like worksheets, Education.com has many Ancient Egypt worksheets. This website allows you a limited number of free downloads per month. In addition, this UK based education website has dozens of printables about Ancient Egypt, including games, lapbooks, posters, and worksheets. A subscription is required, but it's only a few dollars a month.
7. Ancient Egypt STEM. In addition to building a pyramid, this Ancient Egypt STEM packet includes an activity for making your own canopic jars and then mummifying an apple in them.
These activities would fit best with chapters 7 and 8 of Snapshots of Ancient History.
8. History Pockets. This book has several activities you can do on ancient Egypt including coloring pages of ancient Egyptians and crafts about the Nile and pyramids.
9. Ancient Egyptians and their Neighbors. This is a fantastic activity guide that has activities about building your own pyramid, creating an Egyptian garden model, how to make Egyptian clothing, Egyptian recipes, and more.
Virtual Tours and Activities
10. 360 Tours of Ancient Egyptian Sites. Nova provides 360 degree virtual tours of many Ancient Egyptian sites, including the Pyramid of Giza, the Sphinx, the Temple at Karnak, the Temple at Luxor, and inside several pharoah's tombs! This is probably the best look you're going to get of these Ancient Egyptian sites without actually going to Egypt. (Make sure you have Flash Player enabled to launch the virtual tour.)
These virtual tours would fit well with chapters 8 and 13 of Snapshots of Ancient History.
11. National Geographic Kids has several online activities for kids about Ancient Egypt, including a how to make a mummy tutorial, and several lists of cool facts.
12. Interactive Tour of the Nile. This interactive map take a trip up the Nile, highlighting important stops along the way. This is a great way to help kids get familiar with Egyptian geography.
This map would fit well with chapter 4 of Snapshots of Ancient History, or any chapter after that point as a refresher on Egyptian geography.
13. Virtual Activities and Games. The Children's University of Manchester has several interactive Egyptian resources for kids, including an interactive map, Egyptian gods matching game, and a step-by-step mummy making game.
These resources would fit well with chapters 4, 7 and 8 of Snapshots of Ancient History
Videos and Documentaries
15. Nova Pyramid Video. This short video clip provides an overview of the construction of the pyramids and shows video footage of several important pyramids.
This clip would fit well with chapter 8 of Snapshots of Ancient History.
16. Discovery Education made a video episode about Ancient Egypt told from the perspective of an Egyptian child living during the reign of Ramses the Great. This episode provides an overview of all of Egyptian history from how the pyramids were built to what daily life looked like. This video would work well as an introduction or review of Ancient Egypt.
17. For another cartoon overview of Ancient Egypt, check out the Horrible Histories episode:
18. A third option for a children's show covering Ancient Egypt is Kids Animated History with Pipo. Episodes 1 and 2 are on Ancient Egypt. It is currently available or streaming through Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. If you don't have either streaming service, you can also buy it on Amazon.
The Kingdom of Kush/Nubia
Egypt wasn't the only civilization in ancient Africa. They weren't even the only African civilization to build pyramids! Chapter 13: Hatshepsut Builds Wonders discusses her trade routes into other parts of Africa. If you'd like to learn about another African civilization, the Kingdom of Kush is a great place to start. Kush is also called Nubia and is located just south of Egypt. The book The Ancient Egyptians and Their Neighbors has an entire section of Nubia including activities and information.
19. The PBS documentary series Africa's Great Civilizations also includes a segment on the Kingdom of Kush.
I'll stop there, but there are so many more things you could do for your study of Ancient Egypt! I'm excited to start mummifying apples and taking virtual pyramid tours with my kiddos!