Daily Activity 31: The ancient civilisation of Egypt

May 4, 2020

This week’s theme:

Mysterious Places – Ancient Egypt

This week’s colouring in sheet:

Download and print this week’s colouring sheet here.

Fact of the day:

The river Nile provided the Ancient Egyptians with food, transportation, building materials, and more. The Ancient Egyptians called the Nile the “Aur”, which means “black” like the rich soil.

Resources list:

Poem; Yellow household items; Paper and colours; toilet roll tube, cardboard. Youtube; Bells, teatowels or pillowcases.

Activity 1:

‘The Gift Of The Nile’ is a poem is about the river Nile and how its yearly flooding was thought to be a gift or blessing to the Egyptian people from their God Aten. The floods helped the people irrigate their land and grow fertile crops. The Ancient Egyptians called the rich black soil from the floods the “Gift of the Nile”. Read, or ask somebody to read to you the poem, and come up with actions or sounds for words mentioned in it. You could also create a river soundscape with water sounds splashing, pouring and swishing.

The God Aten was a sun god who was depicted as a disk with rays reaching to the earth. At the end of the rays were human hands which often extended to the pharaoh – see here. How many yellow items you can find in your house? Recreate Aten’s disc and long reaching rays on a tabletop with your golden items. You can take a photo of your sun disc to share on our FacebookInstagram or Twitter or send it to melanie@purplepatcharts.org and we’ll put it online for you!

Activity 2:

Both ancient Egyptian men and women wore make-up. See here and here. The eye-paint was usually green (made from copper) or black (made from lead). As well as offering protection from the sun, the Egyptians believed make-up had magical healing powers, too!) Create your own Egyptian make-up look on this blank face (download and print out), or on a blank face you can draw yourself.

Activity 3:

Cats were considered to be a sacred animal by the Ancient Egyptians. It’s thought that most families kept a cat as a pet, which they believed would bring the household good luck! Egyptians did not worship cats, but believed that domestic cats carried the essence of Bastet the cat-headed goddess who represented domesticity, music, dance and pleasure. For that reason, cats were to be protected. Charms and amulets depicting cats were worn by men and women to protect the home and jewellery fashioned into cats and kittens were popular gifts.

You could make a toilet tube cat statue like this to protect your home.

Make a cat mask, (or print one from here), make some cat ears, or draw on some cat whiskers, and dress up in your favourite outfits to walk your own fashion catwalk like a fancy regal cat.

Can you make any cat sounds like these; imitate the sounds a cat makes when happy, contented, angry, frightened, hungry.

Try stretching like a cat.

Activity 4:

Listen to ‘Walk like an Egyptian’ here. Try dancing with some of the poses, stretches and moves painted by Ancient Egyptians on the ‘Tomb of the Dancers’.

In Ancient Egypt dance rhythms were also provided by hand clapping, finger snapping, tambourines, drums and body slapping. Vocalizations included songs, cries, choruses and rhythmic noises. Dancers often wore bells on their fingers and performed in flowing transparent robes and skirts. Listen to /watch the Egypt themed videos for these 2 songs here and here, can you clap your hands and click your fingers, and pat your lap, and join in with your own rhythmical noises? If you have any bells at home, you can tinkle them in time. You can make a flowing skirt by tucking teatowels or pillow cases into your waistband that swish as you move to the songs.

You could also tie a scarf around your waist and try some belly dancing moves shown here and here.

Activity 5:

Try speaking some basic Egyptian Arabic. Can you say ‘Afwan’ (you are welcome), ‘Ana Kwaies’ (I am fine), ‘Shokran’ (Thanks), ‘Ahlan’ (Welcome), ‘Ezayak?’ (How are you?), ‘Salam’ (Bye) and ‘Ma’a Salama’ (goodbye)? You can hear them being pronounced here.

Add on Activities:

The Ancient Egyptians loved playing board games, one popular game was Senet, which was played for over 2,000 years! The movement of the Senet counters was decided by throwing four two-sided sticks (in the same way we throw dice). Next time you play a board game, use sticks rather than a dice; if the sticks land with a painted side up that’s the amount of steps you could move.

Historians believe that Egyptians started using a form of toothpaste over 7,000 years ago, long before the toothbrush was invented. Having a healthy smile, white teeth, and fresh breath has been important to Egyptians for thousands of years! Have you done your teeth today?! If not, make like an Egyptian and do them pronto!

If you have the ingredients, make some Egyptian food like Egyptian Kahk Cookies see here or Baba Ghanoush see here.