If there is an interest in ancient Egyptian culture in your household, then you'll want to learn about the pyramids of Egypt. An excellent learning project for the family is to build a pyramid model. Here's how to continue the study of ancient Egypt with your own pyramid model.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Plaster of Paris, wood, Styrofoam or modeling clay
- Knife or cutting tool
- Sketch paper
- Pencil or pen
- Sand-colored paint
- Paint sealer
Make a design for your pyramid. Find pictures of genuine pyramids to base a sketch on. The ancient Egyptians built pyramids out of blocks of stone. To maintain the traditional pyramid style, design your pyramid with blocks. Use wooden blocks to build a temporary model for a sample to draw and sketch the final model. Research if the plans to build the pyramid include a scale model representation of the actual pyramids.
Determine the materials you'll need for the project. Although wood and Styrofoam are good materials to use, Plaster of Paris and clay are the easiest to work with. You'll also need an adhesive or glue if the plans include use of plaster, wood or Styrofoam.
Start with the base and move up. If you chose Plaster of Paris for the medium, use an ice cube tray to form the pyramid blocks. Coat the trays with petroleum jelly before you pour the plaster; it'll make the cubes easier to remove when the plaster hardens.
Sand the edges of the pyramid once it's dry. Cut off the edges with a sharp knife if you used Styrofoam or clay. Use sand paper for plaster and wood because it gives better control for smoothing the edges. Use a level to be sure the edges are flat.
Paint the pyramid if you'd like, however the pyramids were sandy colored because they were built from the desert sand that surrounded them.
Seal the project with a sealant. If the pyramid model is painted, a sealant helps to protect it from wear and tear.
Tips and warnings
- Buy a pyramid model kit. There are pyramid model kits commercially available. These generally have all the necessary items in one convenient package.
- If using Plaster of Paris, wear a mask to protect your lungs from breathing in the dry form of this material. Use the mask especially for younger children and those who have existing breathing issues.
- Be extra careful with sharp objects such as knives and other cutting tools.