How to Make an Egyptian Mummy for Kids

Written by michelle watson
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How to Make an Egyptian Mummy for Kids
Help kids learn about Egyptian burial rituals by teaching them how to make their own mummies. (Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The ancient Egyptian mummification process prepared a person's body for when its spirit returned to it in the afterlife. Great care was taken to remove all internal organs, except the heart, and preserve the body with natron, a powdery salt. The body was rubbed with spices and resin, then wrapped in layers of cloth. Kids will love experiencing history firsthand by mummifying a chicken leg. Over five weeks, kids can prepare, dry and decorate the mummy for burial.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Disposable plastic kitchen gloves
  • Uncooked chicken leg
  • Paper towels
  • Salt
  • Re-sealable plastic bags
  • Shallow plastic bin
  • Baby oil or cooking oil
  • Spices
  • White cloth strips
  • Clear shellac
  • Foam brush
  • Permanent markers
  • Plastic gems, rhinestones, buttons or sequins

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Peel the skin off the chicken leg. Wash the chicken leg thoroughly, then pat it completely dry with paper towels.

  2. 2

    Rub salt all over the chicken leg and place it in the resealable plastic bag.

  3. 3

    Fill the plastic bag with salt so that the entire chicken leg is encased in salt.

  4. 4

    Place the bag in the shallow plastic bin, and put it somewhere it won't be disturbed. Let the bag sit for one week.

  5. 5

    Open the bag and remove the chicken leg. Pat the chicken leg dry with paper towels. Throw away the bag with the old salt. Place the chicken leg in a new plastic bag and fill it with new salt so that the entire chicken leg is covered in salt.

  6. 6

    Repeat Step 5 four more times for a total of five bag-and-salt changes over the course of five weeks. By the fifth week, the chicken leg should be completely dried by the salt.

  7. 7

    Remove the chicken leg from the bag and carefully wipe off the salt. Rub oil all over the chicken leg. Sprinkle spices and rub them into the chicken leg.

  8. 8

    Wrap the chicken leg tightly in the white cloth strips so that it's completely covered.

  9. 9

    Seal the mummy by applying a layer of shellac over the cloth strips with a foam brush.

  10. 10

    Decorate the mummy. Draw hieroglyphics with a permanent marker or embellish with plastic rhinestones, gems, sequins or buttons.

Tips and warnings

  • Instruct kids to wear kitchen gloves whenever they're handling the chicken and to wash their hands thoroughly afterward.
  • Let each child make a sarcophagus for his mummy by decorating a small shoebox.
  • Make sure the chicken leg is completely dry before salting. Any moisture interferes with the drying process.

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