Completing activities relating to ancient Greek clothing is an engaging way to learn about ancient Greek culture. One of the most popular and recognisable types of Greek clothing -- the toga -- is easy and inexpensive to recreate, by draping and belting a white sheet. Other styles are less appropriate to re-create; for example, Olympic participants generally performed in the nude.
No-Sew Greek Statue Costume
Greek statues are most often depicted wearing drapey, toga-like gowns. A costume can be quickly created for a Greek enthusiast of any age, using plain white cotton fabric, tulle, ribbon, and safety pins, and accessorised with an artificial grape cluster, a grapevine garland, and white flip flops. (For a child's costume, use three yards of fabric, one yard of tulle, and two yards of ribbon.) Create the gown by folding a two-yard piece of the fabric in half and cutting a neck hole. Belt with two yards of ribbon. Accordion pleat the remaining yard of fabric, and pin it, allowing it to drape, on each shoulder. Attach the grape cluster on one shoulder. Wrap the garland around the wearer's head, crown-like, and don the flip flops.
Toilet Paper Roll Greeks
Use toilet paper rolls to create Greek gods and goddesses. With the roll serving as the body, use construction paper to adorn these crafts -- which would make excellent puppets -- in Greek-style clothing. Encourage children to use their knowledge of Greek gods and goddesses to give their creations defining characteristics, like Cyclops's one eye, or Medusa's waving snake hair. Emphasise traditional Greek clothing, like simple belted tunics.
Greek Clothing Detectives
As with any culture, much can be deduced about a Greek by the clothing he is wearing. For this activity, first discuss indicators in Greek clothing, possibly comparing them to similar or dissimilar indicators from modern times. Jewellery was usually worn only be the very rich. Hats, the wide-brimmed petasus, were only worn while travelling. Clothing was often decorated in a style or colour representing their city-state. Most men, except soldiers, were bearded. Most women had long hair; only slave women cropped their hair short. Use these and other clues to make deductions about Greek figures in colouring pages or books.
The ancient Greeks wore simple sandals to protect their feet from the rocks and dirt of unpaved roads; these were removed when they entered their homes, where they went barefoot. Adapt simple flip flops to become Greek sandals by attaching a yard of ribbon to each and wrapping it about the calves in a "lace up" pattern. Add creative embellishments, like a grapevine garland, "armor" for the shins made from cardboard or foil to represent soldiers, or golden ribbon to represent the wealthy.
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