Children are often fascinated when learning about ancient Egypt with its mummies, pyramids and cryptic writing. For a hands-on activity to supplement their book learning, have them make a pottery craft project. Not only should they enjoy the process of making it, but they'll have something to take home as a decoration as well.
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Have the children make a cartouche, the ancient Egyptian version of a name tag. Kids should enjoy confusing their friends with these coded versions of their names.
Hieroglyph codes giving a picture for the corresponding English letter can be easily located online.
You'll also need rolling pins, clay, gold paint, brushes and clay carving tools. If carving tools aren't available, wooden skewers will work.
Flatten the clay out into an oblong oval shape, similar to a pill. Create a thin border around the shape by rolling out a separate piece of clay into a line and attaching it along the edge.
In Egypt, writing was done from the top down, so start inscribing the clay slab appropriately. Carve each hieroglyph to represent a letter of your name. You may wish to poke a hole in the top so the artwork can be hung on the wall. Once the clay is dry, paint the cartouche gold.
Shawabtis are small, mummy-like statues roughly the size of an action figure. These objects were placed in ancient Egyptian tombs with the belief that when the mummy woke up, they would help him with his work.
Photographs of typical shawabtis are easy to locate online.
Sculpt the statue out of clay with its arms crossed or sculpt it performing a task with which you want some help.
Once the clay is dry, try to paint details like those of the ancient Egyptian shawabtis onto your statue.
In this multipart craft, kids create a mummy and wrap it with fabric or gauze strips.
Sculpt a lying-down person out of clay. Be sure to leave the legs separated with enough space to get the wrappings through when dry.
Once dry, paint details onto the clay person, if desired. Using thin strips of an old, white T-shirt, wrap the body to look like a mummy. If a T-shirt isn't available, thin strips of gauze can also be used.
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