Persia as a name generally refers to the area that has become modern-day Iran. Ancient Persians invaded and settled West Asia around 1200 B.C. and have played an important role in the region's history ever since. A lesson on Persia wouldn't be complete without some craft projects to help children explore Persian culture.
Backgammon was a popular game played in Persia and other areas of ancient West Asia as far back as 3000 B.C. Make your own backgammon board by painting on paper, cardboard or even wood. Make game pieces from clay. If you don't know how to play backgammon, look at a ready-made set to familiarise yourself with the layout. Then hold a game or a tournament with your new board.
Ancient Persian people began using written language around 3500 B.C. They wrote with reeds on clay pieces called cuneiform tablets. Make your own by using a stick to scratch symbols and words into a piece of clay. You can even look up images of real cuneiform tablets if you want to copy authentic symbols. Use a craft clay that hardens or that can be baked if you want to keep the tablet the kids create.
Make traditional Persian costumes or approximate them with clothing you already have, can borrow or gather from thrift stores. For boys, find a knee-length or longer tunic to go over leggings and a headband to go over their hair. Bright colours and patterns are best. Persian men generally wore short beards. For girls, wear a tunic that reaches below the knees, leggings and a colourful piece of fabric to cover the hair or face as a veil. Use your costumes to role play a scene from history or a day in the life of an ancient Persian.
To make this Persian treat, dissolve 50 grams of rice flour in 1/2 litre of milk. Add 100 grams of sugar and 2 spoonfuls of rose water. Stir over medium heat until it comes to a slow boil and cook until thickened. Serve cold with crushed pistachios sprinkled on top. The Persian diet also typically included dates, figs and apples.
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