When flying around the world, you have to stop at Egypt, if only for a taste of the amazing history. There was so much to cover with Egypt, we didn't know where to start. But we had to narrow it down, so we focused on ancient Egypt, particularly mummification and hieroglyphs.
We began with the world and located Egypt to give the kids a reference of where Egypt was in comparison to where we are. Then we briefly discussed the animals, climate, history, and culture of Egypt.
Here is a link to our slideshow (Powerpoint, PDF).
Then we began our activities, mummifying an apple and creating a cartouche.
Here are the steps to mummify your apple.
Cut the apple and only mummify one slice.
Clean the apple and dry it off. Egyptians thoroughly cleaned the body before mummification.
Let the kids remove the organs (pieces of the apple) with a toothpick. Egyptians removed the vital organs and placed them in their own jar. (You can include this as a separate activity if you have time.)
Place the apple in a container with a tight fitting lid. Or a tomb!
In a separate bowl place 4 Tablespoons of baking soda and 8 Tablespoons of salt, and stir it up. This is your embalming solution.
Place the solution on the apple.
The apple will have to sit in the solution for a couple of weeks to fully mummify. If the solution becomes too wet, you will have to change it out with dry solution.
Here is a link to more information on the Egyptian embalming process.
Next, we created cartouches with our child's name written in hieroglyphs. Given the age of our children, we created the cartouches beforehand. We cut out letters of our kids' names using the chart below, and helped our children create their name with the hieroglyph letters. Once they had their name in order, they compared it to the created cartouches to discover which one said their name. If your child is older, they may be involved in the whole process with you.
To create your cartouche, you can use clay or create your own salt dough mixture using the recipe below.
2 cups of flour
1 cup of salt
1 cup of hot water
Mix the ingredients together to create a play dough mixture.
Form it into rectangle bricks.
Bake it at 200 degrees until the bricks harden, around two to three hours. (You can also leave it sitting out for two days and it will dry in the open air.)
Paint the cartouche and let it dry.
You or your child can consult the Egyptian alphabet to write your name.
Check out the video for more information. Then grab your kids and in the comfort of your own home, explore Egypt!