Monthly Archives: June 2016

Ancient Egypt

Working through our timeline, next stop is Ancient Egypt:  Lots of gory detail to keep the boys interested in history!  We sort of started this topic before our holiday, having spent some time looking at where Morocco is in the world, pointing out Egypt, along with other surrounding countries,  knowing that we would be looking more closely on our return.

So, armed with some knowledge about climate and the natural environment we started on this new learning in the most practical way we could… by tipping out a new bag of play sand!


C made a pretty good attempt to make Africa.  It’s out of proportion I know, with  a very huge River Nile and Pyramids that are potentially in Nigeria and Botswana, but this was a really fun and hands on way to study the shape of a continent.  L meanwhile practiced his number bonds by hunting for coins in his sand, using digger trucks to make tracks and help with the search.  What was really interesting about this activity was when he poured on the water to create the Nile.  It didn’t take long before the edges of his ‘island’ started to crumble and change shape.

“So in thousands of years I suppose some countries might change shape”


It led to an interesting discussion and further research on erosion.  We left the land while we solved some hieroglyphic puzzles and returned after a few hours to see how the ‘beaches’ had changed, even L seemed to get a good understanding of the concept.  Once again what started as a simple immersion into a new topic instantly took us onto a whole new path of learning!

Having established why settling by the Nile was a good idea we went online to explore some of the other good ideas of this ancient civilisation.   We mainly used this history for kids site  as the pitch was just about right for C to read in manageable chunks.  No need to take guesses as to what he was interested in doing first.  Ripping out human insides and stuffing them into jars?  Yep!

P1010502Notes made, we set about making canopic jars using clay and yoghurt pots.  L loved doing this too and while C wrote the steps to follow alongside his design, L drew his plans for his jar.  We used plasticine to make the organs, and arranged them on C to show how they would be on the inside.  This is an adaptation of something I saw online where someone had drawn all the organs with felt tips over the child.  We went for the cleaner option.  It also meant that we could lift the bits off easily to put into the jars.  Plus L got to do some measuring and comparing length.


C loved how his colours looked in the palette and so took some pics!
C loved how his colours looked in the palette and so took some pics!

You can’t learn about mummification without mummifying a satsuma…


First we scooped out the insides.  The boys duly noted that this would be gross if it was flesh.  Although when L got splashed with juice he relished the thought that this could be blood.


As per our instructions, we filled the empty ‘body’ with cloves and spices, followed by salt, to help soak up the liquid.


The satsumas were then wrapped in bandages and placed in the airing cupboard.  It wouldn’t be right to mummify a satsuma and then leave your brother unwrapped would it?


A few days later…


The contrast between the preserved satsuma and the one just left to the elements.  We dont have contrasting photos of the little brother.  For that we just have to imagine!  We found some good books at the library.  I’ll post some links soon, with some more photos from this topic.  It’s been a good one for maths again!