We have been busy little Egyptians around our house lately as we study all things related to Ancient Egypt. The kids, especially Bug, are thoroughly enjoying all of the fun projects and experiments we are doing as we study our way through ancient civilizations with My Father’s World. Although, My Father’s World, provided us with plenty of reading and activities to help us learn about Ancient Egypt we decided to add Story of the World Vol. 1 as well as substitute some of our own science experiments for the ones that they provided; just because we like projects! Lots and lots of projects! I thought I would share some of the projects we have done the past few weeks.
Model of the Nile River
Bug made a model of the Nile River in Egypt in order to simulate the way farmers watered their crops back in the times of Ancient Egypt. She put potting soil in an aluminum roasting pan and split it down the middle with double layered aluminum foil. She then lined the aluminum foil with small pebbles (we used leftover fish tank rocks) to hold the aluminum foil in place. She used large rocks to simulate mountains and built pyramids out of clay. She then sprinkled both sides of the river with grass seed and “flooded” the river with water.
After a week she already had a whole bunch of grass growing so the model definitely worked to support what we learned about ancient farmers using the flooding of the Nile River to grow their crops.
We decided to experiment with mummification in many different ways. Mummifying a hot dog was one of them. We placed a hot dog on a bed of baking soda in a Tupperware dish.
We then completely covered the hotdog with baking soda and sealed the Tupperware with a lid. We placed the hotdog in a dark cupboard and waited for one week.
We then took the lid off and examined the hotdog. The first thing we noted was…
the awful smell!!! The second thing that we noticed was the hotdog had turned slightly green in color and had lost all of its moisture. The baking soda surrounding the hotdog was soaking wet where it had absorbed all of the moisture and the hotdog was hard. This was an awesome example of mummification; however be prepared for the horrible smell that comes with it!!!
We also mummified apples. This experiment,however, was geared more toward determining which household ingredients could be used as a mummifying agent. First we gathered up our supplies…
2 apples-cut into 10 slices
We then took the apple slices and placed them in labeled cups. The labels read apple, apple w/ gauze, baking soda, baking soda w/ gauze, sugar, sugar w/ gauze, vinegar, and vinegar w/gauze. Then we covered the apples in the various ingredients, making sure to cover some with gauze,
and then we placed them in the cupboard. A week later we pulled them out and recorded our observations.
We decided that if we ever had to be mummified salt would be our ingredient of choice!
Edible Mummified Apples
One of our favorite experiments were our edible mummies!
We made these to simulate the mummification process.
First we cored the apple, which simulated the removal of the internal organs of the mummy.
Then we mixed up butter, raisins, oats, and brown sugar to simulate the spices that the ancient Egyptians stuffed the mummies with.
Then we stuffed our apple mummies. We placed them on a plate and microwaved them for 2 minutes to simulate the drying out process. We then wrapped the apples with puff pastry shells that we had cut into 1/2 inch strips and brushed with egg and we added cloves for the eyes. This simulated the wrapping the mummy in linen cloth.
We placed them on a cookie sheet and baked them in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. This was to simulate the laying of the mummy in his tomb or pyramid.
After the were all baked up, we ate them! Yum!!! This didn’t simulate anything but our inability to resist a yummy snack!!! If you would like the recipe for the Mummy Apples I found it here.
Sugar Cube Pyramids
All the kids enjoyed using sugar cubes to build a model of a pyramid!
Our unit on Egypt is not yet finished so we are looking forward to more fun projects dealing with the Ancient Egyptian culture! If you liked these ideas feel free to steal them and if you have ideas of you own please feel free to share them!