Arts and crafts are one of my favorite pastimes and I like to incorporate this into my country learning activities. For our Egypt Unit Study, I wanted to allow my kiddos to create jewelry and death masks like the pharaohs and queens wore in photos and were found in their sarcophagus.
Except for the slaves, all ancient Egyptians wore heavy, brightly colored jewelry that was highly valued. Jewelry not only reflected the wealth and social status of its wearer, it was thought to help ward off evil spirits, both here and in the afterlife.
To start, I made a simple drawing of a death-mask and made it so that the eyes could be cut out and become a mask. You can download it HERE.
- Printout of Egyptian Mask Activity
- Paper Plates
- Elastic String
- Toilet Paper Tube
- Craft Glue
- Faux Jewels
- Gold Paint
- Paint Brushes
- Hole Punch
I first had my kiddos color it – allowing young children free with markers can be scary at times, but these are washable so it’s not quite as bad, haha.
After the girls colored and decorated to their hearts content, I had them cut out their masks. I helped the two-year-old quite a bit, she’s still working on holding her scissors upright so they actually will cut. But it’s good to let her try.
Next I got more materials – I used paper plates for the necklaces and for the back of the masks.
I cut the paper plates so that there was a crescent shaped piece for the necklace and the center we used for the back of the mask.
I cut off the top of the middle, so it would fit behind my mask easily.
Next, I traced the eyes so that we could cut those out.
Next I cut holes on the side of the paper plate mask base so that I could attach my elastic string so that the masks would stay in place.
We continued on to complete the masks and make the jewelry.
I used my daughter’s head as a measure and then attached that length to the mask so it was custom fit to her head.
We glued the base to the mask front and allowed it to dry.
I used toilet paper tubes and macaroni for the bracelets. I cut off 2″ sections off the tube and cut it lengthwise so that it could be wrapped around little arms.
I had my kiddos glue macaroni along the edges of the “bracelets” as decoration.
After the bracelets dried (a day or so), I had my kiddos paint the bracelets and the necklaces in a lovely metallic gold.
As you can see, I had both girls wear protective smocks – the smaller one I got at Ikea, the larger I got on Amazon.
Once the necklaces were all dried, we used faux gems and decorated our necklaces. You could also do that on the bracelets, but I was trying to keep this activity from going too over the top, haha.
We allowed everything to dry for a couple days and then tried on our royal finery.
How cute are these?!
My girl’s really had fun learning about ancient Egypt this way, and get a little creative in the process!