Playing backgammon – West Asia projects

By |2018-04-07T17:04:21-07:00June 11th, 2017|Crafts, Games, West Asia|

A backgammon board made by kids at Laurelhurst School, Portland Oregon Beginning about 3000 BC, backgammon was one of the most popular games in ancient Mesopotamia and elsewhere in West Asia (like in Persia (modern Iran)). You can make a backgammon board by painting on a piece of wood, and then making the [...]

A day in ancient Rome – food, costumes, activities

By |2018-04-18T23:49:10-07:00June 11th, 2017|Crafts, Romans|

Gladiators mosaic If you're a teacher, parent, or day camp counselor thinking of spending a week or so on ancient Rome, here's some ideas for Roman activities other people have found useful: Costumes: For girls, a long white nightshirt or dress (it should reach her ankles), bare feet or leather sandals, and a long [...]

Making Roman weapons – Ancient Rome project

By |2017-06-11T16:50:21-07:00June 11th, 2017|Crafts, Romans, War|

Roman helmet, from the kids at Laurelhurst School, Portland, Oregon Although the Romans did many other things besides fight battles, certainly one of their greatest achievements was the world's first really professional, paid army. Roman soldiers conquered most of Europe and all around the edges of the Mediterranean Sea, and held onto it [...]

Make a wax tablet – Ancient Greece project

By |2018-05-31T00:18:59-07:00June 11th, 2017|Crafts, Romans|

A wax tablet from ancient Rome What were wax tablets used for? People in ancient Greece, in the Roman Empire, and in medieval Europe often used wax tablets to write on, if the writing was temporary and not very important. (Papyrus was too expensive for everyday, and paper hadn't been invented yet.) (More [...]

Building the Colosseum – Ancient Rome project

By |2017-06-11T15:14:32-07:00June 11th, 2017|Architecture, Crafts, Romans|

Or you can get this lovely set of wooden blocks to build a Colosseum with A lot of people seem to want to build models of the Roman Colosseum for their projects. The most successful of these, judging from the mail I get, seem to be built out of sugar cubes held together [...]

Learn to spin – Central Asia project

By |2018-04-18T21:28:33-07:00June 11th, 2017|Central Asia, Clothing, Crafts|

Aztec woman spinning with a supported spindle (Codex Mendoza, 1520s AD) If you want to check out spinning for yourself, start by spinning some long grass on your own leg. Just pick some long grass (at least six inches makes it easier), take five or six blades and lay them side by side, [...]

Drawing rock art – African art project

By |2018-04-21T12:09:34-07:00June 11th, 2017|Africa, Art, Crafts|

Khoisan painting at Springfontein, Zimbabwe Khoisan rock art was a way for artists in southern Africa to show their dreams and ideas about how the world worked, or should work. And it was a way to remember things that had happened. The artists drew these pictures for their ancestors, or for their gods. [...]

Relief carving – ancient Egypt project

By |2018-04-08T11:24:09-07:00June 11th, 2017|Art, Crafts, Egypt|

Egyptian relief carving of a man leading a bull: the background has been cut away Egyptian artists used different carving techniques in the Old Kingdom (about 3000-2000 BC) than they did in the New Kingdom (about 1500-1000 BC). This project shows you how much harder some ways of carving are than other ways. [...]

How to make papyrus – Ancient Egypt project

By |2018-04-18T23:47:04-07:00June 11th, 2017|Crafts, Egypt|

Papyrus project - Or you can buy real handmade Egyptian papyrus from Amazon - just click! It's actually pretty easy to make papyrus. You need a lot of river reeds (papyrus would, of course, be ideal, but you can get the idea with other wide grasses, since papyrus doesn't grow everywhere). You weave [...]