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Gladiators fighting on a Roman mosaic floor

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 piece of solid-colored linen (or cotton) or wool for a veil over it. For boys, an extra-large white T-shirt will do (it should come down to his knees), with a leather belt, and bare feet or leather sandals. Boys can wear a cloak (preferably wool) over the tunic, also knee length.

A bowl of dried figs

A bowl of dried figs

Food: For a typical Roman meal, you might begin with olives and deviled eggs, and then a lentil or barley soup. Then try cheese pizza (without any tomato sauce), with sausage or pepperoni, or onions and garlic, on it. A green salad with radishes, or cooked leeks, would also be appropriate. For dessert, figs or walnuts or apples (fresh or dried) or melon would be pretty normal, or little cakes made with honey. The Romans said that a meal went “from eggs to apples” the way we say “from soup to nuts.”

For activities, you might try playing jacks, or marbles, both of which were very popular in ancient Rome. Dice games like craps were also popular. For games where you run around, try playing gladiators. Or try building an arch, or a model of the Colosseum.

More about Roman food

* Making a mosaic
* Building an arch
* Working with cement
* Gladiators

Bibliography and further reading about ancient Rome:

Tools of the Ancient Romans – A Kid’s Guide to History and Science of Life in Ancient Rome (Nomad Books), by Rachel Dickenson (2006).

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