Monday, August 1, 2016

The Clothing of Egypt : A Plug for Playing

When I first glanced through our history curriculum, I knew I needed to have some sort of Egyptian toys for my son to play with.  I'm of the philosophy that "play" is incredibly important to children.  "Play" is where they put all their knowledge into action.  So, I checked out Amazon but couldn't find that much in the nature of Ancient Egyptian toys.

So I put all those artist skills to work (and some of my husband's 3D artist knowledge) and created a set of Ancient Egyptian paper dolls.  What better way for children to experience Egyptian fashion AND relive all that they have learned about the time period?

There are a few extra fun tips about Egyptian fashion noted on the pages that include a male and female paper figure, a cat (the preferred pet) and color images of clothing along with print-outs waiting to be colored.

Most of us are aware that the main material in Egypt was linen, made from flax, but I was not aware that the black eye-liner used by men and women was helpful against the sun's glare on the desert until I began researching for making these.  Or that gold, was at one time, only allowed for the Pharoahs.

In Dover's "Life in Ancient Egypt" Coloring book, we learn that children wore only a loincloth, and that jewelry was a mainstay for rich and poor.  Learning about Egyptian's fashion tells us a lot about their culture and who they were.  In some ways like today, the clothes they wore could tell us what status they held in their society.

I made these available Paper People available to my son early in our studying of Egypt and he would pull them out periodically on his own and play with them.  I would overhear him acting out stories as he dressed and redressed his characters in various outfits.

If the character was poor, he would be dressed in something more simple.  If wealthy, the character would be sporting more metal jewelry and sometimes layers.  He took a great deal of care in coloring in the pages that were intended for hand-coloring.

And he would go pull these Egyptian Paper People out on his own when we weren't studying it formally for play.

Find something to help your kids explore their learning through play.  If it is an ancient Egypt Lego set, great!  Or maybe you will create an Egyptian outfit for your child's favorite teddy bear.  If you know of other Egyptian toys that might be helpful in this area, please tell me so in the comments.  I'd love for folks to have more of a variety to choose from.

In our store, we offer our Paper People and Props for Ancient Egypt where your kids can explore and learn about the fashion of Egypt, even through their play.

If you enjoyed this activity about Ancient Egypt, check out our other blogs on this subject here:

#1: Staging an Archeological Dig

#2:  An Inside Archeological Dig 

 #3  Foraging with Story of the World

#4  Operating an Egyptian Shaduf  

#5  Egypt's Ancient Gods Activity

#6  Eat Like an Egyptian

#7  Let's Do Hieroglyphs

#8  A Papyrus Activity



  1. Fun! Thanks for sharing these ideas. I love teaching Ancient Egypt, too.


    1. History is the best! You're absolutely welcome. :)