Our Week Spent Going Down The Nile

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The Story of the World, Volume I: Ancient Times. Chapter 2: Egyptians Lived on the Nile River.

We made models of the Nile River, from the Story of the World Activity Book.

Step 1.  Spread dirt into a foil pan.

Step 2.  Add foil in the center for the river bed and line with pebbles.

Step 3.  Add grass seeds, to grow reeds along your Nile.

Step 4.  Add crocodiles, of course! And some big stones to represent the mountains.

Step 5.  Flood the Nile.

Then put your Nile River in a place where toddlers can’t reach it and also where the kids who made said Nile River can’t get to it much, because they are just itching to play with it, which unfortunately may result in a foil pan full of mud.

We put ours on a kitchen counter where they could check on the progress of the growing reeds (grass seed) but not mess with it too much.  Of course, when the reeds grow in, we’ll have a “Play in the Nile River Day” and they can do whatever they want with it.

After one week’s progress, we have some sprouting “reeds”.  And it’s great fun to “flood” the Nile each week.

Other fun things we did to explore Ancient Egypt and the Nile River:

We watched Mystery of the Nile, IMAX on DVD from Netflix. This was a big hit with our whole family and it got us interested in studying a bit about the African continent.  The Nile begins in Ethiopia and flows through Sudan, then Egypt, and we learned a bit about each of these countries. We also got interested in some of the animals found in and near the Nile:  crocodiles, camels, and hippos.

We made these Nile River fold ups from History Pockets.  A little paper alligator is attached with a piece of yarn and you can make it swim up and down the river.

We read Bill and Pete Go Down The Nile by Tomie dePaola.  This book was a big hit.  There are bad guys, jewel thieves and a bird whose job is to be a toothbrush. What’s not to love? It also illustrates some very specific Egyptian concepts, like sarcophogases,  the sphynx and more.

Coming up next:  I’ll post about the small reed boats we made and our outside Nile River project, with re-enactment of the story of the Egyptian god Osiris and his brother Set.

Update:  After two weeks of flooding our Nile River weekly, it looks like this: