The Middle Kingdom of Egypt

This post may contain affiliate links.

Next up in our ancient history studies is the Middle Kingdom of Egypt (chapter 12 in Story of the World, Ancients), which dates from 2040 to about 1720 BCE. The Egyptians invaded the Kingdom of Nubia during this time.  Nubia was rich with, among other things, gold and they made beautiful jewelry, including cuff-like bracelets, out of the gold.

We made a version of these using cardboard toilet paper and paper towel rolls.  This is a craft suggested in the Story Of The World Activity Book, with one modification.  We used gold spray paint instead of regular paint, because we already had some on hand, leftover from another project.  The tubes need to be cut lengthwise and then in half.

So the kids did the cutting of the tubes and I did the spray painting (just wasn’t quite ready to trust a 7 and 5 year old with a can spray paint in the garage, on a rainy day, next to my car).

Love Bug decided to decorate his Ernie doll with gold bracelets.

We learned about how the Hyksos invaded Egypt, using weapons that the Egyptians had never used themselves: bows and arrows that shot farther, as well as horse-drawn war chariots.

When I saw this, I knew we had to make our own miniature version of bows and arrows that really do shoot, made from popsicle sticks, dental floss and cotton swabs.

If you attempt this, do read the tutorial linked above from The Brooding Hen.  We drew a target on a piece of cardboard and taped it to the wall and shot at the targets.

We kept the bows soaking in water while we played with them, to keep them bendable and prevent breakage. We also dipped the tips of the "arrows" (cotton swabs) in the water. When you shoot them at the target they make a mark to show where you hit. All Firefly's ideas.

Cutting a notch in the stick end of the cotton swab helped to keep it in place before shooting.

These really do shoot quite far and were a lot of fun.

Just by coincidence, Firefly was invited to learn to shoot a real bow and arrow recently. What a great experience to go right along with our history studies.

Almost forgot to mention, the first time we read the chapter, the kids decided they wanted to make a chariot right away.  It was a rainy day, so they ran down to the basement, and this is what they came up with:

I had hoped to make a miniature chariot out of Tinker Toys, however Love Bug has had them in his room, in an elaborate set-up, for the past two weeks and refuses to let us borrow them. If he changes his mind, or I otherwise figure out how to sneak away with them for a bit, I’ll post our chariot-making attempts in a separate post. Until then, the old snow sled with plastic tub and dog pretending to be a horse will have to do.