Saturday, November 5, 2016

Egyptian Writing

There's something interesting that you won't find in most kids books on Egypt ...that there were TWO types of writing used in in Egypt.

 Hieroglyphs


Hieroglyphics is the type of writing you probably associate with Egypt...the type that looks like picture writing. This was the type of writing you'ld find carved into temple walls and monuments.   BUT, it was not the only type of writing being used in Egypt at this time....and not even the most common type.


Hieratic Writing


Picture by Nic McPhee - From British Museum - Adapted Under Creative Commons

The common Egyptian used a shorthand form of writing called hieratics.   It derived from hieroglyphics but was used alongside it (it didn't replace hieroglyphics).    While the monument carvers still used hieroglyphics, merchants and traders and everyone else was using hieratics to write their grocery lists and love notes. 

The priests and scribes would often use both hieroglyphics and hieratic in important documents and religious texts, like you can see in the example above (hieratics make up the main body of thetext on the bottom, but hieroglyphs are used on the top of the picture).  They would usually write these documents on papyrus, a type of woven paper, or sometimes on animal skins--both of which were time consuming to make and therefor expensive.   But the common people, the laborers and farmers and traders, if they could write wrote their hieratic notes on flat limestone rocks, and broken bits of pottery, which were cheap and readily available. 


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Ancient Egyptian Foods



Below are all types of food that the ancient Egyptians had that I could dig up.   While they had a wide variety of foods available, they couldn't use them all at once because some things would only be available in certain seasons (you can find more info on seasonality here).  I am trying to limit this to the foods that would have been available in Egypt in Joseph and Mosus, but when consulting various sources I don't always have that information.

NOTE ABOUT DATES:  We don't have definite dates for when Joseph and Moses lived, but since the story of Moses mentions chariots, which were not in Egypt until they were taken over by the Hyksos (in the 2nd Intermediate Period between the Middle and New Kingdom), we can limit it to AFTER the Middle Kingdom.  Joseph could have been, at earliest, Late Middle Kingdom.   The Hyksos introduced new foods so it's possible Mosus experienced a few different foods than Joseph did...but it's hard to say

FOR VBS VOLUNTEERS:  I've  included some things for historical interest that would not be feasible to use during VBS (don’t worry, I’m not suggesting serving wine or beer, or trying to hunt down papyrus root, which besides being hard to find is now endangered). The numbers refer to sources, which you can find at the bottom of the page if you would like to learn more about a particular food found in ancient Egypt.

RECIPES

Egyptian Bread (made like Egyptians made it)
Three Ancient Egyptian Recipes: Ta'amia (Bean Cakes), Ma'moul (Pastries)

Tigernut Sweets   (Includes Walnuts - introduced in Greco-Roman Times)
Tigernut Sweets  (Includes Walnuts - introduced in Greco-Roman Times)
Tigernut Sweets With Actual Tigernuts (sold now as a health food in some stores)

Egyptian Palace Cake

Watermelon Seed Recipe
I read that Egyptians originally cultivated watermelons for their seeds, not to eat the flesh--an indication that early on they weren’t sweet like today, though around the time of Joseph it seems they may have cultivated a more palatable, if not totally sweet, variety.  While we don’t know for certain how they ate the seeds, I found this simple recipe which seems like something they might have done (it’s a middle Eastern recipe with ingredients they had then).  You could de-seed watermelon to serve during snack during the first half of the week, and then use the seeds the last half to make this.  (Another version here doesn't mention drying seeds as long)


WHAT INGREDIENTS/FOODS THEY HAD

BREADS AND GRAIN
  • Bread (a main staple of the Egyptian Diet)
- made from emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccum) and six-row barley (Hordeum vulgare subsp. Hexastichum) (1)
- Bread was made from flour ground on grinding stones and mixed with water that was then kneaded and left to rise. The dough could be shaped in a flat loaf or baked in ceramic molds. (1)


DRINKS (5)
  • Milk (from sheep, goat and cow)
  • Water
  • Beer (a main staple of diet)
  • Wine (mostly from grapes, but also from pomegranate, grapes, and other fruit)
  • Juices

MEAT (1)
  • Cattle
  • Chicken - used after Persian times, uncertain before that
  • Duck
  • Fish - primary source of meat for most Egyptians (included Nile perch, catfish, and mullets)
  • Geese
  • Goats
  • Pigs
  • Sheep
  • Wild animals were hunted, mainly from the desert, and included wild cattle, addax, antelope, hartebeest, gazelle, ibex, Barbary sheep, oryx, and ostriches.  Wild birds were also hunted.  Hippo and crocodile hunted mainly because they were dangerous. "In pharaonic times many of these desert fauna were hunted for sport by royalty and nobles; hunting dogs similar to the greyhound were used for this." (1)

DAIRY PRODUCTS (5,6)
  • Eggs
  • Cheeses
  • Yogurt
  • Butter (clarified, resembling oil...probably because of the heat).

VEGETABLES (1)
  • Carob (Introduced in Middle Kingdom, used as a sweetener)
  • Celery - Introduced during the 18th Dynasty (early New Kingdom), eaten raw, and used to flavor stews. (9)
  • Cucumber (introduced in New Kingdom) (9)
  • Chickpeas (introduced in New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty) (9)
  • Cress (seeds used as flavoring, so possible that plant used like lettuce as well)(9)
  • Garlic
  • Fava Beans
  • Lima Beans
  • Leek
  • Lentils
  • Lettuce - Its leaves were eaten whole, dipped in oil and salt (4)
  • Lotus Tuber (Arum colocasia)
  • Mallow (4)
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Papyrus Tuber -”...they pull up from the fens the papyrus which grows every  year, and the upper parts of it they cut off and turn to other uses,  but that which is left below for about a cubit in length they eat or  sell: and those who desire to have the papyrus at its very best bake it  in an oven heated red-hot, and then eat it.”  Herodotus, Histories II, 2.92  (4) -
  • Raddish - white/pink (introduced in Middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty)(9)
  • Tigernut (a root crop, not actually a nut - sometimes sold now as a health food ) (3)


FRUITS (1)
  • Carob Trees - More common in new kingdom (1)
  • Dates and Date Palm
- Imported plant...not sure when imported. (1)
- Plentiful after hand pollination was practiced...not sure when that was
  • Dom Palm (native plant with brown fruit) (1)
  • Figs (common fig and sycomore fig)
  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Olives (rare) -there’s evidence of olives, though olive trees don't grow well in the southern part of the country - olive oil was a luxury item so probably olives were too.    (1)
  • Persea
  • Pomegranate - more common in New Kingdom, though still a luxury item (9)
  • Watermelon (2)  - probably was not as sweet as watermelon today.
  • Black Mulberry (introduced in New Kingdom)
  • Wild Zizyphus berries
  • Apricot (imported, only used by wealthy) 
  •  
     
NUTS/SEEDS
  • Sesame
  • Almonds (New Kingdom on, rare, imported from Persia and Armenia) (5)
  • Watermelon Seeds
  • Lotus Seeds
  • Celery Seeds (introduced in early New Kingdom,  incorporated in sauces for grilled fish) (9)
  • Various other seeds

HERBS, SPICES (1)
  • Anise (added to bread, flavored pork)(9)
  • Coriander (available from the New Kingdom onward, added to bread, seasoned fish) 
  • Cress Seeds
  • Cumin (available from the New Kingdom onward, flavored bread, fish)(9)
  • Dill (available from the New Kingdom onward) (9)
  • Fennel
  • Fenugreek - was used as a spice and possibly after the seeds were removed the stems provided fodder for livestock.
  • Garlic
  • Majoram (9) 
  • Mustar (possibly as early as Middle Kingdom) (9)
  • Parsley (9)
  • Rosemary (9)
  • Thyme (9)
  • Salt

OTHER
  • Honey -produced in ceramic hives (1)
  • Olive Oil - an imported item common after the Hyksos (9)
  • Seed and Nut Oils
  • Celery Seed Oil (used as a food preservative in New Kingdom)(9)
  • Other Oils
  • Vinegar (8)





SOURCES
1.  http://astromic.blogspot.com/2012/01/food-in-ancient-egypt.html
2.  http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/08/150821-watermelon-fruit-history-agriculture/
3.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyperus_esculentus
4. http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/timelines/topics/vegetables.htm
5. http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/timelines/topics/drink.htm
6. http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/timelines/topics/meat.htm
7. https://books.google.com/books?id=Vj7A9jJrZP0C&pg=PA632&lpg=PA632&dq=celery+egypt&source=bl&ots=zt20tgyJKt&sig=PQaNQatoZHYbNAP6AG5BTmFmCqE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiD58uW-orNAhUE7IMKHc31CvcQ6AEIQzAJ#v=onepage&q=plum&f=false
8. http://www.ancient-egypt-online.com/ancient-egyptian-food.html 
9. https://cowofgold.wikispaces.com/Ancient+Egyptian+Food

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Temple Mound Sifting Project

A fascinating video about the Temple Mound Sifting Project, with many pictures of archaeological finds and pictures and videos of the Temple Mound in Jerusalem.  (Note:  Contains call for donations at the end).


Monday, June 13, 2016

History Round-Up

These aren't necessarily new articles and resources, but new to me, and interesting! 


EGYPT

Egyptian Tour - Daily Life
A blog post with LOTS of pictures and a focus on daily life in Egypt.

Pharoah in Canaan
This article is about an exhibit that explores the cross-cultural exchange that took place between Egypt and Canaan during the second millennium BC.  Has a mention of the Biblical story of the Joseph, and lots of pictures.

Oldest/Longest Ancient Egyptian Leather Manuscript Found
Interesting tidbit about use of leather vs. Papyrus:  Parchment was used for important religious texts and for documents that had to travel, because it the short term it was more sturdy than papyrus.  But, over time it actually broke down quicker than papyrus.

Youngest Mummified Fetus Discovered
This is interesting because it says a lot about how Egyptians viewed the unborn.  The baby was probably from a miscarriage.

Amazing Mummies of King Tut's Grandparents

Redating the Exodus and Conquest (Free Book PDF)

Egyptian Boat Burial Discovered

Oldest Depiction of Ancient Egyptian Demons Found
"The ancient Egyptian world of belief was inhabited by a huge number of entities with super powers. They could play both malevolent or benevolent roles, as threats, maladies and dangers, or as protectors, helpers and defenders."

Art and Power in Ancient Egypt

Nilometer Discovered from 3rd Century BC
This instrument measured the Nile's rise and fall and was used for Taxes
  


ISREAL/JUDEA

Photo of the Week - Judean Desert

Daily Life in the Time of the Judges 

Ancient Sticy Notes Shift Secular Scholars Closer to Evangelicals on Bible's Age

 


OTHER/VARIOUS

Why No Truely Ancient Bible Writings Have Been Found
This article talks a lot about the history of writing in general, as it goes into deatail about the materials used by ancient writers including (but not limited) to Isreal, Egypt, Phonicia and how these hold up over time.

Free Books/Articles from Biblicalarchaeology.org
Well, I'm sure these have been there for a while, but I just discovered it:  a whole page full of e-books on Biblical history and archaeology free when you sign up for their newsletter.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Egypt VBS Decor - Marketplace

I thought I would share how we decorated our marketplace and "family homes" for Egypt VBS in 2010 and in 2016.  We did not do all the marketplace crafts--I'm just including the official crafts for now (we did several alternatives as well...and I'm going to do separate posts for these). 

The Scribe Shop (Hieroglyphics)



Reed mats just add something to table decor.  I've seen unlined bamboo mats like these for $1 at the Dollar Store or Walmart.  Party stores may have these too.

The Food Market





The food itself is most of the decor for this shop.
A few modern bowls don't detract too much if 
combined with some baskets. 
 


Brickmaking Shop

This was my shop during the marketplace.  I have more pictures and marketplace tips for brickmaking here.


The Basketry Shop


Click on either of the pictures above to 
see them larger.

In 2016 we tried out a Basketry shop.  This would be the 6th time we had done a Holy Land themed VBS, and so we had collected a lot of baskets (and I believe the shop keeper brought some from home too).  So, we were able to make a pretty spectacular basket display around the edges of our basket making shop.

In the back, the stone is just part of our church.  We used a cheap bamboo fence we got several years back at a party story to cover the window.  Sheets we collected from hotels for costumes when we did Rome covered the sides.  It really set a wonderful atmosphere.  


Animal Market


Our Animal market took NO decoration.  The lovely people who brought the animals from a local farm just let them graze freely in our church's grassy yard.  The kids ran around with baby goats (kids playing with kids...and both seeming to have a blast).  It was vastly different from having them in a cage for kids to visit.    There were some chickens in a cage...and the donkey was supervised more for the kids safety, but in general it was more natural than your typical petting zoo.  Both the animals and kids seemed more relaxed.  We did NOT have this during our regular marketplace, but replaced one day's games with "visiting herders."   We brought the kids in small groups so as to better supervise . 

Other Shops
We did several other alternative shops as well (not from Group's material) .  I'll be blogging about these at some point.










Tuesday, June 7, 2016

VBS Egypt Decor - Family Homes


The first time our church did Group VBS it was using Egypt: Joseph's Journey.  We really took the idea of these being "Egyptian Homes" seriously.  We asked family leaders to decorate their rooms, and I even devoted three pages of my Egypt Volunteers Guide to what you could find in an Egyptian Family home, and told them to make sure to consider whether they wanted to decorate for a wealthy or poor home.  Was all that necessary?  Not really.

Granted, the "family home" pages I did helped with marketplace decorating too, so I don't regret doing that.  But for family/tribe/group leaders, that sort of prep/decoration is really not essential.   Family rooms can be absolutely undercoated and it's no big thing.


But if you want to add an Egyptian flair, there's some simple ways to do that without much fuss.   You can put your "Family Time" materials in a basket (a nice touch we've kept because it helps with organization too).


If you have some woven rugs or blankets to throw down on the floor of family rooms, that's a nice touch.    Using a low stool in stead of a chair is both historically accurate and keeps volunteers closer to kids level (sitting on the floor with them does that too--but some volunteers may feel more comfortable with something to sit on).    Bringing some throw pillows from home can add some practical cushioning (and is also historical).


This is not a great picture above, but I think this was one of the coolest (and smartest) set ups.  The rugs naturally showed the kids where to sit.  The focal point in the center gave kids stuff to look at without drawing their attention behind them, away from the stool where the group leader sat.  And I have to mention that stool...cause that stool is so much like what Egyptians used it's uncanny.


And here's our sign stands.  I think we left these in the rooms on the first day (so kids could find their rooms) and then moved them to the marketplace to use there.  We reused these to hold columns several years later when we did Rome.




Egypt VBS Resources



Online Communities

Holy Land VBS Official Facebook Page

Egypt VBS Un-Official Facebook Page

Groups Forum
I've found in the past the forums at Group can also be a great resource, though it is not as active as it used to be.   Actually, pretty dead inactive right now.

King Tut One Forum
If you have an Egyptian history question, here's one good place to ask--it's a forum all about Egyptian history. Warning, not a PG forum, so you might stumble upon a topic that's not suitable for smaller eyes.

Historum Forum
My favorite general history forum.  Again, not a pg forum, but you can get really good answers to your historical questions here.


VBS Printables

Egypt Guide
This is a printable guide I made for our  volunteers with info about ancient Egyptian culture with pictures for inspiration, etc.   It was my attempt to fit some of the massive amounts of info about Egypt I found into what I thought was might be relevant and useful to marketplace volunteers and decorators at VBS.  You can use any part of it, and even copy and alter it, but please keep all credit information about the pictures, which were used with permission with promise of credit being given.

Egyptian Names Printable
Having an Egyptian name is pretty essential for marketplace workers, soI made this one page printable to pass around and have people choose a name from.  For even more Egyptian names try these links:  Male Egyptian Names, Female Egyptian Names.

Pyramid Box Printable

Spinx Toy Printable



Egyptian History Resources

Aspects of Life in Ancient Egypt
If you want a brief overview...this is not the site for you.  If you want to go deep on any particular topic about Egypt, than this is the site you're looking for.  I found this especially helpful in finding extra information for alternative marketplace crafts, as there's a lot about various occupations, tools, etc. here.  This site also had a lot more about the common people and day to day life than some other sites, which focused more on the Pharoahs and ruling class.

Egyptian History for Kids
Fun general site with lots of good info about Egypt for kids.  Great for when kids get curious and want to learn more.


Free Fonts

Hieroglyphic Font
Free for personal use

Egyptian Fonts at DaFont
Various, including Hieroglyphic.

Reliq
Readable ancient looking font that looks similar to what is used by Group.



Free Clip Art

Open Clip Art - Egypt
Clip art released into the public domain. You could also search under Egyptian, mummy, Joseph, etc.  Can be used commercially.

Clip Art Etc.
A clip art archive free for educational or non-profit use.  Search under Egyptian for lots of high resolution graphics.

Illustrated Bible History
You can find many sections on Egypt in the alphabetical list on the left side.  Free for personal, church, or other non-commercial use.

Pixabay - Egypt
Photography and art released into the public domain.  Can be used commercially.

Story of Joseph Illustrations
Illustrations of the Story of Joseph free for use under  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported Licence.

Wikimedia Commons - Ancient Egypt
Most of the items on Wikimedia are under some sort of open licence like creative commons, or in the public domain.  You can also search under Egypt, Biblical Illustration, Ancient Egyptian Painting, etc. to find more.  Make sure to click "more details" to find out what licence the picture is under.

Phillip Martin Clip Art - Egypt
Comic book style art free for non-commercial use.  Also has Joseph clip art.

Egyptian Graphics Set
Free but requires registering at Teacher Pay Teachers.



Egypt Posts on this Blog

Egypt Marketplace:  Brickmaking Tips

Egypt Decor
Egypt Decor - Marketplace Shops
Egypt Decor - Family Homes

Egyptian Resources for Homeschoolers



Misc. Resources   


My VBS Egypt Pinterest Board

Ancient Egyptian Craft Ideas
Great for alternative crafts. Also, if you go to the "Time Traveler Section" in the sidebar you can find a sort of "choose your own adventure" Egyptian story to share with your kids.

General VBS Resource List


Book Recommendations
This section includes a few Amazon affiliate links through which I can earn a small commission.  Any commission earned through this post will be donated to charity.  More info here.

You can usually find lots of great books on Egypt full of pictures for inspiration at your local library.  The following are my favorites for Egyptian craft ideas.



Make It Work:  Ancient Egypt
I love all the costume and craft ideas in this book.  My favorite decor item I think is a harp made from a bottle and balsa wood (a small item, but a very cool one for a music shop or in Pharaoh's palace.)  If you're looking for alternative crafts there's lots of ideas to explore here.  And they explain the history behind everything, too.





Warfare by Ducktape - Egypt
This book shows how to make 7 different Egyptian weapons using duct tape and other easy to find supplies, plus shows how to make various armor and costume items.  I downloaded this back when it was a freebie, and loved it.  I could see how it would be helpful in making costumes and props for VBS. (Available as printed book and printable PDF).







Monday, May 30, 2016

VBS Egypt Decor


In 2010 we did our first Holy Land Adventure VBS -  Egypt:  Joseph's Journey.  Group is putting out that program again this year, so I thought I'd share our decor for inspiration for other churches.  I don't remember how all of these were constructed (was involved with some but not all of it.


The columns above were made, I believe, with stacked boxes covered by brown paper (we bought a large role).  I am not sure how the flared tops were accomplished.  The panels and the eagle above it were done on foam board (we used a slide projector to project up Egyptian clip art larger so we could easily copy it).  The hieroglyphics on the wall were just cut out of colored paper and adhered with double stick tape.  Larger items were adhered with command strips.




This Oblisk was also made with boxes.   Wish I knew more than that to share with you.  They have this desert backdrop for sale again at Group but I foudn a place selling it cheaper here. (The pyramid and other Egyptian scenery are removable, so we were able to reuse this backdrop for VBS Wildernes).   I've also seen cool desert backdrops on oriental traders, and on Amazon and even more on this pinterest page.




We made our "Nile River" out of blue plastic tablecloths, and one of our volunteers made this amazing crocodile (I think out of clay that was alter painted).   Plastic water lilies ("lotus flowers") like we used can be found here.



Do you know what my kids remember the most about our last Egypt VBS...getting to climb on top of chairs we had stacked up to help us make carpet tube palm trees.  To make these trees we cut the bottoms off of paper bags and slipped them over carpet tubes until they crumpled into a nice "bark."  The leaves were paper cut outs over umbrella frames for suport (you have to destroy the umbrella...take all the cloth off of it.  Next time the wind destroys your umbrella...save it for VBS!)



This fire "brazier" was made by putting a light and a small fan in the bottom of the pot, and attaching orange, red and yellow streamers (or maybe tissue paper) to chicken wire under the fan.  It looked a lot cooler in motion.



Sign made with a pole and I think some left over foam board scraps.




Our registration table.  The bricks on the side are borrowed from our God sighting wall.



We made a bridge out of bamboo and 2x4s...kinda didn't hold up very well with kids walking over it.  You can find Sphinxes like we used here.  You can find white columes like we used at various party stores (this was the cheapest I found).  You can also find instructions on how to make your own columns here. These can be re-used in most of the other Holy Land VBS programs (everyone say wilderness that they've done so far...even Galilee and Nazareth have synagogues you can use columns for).






History Round-up

Below are a list of my favorite "recent" Holy Land history finds (ok...not all so recent, as I've actually been collecting these since January).   Enjoy!


General/Mixed Location Articles

Top 10 Finds in 2015
Yes, I'm way late in posting this...but still interesting.

Isreal/Judah

A Woman's Seal and a Man's Seal From  Jerusalem Excavations
A very interesting article about seals and how they were used in Ancient Isreal.  This page shows an actual picture of the seal recently found.

Return to the Cave of John the Baptist
A look a first century Mikva, ritual bath/baptismal.

Possible Home of Jesus in Nazareth

Shovel found in Magdala House
I love examples of items of everyday life like this.

Holy Land Portraits
A website I found with artist interpretations of various holy land sites.

Shipwreck in Isreal in the Time of Constantine


Egypt

A Discussion of When the Exodus Took Place




Saturday, May 28, 2016

Marketplace: Brick Making Suggestions


Back in 2010 our church did the Egypt VBS that Group is putting out again this year.  I worked in the Marketplace making mud bricks, and I can tell you, it was a blast.  It's cheap, fun and really does give kids a good idea about life in Egypt (or lots of places in the middle east, really...where most people made their houses out of mud bricks).

Here's my brick making suggestions:

1.  Group has instructions for making bricks, but for those not using this program, you can find instructions on the Biblical Archaeology website.  Note that Group instructions skip steps 3 and 4, for obvious reasons--who has time for prepping mud for 5 days for a simple kids project?  Turns out the straw was used because it releases humic acid which makes for really strong bricks--so the four days of mud stomping was probably to give time for fermentation and to mix the acid from the straw through the mud.  For VBS craft purposes, less strong bricks will do...but if you were doing this for homeschool I could see where going through the whole 5 day process might be educational. 

2.  The website above also doesn't include instructions for the wood mold...but those are pretty simple to make...just four short pieces of wood nailed or glued together like in the picture above (though ours were a little narrow--slightly wider ones are easier to work with).   Another idea I didn't try, which seems easier on the building end, but maybe harder on the "getting them all out in one piece end" is to build one long mold with several holes (like this one, except open on both ends).  You will also want  some thick short slabs of wood to use to help kids pack the mud and push the bricks out of the mold (see below).



3. I'd say in most cases it's better to get regular straight out of the ground dirt if you can (especially if you live in a place like Texas where the ground is literally called Texas clay).  Garden soil or sand does not make especially sturdy bricks, but the brick I made out of "Texas clay" from my backyard ...that dried rock hard and solid.  You can ask volunteers to each bring a bucket of dirt from home or you can talk with a construction company to see if they have any extra "out of the ground" dirt you can use.

4.  A butter knife can be useful to run along the side of the brick mold if the brick has trouble coming out of the mold.  Below a child uses a plastic knife to smooth his brick.

The bricks shown here were made with a mix of 
garden sand/soil mixed in, and came out kind of
crumbly.  "Texas clay" straight out of my back yard 
worked much better - it dried solid like rock.


5.  This "craft" is messy!  If you can, put your brick making area outside.  If you can't, protect your floor with a large tarp and line the outsides of the area with towels for kids to wipe their feet off on.  Also, have some extra towels and a bucket of clean water for kids to wash their hands in...maybe some hand sanitizer or soap too  (Historical Tidbit: Egyptians actually had a form of soap).    Also, be forewarned that your clothes will get muddy...it will add to the authenticity of your costume *wink.*   We offered kids pillowcase tunics to wear, which worked to protect their clothes from home too.  If you don't, I would suggest providing some sort of apron or overshirt for kids to wear during this craft. 

 My outfit during the week got 
more and more "authentic"


6.  Decor for the brick making shop is pretty simple.   The bricks themselves can be part of your...as the week progresses the kids will need to leave the bricks to dry, though having a few to show to start with is helpful.    Hey bales can be used as seats.  For covering your table and any decorative draping on the sides of tent I suggest beige plastic shower curtains.  Only use sheets if you own them, not ones you've borrowed as they could get mud splattered on them.   I managed to find one real wooden bucket at a thrift store for ours, but we had plastic ones too...you could paint plastic buckets like wood but I don't think it would be worth the trouble, personally (cause you'll need a lot of buckets for this).   If you are outside you can keep dirt in piles.  Hay looks nice in burlap sacks or canvas laundry bags (but again, the messiness factor is something to consider...only do this with donated bags, not loaned).


7.  Dry your bricks on trays of hay or sand to keep them from sticking.  You will need to take them outside every day to dry in the sun, so kids will have to leave them (pray for no rain!). 

8.  An idea we toyed with but didn't use was making something with our bricks--like a firepit or an edging to a flower garden.  Didn't do that, but I still think this would be cool (depending on the sturdiness of your bricks).

Child playing with the muddy water
we used to mix our bricks.

9.  Younger kids may come back to play in the dirt and mud.  Our brick-making shop turned into an "extra activity" for wee ones who finished early in other shops.

10. Visit this site to learn more about Egyptian Brick Making. It has a drawing of Egyptians making bricks, and TONS of interesting facts about ancient Egyptian brick-making.




Most of these photos were not taken by me, but other wonderful photographers at Dayspring Baptist Church

Monday, April 4, 2016

About Affiliate Links

I include some affiliate links to Amazon.com and Educents.com and Zazzle.com on this site.  If someone buys something through these links I can earn a small commission on the sale. 

I include these links for two main reasons...
  • Using the affiliate programs allows me to include pictures I would otherwise not have permission to use.
  • While I did not create this site to earn money, I figure if I'm going to be linking to something on Amazon or Zazzle or Educuents anyways, I might as well link to it in a way in which I could earn some money. 
I actually don't have any relationship at all with Group publishing, other than my church having used their VBS programs.  I talk about them a lot so I thought I should make that clear.

DO I DONATE MY EARNINGS?
If the specific post says that Amazon earnings are donated, then affiliate earnings from links from that post will be donated to a charity of my choosing.   If the post doesn't make any mention of charitable donation, assume earnings are not going to charity from affiliate links on that post.      NOT ALL LINKS TO COMMERCIAL SITES FROM THIS PAGE EARN MONEY FOR CHARITY (only Amazon links on posts which have a label noting charitable giving...Educents links do not earn money for charity because I don't have a way to distinguish them links on my other site).

Some of the articles on this site were previously hosted on Squido, where I donated all my earnings from my share of the ad revenue to charity through their charitable giving program.  Sadly, that site has been shut down, bought out by HubPages which doesn't have a similar program.  


*I haven't actually earned enough on any affiliate links on this blog to cash out and send anything to charity yet.  When I do, I will probably donate to my local church or to an organization fighting poverty or helping victims of human trafficking.