Ancient Egyptian Explorer - Binoculars & Pith Helmut
Melissa in Denver, CO USA
My daughter is obsessed with Egyptian mummies and whatnot so we hosted an Egyptian party for her and her friends.
The INVITATIONS were printed on what looked to by papyrus paper (printed in brown print on my computer with a background of papyrus and pillars on the sides. Some ancient Egyptian clipart and glued on brown paper that we tore to age it.) These were super cheap to make and explained that the guests were invited to come explore the ancient Egyptian tomb in search of treasures and bounty (lunch, food and cake).
ACTIVITIES: Upon arrival guests were given a pair of binoculars ($10/dozen on sale at Oriental Trading Co.) and a Pith Helmet ($15/dozen). At the beginning of the party there was a letter from an explorer that was requesting the ‘young explorers’ help him find the secret tomb which contained riches. I had put together a book using my printer and some brown construction paper (again ripped to age it) a Book of the Dead (ala The Mummy movies).
Each page contained instructions on how to get the key to tell them were the treasure was. The first page explained that they had to collect jewels and scarabs to obtain the first piece. So our little explorers went outside to our little sandbox where I had put some clear glass pieces I bought in a bag at the dollar store (the kind you use for decorating or filling vases). They dug and collected enough so I produced the first piece (in a manila envelope I had put some gold paint on). The pieces eventually were a hieroglyphic key sheet for later use.
The next task was to charm 5 green snakes. I had purchased some super cheap plastic snakes ($5.00/dozen) in 3 colors and put them into a big black trash bag and punched some holes in the sides so more than one kids could put their hands in. They LOVED this as they had to stick their hands into the snake bag. Again they got another piece once the task was complete.
The third task was to be brave and wrestle an alligator. I wasn’t sure how well this would go over because we basically put down a blue blanket (not even necessary) and had them roll around and act with a stuffed animal alligator. They LOVED it. It was hilarious and they totally hammed it up (cost free!).
The final ‘task’ was to recite an ancient saying to a mummy. The Mummy was actually just a tall canopy all wrapped up in a blanket and gauze to look like a person/mummy. While they knew it wasn’t real the kids were still totally engaged in this and said it cautiously. With that they received the final piece and were able to piece together the 4 to make a complete alphabet/hieroglyphic decoder sheet. I also quickly handed out small copies to everyone that I had printed (found this online). The night before we had taken some cream colored paper and some gold paint and did 8.5x11 hieroglyphics to spell out a message indicating that the treasures were in the shower. In the shower were the goodies bags for the kids.
DECORATIONS were SO simple! The message took up an entire wall and cost about $2.00 to make total including the paint and paper and it looked amazing! I picked up a brown tablecloth ($1.00 dollar store), a gold tablecloth that I folded in half to be a runner over the brown ($1.00), Blue plates and napkins ($1.00 each) and then gold and blue balloons ($4.00). I also took a clear glass bowl and put some glass pieces and some green foliage in it.
FOOD: We ordered from a Mediterranean fast food place and the kids had a great time eating pita and couscous! Most had never had that variety of food.
The CAKE was especially awesome a pyramid cake! It was only 3 layers stacked and frosted in a brownish/cream color and then I sprinkled a mixture of ground up graham crackers and brown sugar on top. It was kind sloppy as I’m not a cake expert but that really added to the authentic look.
Everyone went home with a Pith hate, binoculars, some snacks, and a sack of gold coin candies. A super easy and inexpensive birthday put together primarily with a computer, printer, and some paper and paint. Before everyone left we got addresses and I took a picture of the explorer party in their explorer gear and printed them out with an Egyptian frame I found online and sent them out as Thank You postcards.