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If you are studying Ancient Egypt, I highly recommend the National Geographic Classic Science Archaeology: Pyramid kit by Thames and Kosmos. It ties all of Satori’s interests together: archaeology, hieroglyphs, mummies, and of course pyramids.

It comes well-protected in a perfectly designed box and you’ll find your pyramid and treasures within, archaeologist tools (hammer, chisel, brush, peg), protective goggles, full-color manual, and a 3D paper cross section model. Satori fondly remembers her “paleontologist days” when studying prehistory, so she was so excited to begin excavating!

*READ THE DIRECTIONS* first, or you might miss out on some of the clever surprises! (You may not wish to read further if you want your own kit to be a surprise.)

Click on the image above to get the full detail and you’ll notice hieroglyphs on a certain level of each side of the pyramid. Satori quickly wrote down a translation, she needed no manual, she already had them memorized! These hieroglyphs of course had a few vowels and other letters that used the same translation, so once Satori wrote down the letters, Mama still had to help translate. But overall, this was a very cool puzzle. Satori was so happy that she basically solved it herself. Each side gave a message to tell you if this side was the entrance. Our first side said “TRY AGAIN”.

(There are more pictures, but I don’t want to spoil this kit for the people who want it to be a surprise!) Click “continue reading…” link below.

continue reading…

One of the activities in our Story of the World 1 Activity Guide is to build a pyramid. Their specific activity was to use sand and glue, but we wanted something simpler! So we use sugar cubes, simple yet perfect building blocks for a pyramid. All we needed was one box of sugar cubes (1 lb), some glue, and some cardboard to build it upon. To finish our pyramid off, we also used sand and gold paint.

Last night we had read a few read-along books about pyramids. You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Pyramid Builder and Who Built the Pyramid? So we were familiar with all the many different jobs people had when building a pyramid – so it was fun to describe again these jobs as we prepared our very own pyramid, right down to the capstone.

First off we counted off the base of the pyramid – 36 cubes to build a 6×6 base.

From there we drew a line around our 36 cubes, only to take off the cubes, paint on a thick layer of glue, and then replace the  cubes.

We kept building up, next was a layer of 25 (5×5), 16 (4×4), 9, 4, and finally 1. I reminder Satori to place them tightly together, as the Ancient Egyptians did.

Once done, we painted the pyramid with glue, and sprinkled sand to give it a more authentic sand look. I did not have a more realistic sand color, and we probably would have been fine with keeping it white like limestone. To top it off, we painted the final block gold and set it on top for our capstone.

Now that I think back upon this, it would have been cool if we placed a tiny treasure inside the pyramid, then break into it later! Similar to our second pyramid activity which I’ll be blogging about next.