Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sugar Cube Pyramids of Ancient Egypt

We are working our way through Story of the World: Ancient History this year. History wasn't my favorite subject in school but I've found it much more interesting this time around as a homeschool parent. I believe my children enjoy history much more than I did thanks to homeschooling and the ability we have to make learning more fun.

We start off by reading the story book portion of Story of the World. This is simply a very short (usually about a page and a half) narration written in a more conversational form than your typical textbook. Each lesson has two or three stories in it. Then we supplement that with books from our library. I look for books written for children with lots of interesting pictures (illustrations and/or photos). Finally, I look for arts/craft projects, experiments, and field trips to go with our study.

There's plenty of arts/craft projects to choose from when it comes to Ancient Egypt. We started with building pyramids with sugar cubes. You can find directions all over the web. My advise...don't believe them when they say you only need 200 sugar cubes. We used roughly 250 cubes for the big kids' pyramids and16 for Josh's. They way we made them was to start with a solid base that was 10 cubes by 10 cubes. After that, we just outlined each level with cubes and filled the hole in with granulated sugar. Using sugar cubes entirely would probably have been sturdier but more expensive. Using granulated sugar to fill in was trickier as the cubes wanted to topple towards the center. We used Elmer's Glue to stick the cubes together. The final product came out ok and the kids love making them so much that they wanted to finish them at 7:30am the next morning. My kids never want to do school that early. It took us about two hours total to finish the pyramids. When we were all done, we painted them.

Here's Mika with her finished pyramid.

And Sammy with his.
Josh was so insistent on being in the way that I finally figured out that he wanted to get into the action too. I placed good-sized drops of glue on the paper and directed him to put the sugar cubes on the glue. We did a 3x3 base and 3 levels total for his. He loved making his pyramid and loved painting it the next day. It was his first craft project and first time painting anything.

Next on our list...chicken mummy!

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Mommy to One said...

How fun!!! I'm planning to use Story of the World next year and I'm so excited to do these fun projects! I'm with you...I didn't pick up on history (and didn't really care about it) when I was in school, but I'm SO excited to learn it with my son as we homeschool.

Traci Best said...


We are exactly ready for that chapter in Story of the World! Thank you for the inspiration!

;) Traci Best

Unknown said...

I can't find sugar cubes! Where did you get them?

JoAnn said...

Hopefully, you come back and check the comments because you didn't provide a way to reply to you.

I got sugar cubes at Safeway, I think. I remember it was any old supermarket. They were with the rest of the baking products. I'd also check the coffee/tea area also.