Thursday, June 20, 2013

Create Your Own Egyptian Market Learning Experience

In learning about a foreign country for Social and Global Studies, recreating a dramatic play area into a cultural replica is a fantastic experience for children. Find photos and media showing present day Egyptian marketplaces and study them with your child. (I am using royalty free images in this post so the quality is limited, but there are rich photos on the internet.) Dialog about what types of items are typically sold there and what features they have in common. Depending on the age of your child you can sketch out a plan for the market listing needed items, supplies and the design. For younger students, making the items and creating the space together is adequate.

Here are some ideas of what to put in your market:

  • scarves
  • lanterns
  • spices (see this blog post for a spices learning activity and marketplace prop) 
  • Egyptian Flag
  • fruits and veggies real or pretend play items (bananas, onions, green pepper, fish, rice, etc.) 
  • Egyptian coins 
  • Egyptian pamphlets, newspapers, etc. (can print from the computer) 
  • Egyptian jewelry
  • postcards and photos (printed from the computer) 
  • candlesticks and other such items
  • rolled up rugs
  • incense
  • toys such as beetles, cats, dogs and birds

Make sure that you have large photos of various markets up in the dramatic play area so that children can mimic what they see. They can reference the photos when setting up the area and while buying and selling goods. 

Remember that to make this amazing for your child you can hand make many of these items and everything does not need to be 100% authentic. Hanging items from ceiling hooks or "clothesline" makes the marketplace more exciting. You can hang banners, scarves, cloth, fabric, bananas, lanterns and more!

Lots of shelves for organizing items is key. A money box and grocery sacks should be included. 

Resources such as Party Supply Stores and  Oriental Trading Company Online have low cost items that are specific to cultures. School Supply stores are a good resource too but tend to be more expensive. 

Printing images of Egyptian money from the computer is an idea that I would definitely use for the market. 

Do you have any ideas or photos that you want to share with your dapper friends? 
Send them to 

National Geographic Countries of the World: Egypt

from: Random House
National Geographic Kids Everything Ancient Egypt

from: Random House
Egypt - Culture Smart!

from: Random House
The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt

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