Ancient Egypt
Fun and Games in Ancient Egypt

Fun and Games in Ancient Egypt
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.44

     challenging words:    archery, checkerboard, handball, knuckle-bones, moveable, papyrus, senet, weightlifting, wrestlers, spears, indoor, running, boxing, fortune, gymnastics, temples
     content words:    Ancient Egyptians, Ancient Egypt, Nile River

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Fun and Games in Ancient Egypt
By Phyllis Naegeli

1     What do you do for fun? Do you play games? Maybe you go to the movies. How about listening to music? These are all things we do for fun and games. What about the Ancient Egyptians? How did they have fun? From what we have found out, they had lots of fun. They had toys, games, and played pretend. They listened to musicians. And, they enjoyed sports. Let's see what we can discover.
2     Girls and boys of Ancient Egypt had lots of fun. Boys wrestled, played tug of war, and used pretend weapons to imitate warriors. They also pretended to do work like their fathers. Girls had dolls made of wood or cloth. Sometimes the dolls had hair and moveable legs and arms. There are pictures in Egypt of girls holding hands in a circle and dancing. This game is called "pressing the grapes." We do not know what the rules were, but maybe it was like "Ring around the Rosy." Boys and girls played ball games in Ancient Egypt, too. The balls they used were made from papyrus, wood, or leather. There were other toys too. Horses on wheels and baby rattles have been found. The children had many things to keep them entertained.
3     Adults played many indoor games. A board game named senet is the most well known. It is exciting to have the rules for this ancient game. The board used in senet has a checkerboard pattern with three rows of ten squares. Each player had seven game pieces of different sizes, colors, and shapes. They threw sticks called "knuckle-bones" like dice to tell them how to move. The object of the game was to move your pieces to special squares. These squares represented good fortune. Ancient Egyptians played other games too. A game that used a board with twenty squares has been found in some tombs. Dice have been found also. Another type of game used a board with holes drilled in it. The pieces are in the shape of animals on top of pegs. It's too bad we don't know how to play these games. Maybe someday we will!

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