Mummification: Let’s Mummify Barbie!
This post has affiliate links. I think the number one reason why Ancient Egypt is so popular with kids, are the mummies. There are seemingly a million books on this topic, but my favorites (so far) have been – Mummies Made in Egypt and You Wouldn’t Want to Be an Egyptian Mummy. I had my daughter Izzy use the information that we gleaned from these books, and others to come up with a list that we could use in our own mummy activity.
Mummification: Let’s Mummify Barbie!
I thought long and hard about how we could incorporate a hands-on activity for mummification. Someone suggested we mummify a chicken, but I opted not to do that mainly because it sounds nasty, but also because we don’t eat meat and therefore don’t buy it.
Then I heard about a project in which you can mummify fruits or veggies. Sounded a bit more like my kind of thing, but ultimately I really I wanted to do something that had more to do with the ritual aspect of mummification. So, we decided to mummify Barbie!
First we gathered our materials:
I cut out little organs from pieces of paper. I taped the heart to her chest because that was one of the only organs that got to stay with the body. Egyptians believed that the heart contained the soul, and in the afterlife it was judged accordingly.
We started with the removal of the brain, which was pulled out through the nose with a special tool. We used a seam ripper.
The brain was deemed unimportant by Ancient Egyptians and discarded immediately. The other organs, however, were preserved in specially designated canopic jars.
Izzy puts the intestines in the falcon jar.
After salting (which really would have taken weeks) we anointed the body with scented oils and started wrapping. A real mummy would have had special amulets and jewels included in her wrappings.
Good bye dear friend.
Then it was time to put on the death mask, and pray over the body. Izzy really got into this part.
We kind of messed up on the whole sarcophagus/tomb thing, but hey you gotta work with you got, and what we had was an empty shoe box!
Izzy pays her final respects.
Barbie is ready to be welcomed into the afterlife accompanied by her favorite things, and her beloved cat, also mummified.
This amazing idea came from Chandra over at Josh, Chandra, & Izzy: At Home and Abroad. I loved the use of Barbie as the mummy, and performing the ritual would really cement in a child’s mind what it was all about!
I’ve never seen barbie mummified before. I’m sure your daughter will remember this learning activity.
Fabulous! I have taught this with card and paper models and a fake skull but never with a barbie! You could follow it up with a gorgeous pink sparkly sarcophagus!
This is the greatest idea. ever.
My friend Chandra just started homeschooling her girl this year. She is FULL of amazing ideas like this…love her!
What a great and original idea! I’m pinning it into my “activities for older children” board, for the future.
Thanks for sharing
I love it! I can think of a few toys I would love to do this with….
Love it!!! going to enjoy doing this!!
You were so smart to choose Barbie over a chicken. Trust me. We did the whole chicken. If we’d had a Barbie–I would have maybe thought to go this route. Your lesson looks fantastic and the pictures of your child praying over the body are priceless.
I think my Little M might actually play with her barbie if I set up this mummify table!
We mummified barbies for a craft for my son’s Indiana Jones party a few years ago. The kiddos loved it!
I love what you did hear! hehe your daughter must’ve had lots of fun!
Thats a great idea! I might have to wait until mine are a bit older though. Thanks for linking to Fun Sparks xx
Best use of Barbie I have ever seen! Great post. Will definitely share it!
where did you get those adorable little jars/canopic jars??
They came from an art museum, but I bet you could create something similar with a toilet paper tube & photos of the Egyptian tops!
This is fantastic! My boys will LOVE this!
Such a great project! my kiddos will have fun with this one, thanks.
Thank you so much for posting this idea! The photos of your daughter are precious…a memorable learning experience. Just wanted to let you know I pinned you on my Ancient Egypt pinboard and added a note about another idea for a mummy case found at a British Museum. Here it is:
Thanks for pinning & I will check out your link!
This is wonderful. I actually mummified Barbies with 125 1st graders using toilet paper! LOL! But, how much would the little boys love taking the ‘brains’ out? This would make an awesome display in the auditorium, especially with the gifts. Thanks a lot! Got to love Pinterest.
realy i’ve never came up with that idea
I actually shared your posting using a few pals.
Just like new have gotten a small improvement in visitors it is actually from
us, was helpful to us. Thanks.
I loved visiting the author’s blog and reading the rest of her homeschool adventures with her daughter. Here’s the post about mummifying Barbie if people want to visit that post and comment to the original author. http://joshchandratravel.blogspot.com/2011/10/mummification.html
Thank you! Thank you for posting this activity. It’s blog posts like these that make me love the internet. We don’t eat meat either. This is way more educational and one less Barbie to keep track of. Bravo!