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Egyptology Party (21 photos)

 
 

Dessert table and sarcophagus

 
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My daughter chose an Egyptology/Archaeology theme for her 8th birthday--best theme ever, as far as this English and Anthropology major is concerned!  We set the party in 1911, at the excavation of the tomb of Senusret II, the second king of the 12th dynasty of Egypt.  

The invitations were made to look like leather-bound archaeological field notebooks, and I had all sorts of fun finding just the right typewriter font, researching the firm that conducted the dig of Senusret II's tomb, and even learning archaic English formal letter grammar conventions.  Maybe nobody else will ever notice those details, but it's part of the fun for me.

The scene was set with a life-sized sarcophagus, a tomb frieze as the background to the dessert table, golden torches, papyrus plants, a campsite with eastern flare (including a real camel saddle!), and a cut-out photo prop of a sphinx.  Large scale decorations like these really make a party special, and if you make them yourself, can cost very little.

When the children arrived, I gave them Egyptian glitter tattoos, and they had their picture taken in the Sphinx photo prop.  I like having activities like this for the beginning of the party, as kids are still arriving.

Next, we learned how to make paper--mushy, wet fun, and educational, too!  

A mock archaeological dig followed, and was definitely the hit of the party.  Instead of giving out favors at the end of the party, each girl was given her own trowel, and dug for her favors.  I tried to teach some real archaeological digging techniques, but ultimately, they were too excited and just jumped in with their trowels and brushes.  ;-)  In the dig site, I'd hidden Egyptian figurines, small golden coins, bracelets, necklaces, carved scarabs, potsherds, and golden nuggets (the rocks that got painted when I spray painted the tikki torches gold!).  Each girl was given a muslin "Artifact bag" in which to put all her treasured finds.

The last structured activity was a toilet paper mummy contest--immediately followed by a "who can pick up toilet paper the fastest" contest.  ;-)  

We served hummus and pita bread; bacon, date, and goat cheese strudel; and pizzas made in the wood-fired oven I built in our backyard.  The dessert table featured a pyramid shaped cake (chocolate cake with salted caramel buttercream), baklava, mummified oreos, Egyptian themed sugar cookies, marzipan pyramids, dates, and hidden treasures (chocolate covered peanut butter wafers, decorated with Egyptian motifs).  I made everything myself.

DIY projects included:  

--the mummy sarcophagus

--the plastered and painted backdrop to the dessert table

--the golden Egyptian plates on the dessert table

--the Sphinx photo prop

--the scarabs, jewelery, and potsherds for the archaeological dig

--the invitations and all the signage

--the glitter tattoos and hair tinsel (these are seven and eight year old girls, after all!)

--the muslin artifact bags

--all the treats on the dessert table

--floral arrangements (simple though they were)

--all the photography

--and probably more that I'm forgetting.  I'm all about the DIY projects and budget parties!

 

All the kids had so much fun at the party!  I loved that I was able to teach a little bit about something I love at the same time I created magical, lasting memories.   Thank you, dear daughter, for coming up with such a magnificent theme!


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