Ancient Egypt for Kids - Children in Ancient Egypt Illustration

Ancient Egypt for Kids

Children in ancient Egypt were cherished. That does not mean they could misbehave and get away with it. Rather the opposite was true. Boys were considered to be troublemakers, whether they were or not, and ancient Egyptian parents believed boys needed a firm hand to grow up strong and capable.  Girls had an easier time of it, but they too had to behave and listen to their parents.  All kids learned about the Egyptian gods and goddesses. Children were taught why it was important to keep their hearts light by doing good deeds. If a couple could not have children, adoption was encouraged. Kids had homes in ancient Egypt. No child was left to raise themselves.

Until about age 5, kids had no jobs or responsibilities other than to learn how to talk and walk and play. Kids were encouraged to play games that developed strength and agility. Parents also had their children wear charms and amulets to protect them. Children were loved. They were well taken of. They did not go hungry. Still, the death toll was high for children. Due to disease and dangerous animals, about 1/3 of the children born in ancient Egypt did not live to see their 1st birthday. Out of those who survived, about 1/2 did not live to see their 5th birthday.

After age 5, there were a few kids, the children of the very rich, who were taught math, science, reading, and writing by tutors or slaves, but mostly, children were taught at home by their parents how to be good farmers, craftsmen, or homemakers. Play remained an important part of their lives. Kids played with marbles, balls, spinning tops, and always games of strength and agility, to keep the children as fit as possible. Work and play were combined, so that work was something enjoyed by the children. Another activity enjoyed by the whole family, children and adults, was making grave goods.

There is no exact age when children became adults, But around age 12, girls typically married. Boys were a little older. But there was no rush or push for children to marry young. If they wanted to wait a year or two, that was fine.

One of the jobs of kids when they grew up was to look after their elderly parents. When their parents died, sons inherited the land and daughters inherited the household goods, which included jewelry, furniture, and anything else in the house. If there were no sons to inherit, the daughters inherited the land, the house, and everything in it. 

Grave Goods

Hair Styles


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