Between the eighth century B.C. and 146 B.C., the Greeks were the dominant force of the Mediterranean. Introduce kids to the life and times of this ancient civilization by hosting a Greek day, whether at home or school. From eating authentic food to learning about mythology, a Greek day will educate and entertain kids of all interests and abilities.
Fold a plain, white bedsheet in half widthwise and then lengthwise to make a chiton, the everyday outfit for ancient Greek men and women. Wrap the bedsheet around the child and connect the back and the front in place at each shoulder using safety pins. Tie a rope or belt around the waist and team with a pair of leather sandals for added authenticity.
Hold an ancient Greek lunch for kids by preparing some traditional food. Known as "ariston," this midday meal consisted of dried figs, fish, olives and goat cheese. Instead of plates, present the meal on a wheat flatbread that kids can eat at the end of the meal. Serve the meal with water or goat's milk.
Make replica Greek-style pottery by painting a paper plate with black acrylic paint. While the paint dries, have kids use textbooks or the Internet to research Greek designs for the pottery, such as a temple or a scene from a myth. Kids can then draw the design onto the paper plate using a silver or gold pen. Bend two pipe cleaners into oval shapes and tape them to each side of the plate as handles.
Host a mini version of the Olympics in your backyard or school playground. Although the original games were open only to men, boys and girls can participate in events such as running and wrestling without the need for expensive equipment. If you don't have access to a javelin or discus, have kids throw a tennis ball instead. Give the winners a laurel wreath – the traditional Greek prize.
Teach kids some ancient Greek words and phrases, such as "ou'le" (hello) and "eukha'ristos eimi" (thank you). Challenge kids to use the words as much as possible during your Greek day.
- Cedarville University; Ancient Greece; Terry Doleys
- Mr Donn; Ancient Greece; Ancient History Lesson Plans
- "Your Travel Guide to Ancient Greece"; Nancy Day; 2001
- DLTK Kids: Greek Pottery Paper Plate Crafts
- University of Tennessee; Ancient Greek Phrases; Apollonios ho Sophistes; 1996
Kaye Jones has been a freelance writer since 2009, specializing in history, education and mental health. Her undergraduate dissertation was published by the Internet Journal of Criminology. Jones has a first-class honors Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Manchester.