Ancient Egyptian Toys and Games

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Tutankhamun

Ancient Egyptians, just like children now, loved to play games.  Some games were made so that the adults could play them, but others were used for kids and adults.  There were many toys that the Ancient Egyptians owned that would do things such as roll or move.

Toys

Some of the toys that historians discovered from Ancient Egyptian times were made out of wood.  Some of these toys would move and have moving parts.

There were also dolls that were discovered and some of them were made out of papyrus reeds when they were stuffed.

Rattles that were made out of clay were also found and toys that were shaped like animals or like different people.

Balls were popular during Ancient Egyptian times and were made out of papyrus or they would be made out of the skin of animals.

Games

There have been many games that have been found by historians, but the problem is that some of the games were found but there are not rules that were with them, so historians do not know how the games were played.

Some of the other games that have been found were figured out, but it is proven that games were a big part in the lives of the Ancient Egyptians.

Senet

One type of game that was discovered by historians is called Senet.  This is a board game that was most likely played by wealthy families.

Just like some of our board games, the game Senet was played by using sticks and dice.  The sticks were most likely used as pieces and the player would move the sticks around the board.

Senet was similar to other games and the object of the game was to stop the other players from moving around the board.

Many people believe that Senet was first played during the Predynastic Period.

Pictures

In the hieroglyphics that were found throughout temples and tombs, there are pictures of the Ancient Egyptians playing different games that look similar to games we play today such as hockey, boxing, tug of war and more.

Why Did They Play Games?

Historians believe that the Ancient Egyptians would play games so that they could relax and spend time with their family.  Historians believe that the Ancient Egyptians would come home after work and they would play games.

Afterlife

Ancient Egyptians believed that when someone moved to the afterlife that they would enjoy the same types of games and fun that people did while living.

In the tombs, the Egyptians would put games, clothing and all sorts of items so that their loved ones could take them with them when they passed to the next world.

Game Pieces

Most of the game pieces that were used by the Ancient Egyptians were made of stones or wood.

More Facts About Ancient Egyptian Toys and Games:

  • One Ancient Egyptians picture found shows Queen Nefertiti playing Senet.
  • Senet was found in the tomb of King Tut.
  • Horsehair was sometimes used to make animals in Ancient Egypt.
  • Bones of animals were sometimes used to make game pieces.
  • A game that is similar to the checkers we play was found by historians.
  • Egyptians were great at carving wood and they would make pull toys that a child could pull behind them.
  • Ancient Egyptians loved playing dice that were carved out of wood or stone.

What Did You Learn?

  1. What was interesting about the toys and games that the Ancient Egyptians played?  The interesting thing about the toys and games that the Ancient Egyptians played was that they are like what children play with today.
  2. What were some of the game pieces made out of? The game pieces were most likely carved out of wood or stone.
  3. What other kinds of toys did the Ancient Egyptians have besides games? The Ancient Egyptians had toys that were pull toys, dolls, toys that had moving parts, animals that could open and close their mouths and more.
  4. What would Ancient Egyptians do with toys and games when their loved ones died? Ancient Egyptians would put toys and games in their loved one’s tombs so they could take them with them to the afterlife.
  5. What is one popular game that the Ancient Egyptians played, one even being Queen Nefertiti? The popular game that even Queen Nefertiti played was called Senet.