Children in Ancient Egypt
Posted on 6th February 2023
Children were the heart of the family in Egypt and were cherished by their parents.
If a couple was unable to have children or their children died at an early age they were encouraged to adopt.
Many babies died before reaching the age of one and more children died before the age of five.
Raising children in Ancient Egypt was not easy.
Babies were carried by their mothers in slings and nursed for three or four years. They wore amulets for religious and magic purposes to protect them from illness and accidents. Children were taught to be honest, kind and respectful and to look after their elders.
Egyptian children were educated, the wealthy either going to school or being taught by tutors, learning to read and write and taught maths and science. Other children were taught at home and their education was limited to reading and writing. Most education was for boys only; girls were mainly taught to spin, weave and cook.
As child mortality was common in Egypt, children were encouraged to play games that improved their strength and agility, as this could help fight infection. They played outdoor games such as leapfrog, wrestling, soldiers and dancing, also playing with marbles, spinning tops, board games, wooden dolls and animal toys.
From the age of four, boys were trained to follow in their father’s footsteps and from the age of fourteen would accompany their father about his daily work, therefore would learn a trade or profession depending on the social standing of their father. Girls stayed at home to learn the management of the household from their mother.
Children also had pets in Egypt, with cats being the most common. They were popular as they were very good at killing mice and rats in the household.
Tagged as: Junior Ancient Egypt
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