Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mummifying Barbie

So, it seems that the uses for Barbie in the homeschool are limitless!  Barbie was outfitted with her new modest length prehistoric hand-sewed creation here.  And this week, we had he most fun the girls have ever had with a Barbie by turning her into a mummy! 

We did this lesson to supplement our Sonlight Core A section on Ancient Egypt.  We studied how a mummy was made and found a link to a website with a great activity here

Here's our spin on it!

Here you see our chosen Barbie with another book we added to the Ancient Egypt collection.  I highly recommend the Magic Tree House series of books, they are quick reads and have just enough facts in them to spark interests and encourage further research.  In addition to the books are the "FACT TRACKER" series of books that coincide with the stories.  These are easy to read non fiction books that my girls just love.  This particular one taught us how to make a mummy!

Step 1: Remove all organs except the heart.  We pretended to take out organs one by one saying their names out loud.  We then drew a heart on Barbie to symbolize the heart we were leaving in her body.  The ancient Egyptians kept the heart in because it was thought that the size of the heart told how good of a person you were .  Interesting huh?

Step 2: Wash with wine.  We used red wine vinegar and the girls said it smelled so bad.  They dipped cotton balls in it and made Barbie shine!

Step 3 - Rub with oil and spices.  We used olive oil applied with cotton balls and for spices we used Cinnamon, for the simple reason that I have so much of it in my spice cabinet.  Let me just say that after this step, Barbie was so greasy (can you tell from the picture?) and my kitchen table was covered in Cinnamon.  As you can tell from the pictures I did not use a protective covering on the table during this, silly mom.

Step 4: Cover in Natron for 40 days.  We used table salt for Natron to dry the body cavity out.  With all the oil on Barbie, the salt stuck on really well :)  We let it sit for 40 seconds (40 minutes was pushing it for the girls' excitement!)

 Step 5: Wrap body in resin-soaked linen for 15 days.  Here I cut strips of leftover beige flannel I had.  We then dipped them into a bowl filled with a flour-water mixture (think paper mache).  Then we wrapped away! Was it messy?  Oh yeah.  I am pretty sure the bottom side of my table is still covered in it because it dripped down the side!  Was it fun?  YES!!! Both girls could replay what each step was in the mummification process.  Although we read how to prepare a mummy a million times between our Sonlight books, Magic Tree House books and library books, Sofia really got to see how they did it and was able to understand why each step was performed.

Ta-DA! Doesn't it look great?  If you see her in real life she looks like a real mummy.  It has been a few days now and she is finally dry.  The funny thing is the girls play with her like she's still a real Barbie.  Slightly disturbing but overall cute!

Sofia wearing her hand made Egyptian collar.  Totally unrelated is the red feather taped to Maya's head.  The fun just never ends! 


  1. Wow! You are so creative! :-) To actually have them mummifying their doll really brings the lessons to life!

    My kids love the Magic Tree House books! We have learned so much from them.

    God bless,