Ancient Egypt

Daily Life in Ancient Egypt - For Kids

Life in Ancient Egypt was quite civilized. People had to work, they played games for recreation and had standards for how they should dress, depending on their class. People even kept pets and gave them names. In these ways, daily life in Ancient Egypt was not much different from daily life for people today.

Work in Ancient Egypt

There were many jobs for the people of Ancient Egypt. As an agricultural society, Ancient Egypt needed farmers, fishermen and animal herders to produce food. Ancient Egypt also had cooks and household staff for domestic needs. Of course, there were laborers for building and other manual labor, but there were also skilled craftspeople.

Depiction of an ox-drawn plow

Ox-Drawn Plow

Architects, jewelers and artists produced Ancient Egypt's art. There were priests and priestesses to oversee the religious needs and temples of the ancient civilization. Soldiers protected the civilization while doctors tended to the wounded and teachers educated the young.

Ancient Egyptian Food

Ancient Egypt had plentiful food, thanks to the Nile River. It gave them arable land, water and lots of fish. Other meats included some of the desert animals, local birds and farm animals, such as oxen. Some of the main crops were barley and wheat, so there was a lot of beer and bread. Ancient Egypt had access to numerous spices and even sweeteners, such as honey.

Ancient Egyptians baking and brewing beer

© Jim Forest - Ancient Egyptians baking and brewing beer

Ancient Egyptian Wardrobe

Everyday attire in Ancient Egypt was simple. It consisted of tunics, capes, dresses, loincloths and sometimes undergarments all made from light materials. Linen and sometimes cotton were the favored materials. Rarely, imported silk was used to make clothing. For common people, daily clothing went mostly undecorated. Women would sometimes have beading on their dresses.

Relief in the tomb of Merymery

© rob koopman - Relief in the tomb of Merymery

Oftentimes, people wore as little as possible to keep cool in the heat. Men could wear only loincloths and, if working in the water, would wear no clothes. Children too would spend their time nude.


Farming in Egypt

© Beth - Farming in Egypt


Jewelry and Makeup in Ancient Egypt

Jewelry was important in Ancient Egypt. The rich and the poor alike wore it. Ancient Egyptians even put jewelry on the dead. They used materials like copper, gold, beads and semi-precious stones. Of course, the rich had access to more elaborate jewelry, but even the poor wore things like collar necklaces, earrings and rings--including the men.

Broad Collar from the 18th Dynasty

© Peter Roan - Broad Collar from the 18th Dynasty

Ancient Egyptians were clever in their production of makeup. They used available plants, clay, ores and metal to make products like blush, lip stain, eye shadow and kohl eyeliner. They also used henna to dye their hair and paint their nails. Both men and women used makeup, some of which had healing qualities that the Ancient Egyptians thought was magic.

Games Played by Ancient Egyptians

The Ancient Egyptians had numerous games to play. They had mancala, checkers, dice games and more. Children would use the anklebones of sheep in the same way modern children use jacks. There were also more athletic games, such as swimming, wrestling, running and various other sports.

Hounds and Jackals Game Set - Hounds and Jackals Game Set

School in Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt had schools for children, but only boys were allowed to attend them. Most children did not go to school at all or learned what they needed to at home. However, boys from wealthy families who wanted to become scribes could attend special schools.