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Greek Crafts for Kids

November - 4 - 2011

The history and mythological legends of ancient Greece simply fascinate children. But since learning Greek history from a book can be boring for kids, arts and crafts projects can be a real challenge for them. Educational activities such as pottery and temple building are great Greek crafts for kids!

Below you can learn more about three kinds of kids crafts related to ancient Greece.

  • Craft-stick Temple

Greek mythology is fascinating, but besides amazing gods, goddesses and other mythological creatures, there were also imposing Greek temples. Children can learn more about Greek temple architecture if they actually build one – not a real one, but a craft-stick version.

Divide children into small groups and offer each group their building materials: some dozens of craft sticks to paint white and a large, flat piece of plastic foam. Also give them a typical floor plan of a Greek temple (you can search the Internet and print out a copy). Ask children to create columns and the shapes of the rooms by sticking the craft sticks into the foam. Recommend them to add various architectural details such as pediments or frieze.

  • Play Dough/Modeling Clay Pottery

Ancient Greeks regarded pottery as a true art, so their pots were elaborately embellished, featuring a large variety of shapes and sizes. Since making clay pots is messy and hard, the easy solution is creating small pots from modeling clay or play dough.

After presenting to the kids different types of Greek pots such as calyx, amphora or krater, challenge them to render them according to the original versions. Provide them with a chunk of play dough or clay, and let them create their own “ancient” Greek pots. Meanwhile, do not forget to tell them useful facts about ancient Greek pots.

This educational activity can be also an adjunct project for an oral report or research paper, so don`t hesitate to use it.

  • Black-figure Painting on Pottery

Greek pottery was generally decorated with black-figure painting. Through this technique, a finished, not yet fired pot was painted with a clay slip that became black from the heat of the kiln. Using a sharp tool, the details where then incised into the clay.

Instead of the instruments and materials utilized in those times, children can create their own black-figure pictures. All they need for this kids craft is paper, crayons (burnt-orange and black), and toothpicks.

Show your students some examples of black-figure pottery and provide them more information about it. Ask students to use the burnt-orange color crayon and heavily color every inch of paper. Then challenge them to sketch a Greek scene on top using the black crayons. Once the sketch is done, tell them to heavily color it with the black crayon so that a lot of wax remains on the paper. With a toothpick, they have to scratch the details back into their illustration until they can see the orange through.

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