Welcome to the Ancient Romans for 0-5s!
The Ancient Romans day at Culture for Kids was another fun and exciting day! Lots of crafts and we added a few more activities for the children which proved a great success!
Roman mosaics were very popular in both public buildings and homes. They were made from hundreds of small pieces of coloured stones and gems put together to make a picture. They were used for many reasons such as decoration, they provided strong surfaces to walk on and sometimes they were used as signage or advertisements. The Roman Mosaic making with a simple salt dough recipe and colourful beads was by far the most popular crafty activity of the day, the kids loved getting messy and creating with the different coloured beads.
Our salt dough recipe: 2 cups plain flour, 1 cup salt and keep adding small amounts of water until a nice doughy texture is achieved. I like to use plain flour as the self-raising flour tends to expand like a cake when it is drying out and can mean the end product doesn’t look quite like it is intended. This mixture will air dry in about a day in a warm spot in the house and I also prefer to do it like this so that the dough doesn’t split which can happen sometimes in the oven and I wasn’t sure how the beads would hold up in the oven 🙂
I prepared a small information sheet to match each activity containing a few facts about aspects of the culture we are exploring. In this way parents can read and reiterate this to the children if they want to but also provides take-away, snippets of knowledge for the parents to.
Another way we created mosaic patterns was with the old favourite, potato stamping! I also cut sponges into squares to mix it up abit 🙂 and I printed an outline of popular ancient Roman mosaic patterns for the kids to stamp on. Messy painting seems to be popular with children of all ages. I chose dogs and birds as these were among the Romans favourite pets and can be seen in many Roman mosaics.
The Romans loved washing and bathing and rather than it being done in private, the Romans built magnificent public bath houses in towns across their empire. Rich villa owners would have their own baths in their homes. Baths were not only a place for washing, people went to public bath houses for entertainment or healing as well. Some people went to the public baths to meet their friends and spend their spare time there. Large bath houses had restaurants, games rooms, snack bars and even libraries. We recreated the Roman Baths with our very own ball pool! Loved by babies, the older children and the daddies to!
The Romans were great builders, they invented concrete, Roman roads, Roman arches and Roman aqueducts. A key aspect of this culture I wanted to communicate was about the Roman involvement in British history and where it can be seen today. I chose to provide Duplo blocks for the children could recreate versions of Hadrian’s wall 🙂 In 122AD the Roman Emperor Hadrian ordered the building of a great wall to defend his forts in York, which we know as Hadrian’s wall. It took 8 years to build and it is 115KM long.
Our craft version of the iconic Roman soldier’s armour was created, we chose the metal jacket; which was a flexible armour constructed of sheets of metal and tied together, and the Roman shield; a long distinctive shield which were used in many strategic moves during war.
Gold card and split pins (these were so hard to find by the way, they used to be all over when I was a kid! and I’m sure nearly every craft activity at school involved these!) was used to create the armour and I embossed a large silver foil serving platter and decorated with red crepe paper and pritt stick. I am going to post a detailed ‘how-to’ guide for these creations because they are so wonderful, and easy to recreate 🙂
The Ancient Romans day concluded the free taster sessions at Pelton community centre, free and priceless at the same time! Now I am busy preparing the weekly sessions which will be held on a Friday afternoon 1-2.30pm at only £1 per child.
Keep an eye out for more activities here soon and at our facebook page: