Ancient Egyptian Children

Ancient Egyptian children were regarded as gifts from the gods to ancient Egyptian parents. Ancient Egyptian families also wanted children.

If a family was not able to have kids of their own, they often adopted a child. Children were very well taken care of while they were young. Every child in ancient Egypt had a home.

The class status of the child and family determined their type of upbringing as a child. The real difference in class status is found in the earlier years of a child.

Early childhood

Ancient Egyptian children stayed at home with their mother from birth until four years old. During this time ancient Egyptian children were taught by mothers to walk and talk.

Rich ancient Egyptian families had servants to help mothers raise children. Young ancient Egyptian children were taught the basics of life which included being honest, trustworthy and to do the correct thing in life.

These items were very important to ancient Egyptians. If a child did not follow directions or was found lying, ancient Egyptian parents were quick with harsh punishment.

School years

Ancient Egyptian children were expected to take the jobs of their parents when they got older. Boys entered school between the age of five and seven years old.

Ancient Egyptian boys learned how to read, write and music. Rich ancient Egyptian families had their boys study more items like history, mathematics and astronomy.

Ancient Egyptian girls did not go to school. They continued to stay at home with their mother learning the trades of the household.

Mothers taught their daughters how to manage the household. This included learning how to cook, clean, make clothes or weave thread into fabric.

Only girls from rich ancient Egyptian families were allowed to go to school. Wealthier ancient Egyptian families knew school was important for girls.

Wealthier ancient Egyptian girls learned how to read and write as well as other subjects like history, politics and dance. These subjects would help a girl before and after marriage because rich families entertained royalty, other wealthy families and hosted numerous parties.

Adolescent years

At the age of 14 years old Ancient Egyptian boys began to work and learn the trade of their fathers. Jobs in ancient Egypt were inherited. If your family were farmers then you would be a farmer.

The same applied for stone masons, jewelers, potters and all jobs in ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptian boys were married between the ages of 15 and 17 years old when they had sufficient means to provide for their families.

Adolescent life for ancient Egyptian girls was quite different. Girls were married at or around the age of 12 years old. Marriage was arranged by both families. Many times ancient Egyptian girls married men that were quite older.

Ancient Egyptian activities and play time for children

Almost all ancient Egyptian children learned how to swim at an early age. The Nile River was a playground for ancient Egyptian children.

They also played outdoors all the time. Ancient Egyptian children played running and jumping games, they wrestled as well as learn how to box. Ancient Egyptian girls danced.

A popular dance with ancient Egyptian girls was called pressing the grapes. Children also played with rattles, dolls, balls and clay figurines of animals.

Board games were popular with ancient Egyptian children too. The most popular board games were Senet, Mehen as well as Hounds and Jackels. Other games included playing jacks which were made from small knuckle bones of animals.

Facts about ancient Egyptian children

  • Ancient Egyptian children were cherished by families.
  • Families were encouraged to have multiple children.
  • Ancient Egyptian children learned how to swim at an early age.
  • Ancient Egyptian children were taught to be honest, trustworthy and to follow directions.
  • Parents gave harsh punishments to ancient Egyptian children that were caught lying, stealing or not following directions.
  • Boys learned their father’s trade at the age of 14 years old.
  • Only ancient Egyptian girls from wealthier families learned how to read and write.
  • Ancient Egyptian children played board games like Senet and Mehen.


  • Which parent taught ancient Egyptian children to be honest, trustworthy and to follow directions?
  • Name two board games that were popular to ancient Egyptian children?
    Senet and Mehen
  • At what age did ancient Egyptian boys start to learn their father’s trade?
    14 years old
  • What type of activity did ancient Egyptian children learn at a young age?