Teach children about the ancient Greek empire by having them make headdress crafts. Hair wreaths became a common adornment among Greeks by the sixth century B.C. and were used for other purposes besides fashion. Kids will enjoy learning about different aspects of Greek civilization as they make their headpiece crafts.
Teach kids about the first Olympic games by making a laurel crown. Explain that victorious athletes received them in the early Pythian games, which were sacred to the god Apollo. Make a simple version of this crown from construction paper. Cut a strip of green paper long enough to wrap around your child’s head. Fold another piece of green paper in half and let your child cut half-oval shapes along the folded edge. When the shapes are unfolded, they will look like leaves. Help your child glue the leaves to the long green strip. Position them horizontally, and let them slightly overlap one another. When dry, form the crown into a loop, and secure the two ends with tape.
Young girls will enjoy learning how Greek women wore elaborate gold jewelry and crowns in their hair. A girl can make her own faux gold crown by cutting a strip of flexible cardboard long enough to wrap around her head. Paint the cardboard gold. When dry, form the strip into a loop and glue the edges. Spread a light layer of clear-drying glue onto the outside of the crown and press gold doilies on top of the glue so they cover the whole strip. Trim the excess doily that hangs over the edge. Glue gold ribbon or pipe cleaner to the top and bottom perimeters of the crown to represent molding.
Greeks believed in many gods and goddesses. They also believed that the gods were connected to certain plants and fruits in nature. Greeks sometimes wore special wreaths while performing certain religious rites. Let kids make a headdress using artificial leaves and fruit. Cut three strings of artificial ivy each long enough to wrap around the child’s head. Let the child loosely braid the three strips. Weave or glue the ends together to make a wreath. Using strong craft glue or a hot glue gun, let children help you attach artificial berries and grapes to the headdress.
Tell children the story of Medusa from ancient Greek mythology. She was a dangerous Gorgon who had snakes instead of hair. Make a Medusa headband from colorful chenille wires. Start with an ordinary thin headband, and let your child wrap it in chenille wires. Show your child how to twist two different-colored chenille wires together in a candy-stripe pattern to make a snake. Make five snakes. Fold a snake in half, and position the headband so it sits in the fold. Let your child twist the snakes several times just above the headband to attach. Repeat with the other snakes. Finally, have your child curl the snakes around her finger or a pencil so they look like they’re wiggling.
Michelle Watson has been an editor and freelance writer since 2010. She has edited hospital magazines around the United States and written on a variety of health-care topics. Watson is also a licensed high school English teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a teaching credential.