Ancient Egypt's Daily Life: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Elizabeth Diehl

Elizabeth studied to be a special education teacher at Regis University, and received her masters in 2014.

You might know what the life of a pharaoh was like, but do you know how most ancient Egyptians lived? Let's explore a little about how common ancient Egyptians lived.


Do you think you would have made a great ancient Egyptian? The life of a pharaoh was full of glamor and luxury, but living in ancient Egypt as a common person was far from a picnic. Life in ancient Egypt was short and filled with hard work. It took a lot of people to keep the pharaoh's world running smoothly.

The Pharaoh and the Nile

The Nile river flowed through the center of ancient Egypt, and also through the center of everyday life. Most of Egypt is desert, but the soil is very fertile if it gets enough water. People lived in communities up and down the Nile. All kinds of crops grew in Egypt, which was great for the people. But sometimes being dependent on the river was bad. The Nile regularly flooded, which killed crops and wiped away houses. If it did not rain enough, there would be a drought, and not enough crops could be grown to feed Egypt.

The Nile river was very important to ancient Egyptians.
The Nile River

Likewise, the pharaoh was the center of everyone's thoughts. The ancient Egyptians believed that the pharaoh was more than just a king, he was also a god. As both a god and a king, it was important that the pharaoh focus on keeping the gods happy, so that Egypt would prosper. If the pharaoh did not do what he was supposed to, the world would become unbalanced, and the gods would get upset. They believed it was essential that the pharaoh be very well taken care of, so that the world stayed balanced. Part of keeping the world balanced was keeping the pharaoh and his family well-fed, with beautiful things, and living in beautiful houses. Everyone worked to care for the pharaoh.

What Did They Do?

Most ancient Egyptians were common people, who had to work hard for their living. Jobs such as brick builders, potters, artists and craftsmen were all important jobs for Egyptian life. Most ancient Egyptians were farmers.

Workers gathering grain to make bread
workers gathering grain

If you were a common Egyptian kid, you did not go to school. Learning to read was important to the scribes only. You would have helped your families work the land and do chores in the house. Most often you would do the job your father did, so if he was a farmer, you learned how to be a farmer too.

What Did They Eat?

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