Magnificent Sphinx & Pyramid


Egyptian pyramids were built as stairs for kings to climb after their death. A sphinx was built to guard the pyramids. Create realistic replicas of these famous structures!


1. Many ancient Egyptian kings and pharaohs were buried along with their possessions in tombs inside pyramids. This is just one way to build replicas of these incredible structures.

2. To make a pyramid, start with a softball-size piece of clay. Press it on a paper plate to make the bottom flat. Leaving a point on the top, slice away four sides of the ball at angles to form a pyramid. The pyramids have crumbled, so the sides don’t need to be smooth. With a toothpick, score your pyramid to look like it’s made out of limestone blocks. Air-dry the pyramid for several days.

3. Cover your painting area with newspaper. On a produce tray or other palette, mix Crayola Texture It! Tempera Mixing Medium and yellow Tempera Paint. Paint your pyramid with a brush. Air-dry the paint. Add another coat of Texture It! Experiment to create a rougher, ancient look.

4. Egyptians made the sphinx with a lion’s body and a ruler’s head. Some anthropologists think this represents the pharaoh’s great strength. To make a replica sphinx body, knead a handful of clay into the shape of a hot dog roll. Roll a ball for the head and press on the body. With your fingers pinch a nose, mold a triangle shape head, and poke holes into the head for eyes. Make two thick rolls for front legs and paws. Press them on the body. Score toes with a toothpick or plastic knife. Make lengthwise lines in the side of your sculpture to create steps. Air-dry the sphinx for several days.

5. Mix orange and yellow paint with equal amounts of Texture It! for an Egyptian look. Paint your sphinx. Air-dry the paint. To create a golden glow, cover your sphinx with Crayola Pearl It! Tempera Mixing Medium combined with gold Crayola Premier™ Tempera. Add a final coat of Texture It! for an incredibly realistic look.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Crayola Modeling Materials including Crayola Model Magic®, and Model Magic Fusion™, Crayola Air-Dry Clay, and Crayola Dough—

  • Keep away from open flames. Do not use to make candleholders, hot plates, trivets, or other similar objects that will be used or placed near fire and other heat sources.
  • Do not put in an oven, microwave, or kiln.
  • Do not make into vessels/containers that will hold unpackaged food.
  • The use of modeling material to make items that look like food is discouraged for children younger than age 5 to avoid their confusion with real food.
  • Unless sealed with a water-resistant glaze, do not make projects exposed to or immersed in water, such as boats or outdoor bird feeders. They would disintegrate when exposed to moisture.
  • Crayola Dough—contains gluten (wheat flour) as an ingredient.
  • Crayola Air-Dry Clay, Crayola Model Magic and Model Magic Fusion are gluten-free. However, they are produced on the same machinery as Crayola Dough which does contain gluten. Although the machines are cleaned prior to the start of each production run, there is a slight possibility that trace amounts of gluten from Crayola Dough may be present in the other modeling compound products. For information regarding specific ingredients or allergic concerns, please call our Consumer Affairs department at 1-800-272-9652 weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Crayola Washable Paints—Not for use as body/face paint.

Modeling Tools—Use the least dangerous point or edge sufficient to do the job. For example, craft sticks, plastic knives and forks, and cookie cutters can cut or carve modeling materials.

Recycled Foam Produce Trays—Wash in hot, soapy water. No meat or poultry trays should be used.

Wood—By its nature, wood is rough and may contain splinters or sharp points


  • Compare how these structures were built with the way monuments and buildings are made today. All of the pyramids were built using levers and muscle power. The limestone blocks weigh up to 15 tons. Each pyramid took more that 20 years to build.
  • Find out what happened to the Great Pyramids and their contents. Even though pyramids were created to secure the pharaohs and their belongings from thieves, by 1000 BCE many of the pyramids had been gutted and robbed of their precious contents.
  • Another famous structure, The Great Wall of China, was built without machines. Research how it was made, what materials were used, and how long it took. Make a replica of a portion of the Wall in a similar manner.
  • Compare the size of the pyramids to familiar buildings such as the Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty. Make a chart showing various building heights.
  • Assessment. Determine whether the pyramid and sphinx resemble the real structures in terms of number of sides, details, and finish.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Paint Brush
  • Premier™ Tempera Paint
  • Air-Dry Clay
household supplies
  • recycled newspaper
  • Party Express paper plates
  • toothpicks - wooden
  • paper towels
  • modeling tools
  • recycled foam produce trays
  • container(s) of water



  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students research how ancient Egyptian structures were created and used.

  • Students sculpt realistic replicas of a pyramid and sphinx to demonstrate their knowledge of these famous structures.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards