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Easy summer water activity for kids on the Nile | Blog about activities for children

by Ünal Güler

Let’s do a fun outdoor activity and learn about the Nile! Great for at home or at school, this outdoor summer activity is a great way for kids to get outside and learn about the Nile! Design your own Nile in your garden with just a few materials that you can easily find around your home.

Finished Nile Activity with Stones, Kids Toys and Water Inside on Green Grass - Kids Activity Blog
Try this super cool and easy summer activity on the Nile!

The Story of the Nile for Children

By the time of Ancient Egypt, the Nile and the surrounding land were of great importance to Egyptian society. The Nile brought fertile land to Egypt that allowed ancient Egyptian society to thrive and prosper! Many ancient Egyptians lived along the Nile because the soil there was fertile and farming was possible there.

Not only was the Nile a source of agriculture, it also acted as one of ancient Egypt’s natural defenses! Since it existed in the Mediterranean until the first millennium B.C. When there was a lack of large ships or ships, all incoming ships had to enter the Nile to trade there. This allowed easy surveillance of all traffic in and out of Egypt and prevented invasions or attacks from the sea. The Nile also features six cataracts that protected ancient Egypt from invaders from continental Africa. The cataracts didn’t resemble the ones you saw, but they are areas of the Nile that are thinner and shallower and much more dangerous to cross due to the fast water and large amount of rocks.

The Nile was also subject to an annual flood, which is the focus of this activity. The annual flooding of the Nile has caused many settlements along the Nile to be buried under layers of silt. For this reason, modern archaeologists and historians have a hard time figuring out what everyday life was like in ancient Egypt.

Easy activity for kids on the Nile

  • This craft project is great for preschoolers and older!
  • By participating in this Nile River activity, children will learn problem-solving skills and learn about ancient Egypt.
  • Kids will have loads of fun experimenting and playing with this activity!

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Materials needed for this activity

Nile River Activity Supplies Tin Foil, Rocks, Kids Toys on Wooden Background - Kids Activity Blog
All the materials you need; Aluminum foil, children’s toys and stones!
  • aluminum foil
  • different sized rock
  • toys/bath toys
  • garden hose
  • Outdoor spaces of any kind

Instructions on how to build your own Nile

Step 1

Gather your materials.

step 2

Step 1 - Nile River Kids Activity Tin Foil on Brown Wood Background - Kids Activity Blog.

Take a large amount of aluminum foil and shape it into a long, thin, trough-like structure. Make sure it’s wide enough to hold small to medium sized toys and rocks.

Step 2 - Folded Aluminum Foil for Nile River Kids Activity - Kids Activities Blog

Also make sure that there is an opening at the end of the trough so that the water can drain.

step 3

Step 3 - Nile Activity with Stones and Kids Toys Inside - Kids Activity Blog
The Nile Summer Activity comes complete with toys and bricks!

Let your kids arrange their toys and bricks the way they like in the tinfoil river.

step 4

Step 4 - Finished Nile Activity with Toys and Grass Flooded with Water - Kids Activity Blog
Look at how the river floods in different places, isn’t that cool?

Start your garden hose on a low setting and let the flow fill up a bit. After a few minutes, increase the setting on the hose to get the water flowing faster.

step 5

After about a minute, lower the setting on your hose again, but keep the water flowing. Let your kids decide what they want to do next. You can suggest them to build a dam, raise their houses or help them find another solution.

step 6

As soon as your children have an idea and start implementing it, gradually turn the hose back on. Allow the water to reach approximately the same level as in step 4.

step 7

Turn the water back down and repeat steps 4 through 6. You can do this as many times as you and/or your kids want, it can make for so much fun!

step 8

Once you and your kids are done, turn off the hose and start cleaning up. You can put the bricks back where you found them and throw away the tinfoil when you’re done. If any of your toys got dirty, rinse them in the sink.

I hope you had fun playing the Nile River Activity!

preparation time
15 minutes

active time
1 hour

total time
1 hour 15 minutes


Estimated costs


  • Aluminum foil, stones, toys/bath toys, garden hose, open spaces of any kind.


  1. Gather your materials.
  2. Take a long piece of aluminum foil and fold it into a trough to mimic a river. Make sure there is an opening at one end to allow water to drain.
  3. Go outside and get your garden hose.
  4. Put the river on the bottom and let your kids add their toys and rocks.
  5. Once your kids are happy with the setup, set the hose to low and slowly turn it up to flood the river.
  6. Turn the hose down to a lower level and let your kids rearrange the bricks and toys.
  7. Flood the river again.
  8. Repeat this as many times as you like.

Finished Nile Activity With Water In It On Grass - Kids Activity Blog
Check out the flooding of the Nile! It’s super cool!

My experience with this craft

I had a great time with this activity. It was super easy for me to invent and try! The idea came to me through a course I am currently enrolled in on ancient Egypt. A week or two before I wrote this article, we were tasked with educating ourselves on the geography of ancient Egypt and how it shaped Egyptian society, preserved artifacts, and has presented problems for modern archaeologists. This is my favorite part of the story: reading evidence and then speculating and theorizing based on that evidence. I find it super fun and thought an experimental activity would be a perfect way to introduce kids to this concept!

All information about the Nile and ancient Egypt comes from A History of Ancient Egypt by Marc Van de Mieroop. This is a college level textbook. So if you want to teach your kids more about ancient Egypt, here is a fun and informative video about the day in the life of an ancient Egyptian doctor: A Day in the Life of an Ancient Egyptian Physician – Elizabeth Cox:

Tips for making your own Nile boat

  • Try doing this craft earlier in the morning or later in the day. If you do it around noon like I did, you could get hot pretty quickly!
  • Apply some sunscreen before heading outside to perform this craft!
  • Use waterproof toys like bath toys or pool toys, plastic toys might work too.
  • Try adding some gravel or play sand to your river. This could create some cool effects and mimic the silt in the real Nile!

More story fun and crafts on the Kids Activities Blog

Did you enjoy your Nile activity? What have your children learned? Please let us know in the comments below!

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