Jo Jacks Travel

Learn About Jerash For Kids – Roman Trade City

Come with me to learn about Jerash, an ancient Roman trading city in Jordan. As a way to add some learning to our family trip to Jerash, Jordan, we focused on activities related to the Roman empire for my oldest child (five at the time).  Here are some fun educational activities to help your children imagine what life was like in a Roman trading city.

Roman Coins with Roman Numerals.

I can not claim to have come up with this idea myself!  I drew lots of ideas and inspiration from these fabulous websites about ancient Rome.

But then I tweaked the lessons to be about Jerash, Jordan – a vibrant trading outpost of the Roman empire.  The ruins of the forum in Jerash is a place of beauty – huge and elegant oval with many intact and re-recreated columns.  Jerash Roman Ruins - Jordan with kids

To help my son learn about Jerash and understand what it might have been like with stores and food stalls, we focused on Roman commerce and made roman coins with roman numerals.

My son and I did this together by following this tutorial. Here were the steps:

  1. Made simple salt dough.
  2. Cut the dough into circles with a glass
  3. Used a pencil to draw on Roman numerals on one side (i.e. “IV”), and modern English numbers on the other (i.e. 4).
  4. Baked in an oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 2.5 hours. Flip them after 1 hour.
  5. After they cooled, painted them with gold paint and let them dry.

Learn about Jerash

Then for the fun part.  My son collected some toys and we played Roman Toy Store.  He had to write down how much each toy cost (good practice for writing numbers).  Then I came along and used my Roman coins to buy toys.  He had to add up my totals and count the coins I gave him using regular numbers and then the roman numerals.  And then he had great fun telling me I did not have enough money and kicking me out of his store.  The nerve!

This is a great activity for math skills, counting, and role playing.

Roman Roads – Fun Way to Learn about Jerash

Learn about Jerash - Make a Roman Road

The other project we really enjoyed was making a Roman road.  The construction of roman roads is an ancient engineering marvel.  They were a huge factor in Rome’s Empire-building as they could quickly march their armies in an out of places, and it build better trade and information routes.  These roads still exist and in great shape in Jerash, Jordan.  This was one of the most fun Jerash Educational activities, as it was hands on, quick, easy, and informative.  Make. Play See.  (My motto – a bit like Veni. Vidi. Vici.)

First have your child watch this cool You Tube video on Building Roman RoadsLearn about Jerash

Next, we followed this excellent tutorial from Weird Unsocialized Home Schoolers.  Our steps were:

  • Collect materials – box, sand, small rocks/gravel, Learn about Jerashplaydough, smoothrocks
  • Lay down a layer of sand at bottom of cereal box
  • Lay down a layer of gravel/small rocks
  • Lay down a layer of playdough (our grout/cement)
  • Press smooth rocks down on top
  • March our army of toy soldiers down the road!

Learn about Jerash

This is a great activity to learn engineering concepts.  You should discuss water drainage, compression, and durability of different materials in the road.

Finally some recommended reading to learn about Jerash and the Roman Empire:

Cool book on Ancient Rome

Learn about JerashKeep us Crafting and Traveling by buying a book on Amazon by clicking below.





And even more Fun… The Bloody, Rotten Roman Empire: The Disgusting Details About Life in Ancient Rome (Disgusting History)

Jerash Educational Activties

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How did you teach children about the Roman Empire or Jerash?  I would love to hear in the comments!

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