Safari (African) Crafts and Learning Activities for Kids
Take Your Children on Safari to Experience Sensational Stories, Wonderful Words,
New Numbers, and Faraway Places.
"We All Went on Safari"
Join Maasai children as they set off on safari through the grasslands of Tanzania. This book includes a map of Tanzania in East Africa, pronunciation for Swahili numbers, one through ten, the names of the children mentioned in the book and what they mean, and the Swahili names for the African animals the children saw on safari. There are a lot of interesting facts in this book. For example, did you know that the Maasai women usually shave their heads, while the men wear fancy hairstyles and elaborate headdresses? If you can't find this book at your local library, you can buy it at Amazon.com. We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs.
1. Number Safari - Remind your children that a safari is a journey or adventure. Tell then that they are going to go on a number safari today to look for some elusive numbers. Have them write the numbers 1 - 10, one number per page, in their Safari Number Journals. As they travel around the room, they should draw pictures in their journals of things they see with a numbers on them. For example, if they see the number ten on a calendar, they should draw a calendar on the number ten page of their journals. A Pattern for this Book is available to members only.
Teach your children a song before you start your number safari.
Written by Nancy Foss
Sing to the tune of "Jingle Bells".
Number hunt, number hunt,
Number hunt we go.
Oh, what fun it is to hunt
in a number safari today! Hey!
1. TP Roll Binoculars - Paint or use markers to decorate two toilet paper rolls, let them dry, and then tape them together
with masking tape. Punch a hole on both sides of the TP binoculars and add some string. Have your children use them when you go on a classroom safari.
1. Classroom Safari - Look around your classroom with your binoculars until you find an object you want to describe. Repeat the following rhyme and then describe the object:
Join me on safari in our room today.
Pick up your binoculars without delay.
Look around the room to see all that's on display.
Can you see what I see not so far away?
I see something that is _____________________.
You can say things like:
1. It starts with the "Cl" sound and end in the letter "k".
2. It rhymes with shock and is round.
3. Or use a riddle such as, "It has a face and hands, but no eyes or a mouth."
4. It's white and has numbers on it.
2. Make a Safari Journal - Have your children make their own safari journals using the "We All Went on Safari" book as a guide. On the first page they should write "One Leopard" and draw a picture of a leopard. On the second page they should write "Two ostriches" and draw pictures of two ostriches, etc.
3. Play a Memory Game - Ask your children questions about the story:
1. How many leopards did the children see?
2. How many lordly did the children see on safari?
3. How many ostriches did the children see?
Join this little girl on a hair-raising safari in her sturdy jeep through herds of wildebeest, detours around buffalo, and through crocodile infested swamps. Take a break and somersault with chimpanzees and help gorillas make their beds. If you can't find this book at your local library, you can buy it at Amazon.com. Starry Safari by Linda Ashman.
1. Word Safari Race - Before class write your children's vocabulary or spelling words on index cards. Place them in a curving line across a bulletin board that has been decorated to look like an African Savanna with wild animals and acacia trees. Have your children color a Jeep Picture (Printable patterns available to members.)and then write their names on the jeep. Place the jeep at the beginning of the line of words. Move the jeep across the line of words as your child learns to spell or say the words. See who can learn all his or her words first and get to the end of the line first. If you have two different ages of children, you can use different lines of words with different levels of difficultly. This pattern is available to members only. Click on the link above.
2. Find Rhyming Words - Read "Starry Safari" and have your children make a list of all the rhyming words in the story.
Arts and Crafts
1. Make Cardboard Box Jeeps - Use large cardboard boxes to make jeeps. Have your children paint them and add Styrofoam plate steering wheels and bottle cap knobs. Paint two paper plates yellow for the lights. Pretend to ride through the jungle and point out animals along the way.
1. Descriptive Words - Have your children make 3-D paper African animals and then write words that describe the animals on the inside. Go to the AfricanAnimal Craft page for directions and patterns. If you can't find this book at your local library, you can buy it at Amazon.com. Jungle Jack Hanna's Safari Adventure by Jack Hanna and Rick A. Prebeg.
2. Picture Safari - Give your children a list of animals and have them go to the library to find pictures of each of the animals. They should mark them off as they find them. If you have children that can't read yet, use a picture of the animal next to the word on your list.
3. Dictionary Word Safari - (Older children) Africa has many animals that seem strange and interesting because we don't see them often. It is fun to see animals that we don't often see or that are new to us. Words can also seem strange if we have never seen them before. Introduce your children to some strange words. Have them look the words up in the dictionary and draw a picture to represent the word and write a definition.
Words relating to Africa: acacia, wildebeests, Serengeti gate, warthog, safari, savanna, hyrax, bamboo, impala, binoculars,
1. Number Safari - Write numbers on index cards and place them around the room. Tell your children that they are going to go on a number safari. Call out a number, have your children write it down, and then go look for the index card with that number on it. If you have a large class, you may want to let only a few children go on "safari" at a time or write the same numbers on more than one index card. If you have older children, use long numbers that are similar so that they learn place values.
2. Shape Giraffe - This Pattern is available to members only. Print out the shapes and have children glue them together to make a giraffe. Discuss the names of the shapes as they work.
Follow Jack's journey through Kenya and Uganda using a map of the countries. Have your children find the places Jack talks about as you read the book. Place dots on the map and connect them with lines.
Your students will enjoy joining two little girls on a lion hunt on the African Savanna. This book is an adaptation of the popular children's chant, "We're Going on a Bear Hunt". If you can't find this book at your local library, you can buy it at Amazon.com. We're Going on a Lion Hunt by David Axtell.
1. Lion Hunt Reenactment - After you read this story, have your children go on their own lion hunt. Reenact the story by having the children walk in place as you tell the story. When they get to the tall grass they can rub their open palms together to make the sound of grass. When they get to the lake they can move their arms in a swimming stroke, and for the swamp they can pretend to lift their feet that have been stuck in the mud, and in the cave they can pretend to hold flashlights.
1. Play "We're Going on a Word Hunt" - Before class print out words on index cards. Make matching cards that have words that are the same, have similar pronunciation, or are related to each other in some way. For example, you can use words that have the same sounds such as "bat" and "cat" or words that are related such as big and large, or different tenses of words such as care and cared. Adapt the game to your student's level. Hide the matching cards around your room.
In class give each student a word card, and help him or her read it. Have the class repeat the following chant and then try to find his or her matching word card.
We're going on a word hunt.
We're going to read some big ones.
We're not scared
Because we're prepared.
2. Play "Lion Hunt Match Game" - Before class print out the "Lion Hunt" cards, cut them apart and write your child's spelling or vocabulary words on the cards. Take turns turning over two cards at a time to see if the words match. If they match and the child can say the word, the child gets to keep two cards. If they don't match the cards must be turned back over. If a player turns over the lion card, he is out of the game. Keep playing until all the cards have been matched up. The person with the most cards wins. Printable Cards are Available on the Members Only Section.
3. Lion Hunt Word Review Game - Before class print out the Pattern (PDF Pattern) (Printing Problems?)of the lion paw prints and cut them out on the dotted lines. Write your child's vocabulary words, spelling words, or math facts on the paw prints. Lay the paw prints out making a path to a stuffed lion that has been hidden in a closet or under a chair "cave". Ask your child if he wants to go on a lion hunt. Tell him that he can follow the paw prints to find the lion, but he must first spell or say the word, or give the answer to the math fact before he can go to the next paw print. When you get to the "Lion" or last paw print scream and run back the way you came while saying the words, spelling them, or giving the math fact answer in the opposite direction. You can have some one pretend to be the lion and jump out when you get to the last paw print. If the children aren't fast enough saying the words in reverse order the lion can pretend to catch one of the children. Keep playing until your children can say all the words without getting caught by the lion.
4. Lion Hunt Safari in the Library - Take your children to the library and have them search for stories about lions.
Cooking with Children
1. Make Cheese Whiz Lions - Place Cheese Whiz around the edge of a Ritz Cracker. Add chocolate chips or raisons for the eyes and mouth.
2. Make Dandelion Salad - Add young dandelion leaves to your favorite salad and enjoy!
1. Dande-lion Hunt - Tell your children that you are going to go on a real lion hunt, a dande-lion hunt! Take them outside to look for dandelions. Tell them to take note of where the dandelions are growing. Ask them what the dandelions feel like and smell like. Make Dandelion Chains. Ask your children why they think this flower is called the dandelion.
How the Dung Beetle Earned Respect
By T.L. Onstott
This is a great book to help teach children about respect for others.
Darrell and Debra Dung Beetle don't get much respect for their job. When a hyena makes a rude remark they decide to stop work. The other animals soon learn that the dung beetles have a very important job even though it seems disgusting.
The illustrations in this book are beautiful and are reminiscent of colorful African art.
Poop-Eaters: Dung Beetles in the Food Chain (Fact Finders)
By Prischmann and Deirdre A
Describes dung beetles, including development, place in the food chain, and how they help the environment.
Mancala (Mankala) is one of the oldest games in the world. It is very popular in Africa, parts of Asia, and South America and there are many different versions with as many different names.
What you will need: Bright colors of acrylic paint, a cardboard egg carton, glue, two paper cups, and game pieces.
How to make:
1. Cut the lid off the egg carton and turn it upside down. Glue the egg holder part on top of the upside down lid.
2. Paint the game and the two paper cups with bright colors using geometric shapes as found in African art.
3. Place four games pieces in each egg cup. You can use small stones, beans, marbles, or seeds. Just make sure all the game pieces are about the same size. Place one cup at each end of the game board.
4. Each play owns one side of the game board or six eggs cups and the paper cup to his right. The player who gets the most games in his cup wins.
The first player starts by taking all the game pieces out of one cup on his side of the board and placing them one at a time on each successive cup to the right going all the way around the board including his own paper cup. If the last stone is placed in the players paper cup, he gets to take another turn. If a player places his last stone in an empty cup on his side of the board, he gets to keep any stones that are in the opposite cup.
The second player does the same thing, picking up a set of stones from one of his cups, (he must pick up all the stones in the cup) and placing one each in each successive cup to the right.
You can practice playing this game online on Free Arcade.
Children place stickers on a printed background page to make their own safari scene. Each set of stickers includes 57 stickers and a printed background scene page. These stickers can be used for many purposes. These stickers can be order from Amazon.com
1. Each time a child answers a question correctly, he can place a sticker on the background.
2. Each time a child spell a word correctly he can place a sticker on the scene. You can have them spell the name of the pictures -- sun, clouds, butterfly, bird, monkey, lion, lioness, giraffe, jeep, leaf, boy, girl, etc.
3. Have your children use the stickers to write a story. They can use some of the stickers in place of words in their story. For example, they might write, "The boy saw a __________." and place the giraffe sticker after the word "a" instead of using the "giraffe".