We have loved traveling around the world for kindergarten. Our Africa Continent Study was one of the most engaging and memorable parts of our “travels.” The book list, resources, and activities will give your elementary aged child a peek into the sights and history of Africa.
We cannot have a unit without Magic Tree House books! The three we read took us on adventures all around Africa: the desert, Savannah, and into the jungle. Mummies in the Morning took us inside a pyramid inside ancient Egypt. We saw a pride of lions on the African Savannah in Lions at Lunchtime. In Good Morning Gorillas we visited the mountains and found huge gorillas in the jungle.
If you are traveling around the world, I highly recommend this Magic Tree House. The mix of fact and fantasy is very engaging, and Mary Pope Osborne does a fabulous job bringing the characters to life through Audio Book. I swear my oldest reads with her cadence. Be sure to check out the Fact Trackers in the series, too. This was the third time he read through Mummies and Pyramids!
Another series that we have referred to again and again this year is National Geographic Kids First Big Books. These books have such beautiful images and give a kindergartner facts in an easy-to-understand and engaging way. Take a look at cheetahs, giraffes, gorillas, and more in Big Book of Animals, Nelson Mandela and King Tut in Big Book of Who, and beautiful images from around Africa in Big Book of the World.
These are fantastic books to begin practicing using text features like table of contents, index, captions, page titles, and tables. He loves looking for the specific animals, people, and places we’re learning about, and this series makes it easy for him to find what he’s looking for on his own.
One of the very first activities he did was color a map of Africa by region. We referred back to the map often. I love having a map he worked on up on the wall while we study. Coloring our own is much more memorable than just pointing at the laminated world map.
He did a more map work with our Africa Geo Puzzle. Puzzling right through breakfast! I love these puzzles so much! The pieces are study, thick, and shaped like the countries and continents. Puzzles are great exercise for the brain!
Cosmic Kids Yoga is a favorite in our house for all three of my kids. Even the little guy gets in on the downward dog. A few of the stories lined up nicely with our Africa unit: Alan the Camel and Lulu the Lioness. I just love using Cosmic Kids with our units. A great way to incorporate a little movement into our day.
I was so excited to share The Lion King with my kids! It is one of my favorite Disney movies of all time. I talked it up all week. Then, I put it in on Friday night and my oldest says, “Oh yeah, we watched this one at camp.” My three year old says, “I saw dis one at da gym.” Well, there goes that! We still all enjoyed movie night together. Friday night is movie night at our house, and below you’ll find a few more suggestions to support your Africa studies.
Also, check out my huge list of TV shows and Playlists focused on African animals, their habitats, and African folklore. We especially loved the Tinga Tinga Tales on YouTube! The memorable animated animals brought the stories to life.