Africa Week

Kealan is 4 and Elyse is nearly 3.  Kealans preschool are covering ‘the world’ in one week but i knew there was no way i would get enough covered in a week so ive started with Africa.  My aim for the next few weeks is that Kealan and Elyse understand what a map is, that the world is divided into countries and people from different countries may look, sound and behave differently but that all people are equal in value.  During Africa week i showed them pictures of people with dark skin and we talked about how many people in Africa are very poor, have very little and many go hungry.  We agreed to put together gifts and sweets to send to African children in the Christmas shoe box appeal.

Books – we focussed mainly on Handas Surprise which we had never read before but also read Dont Spill the Milk and Giraffes Can’t Dance.  Kealan was very interested in the masks in Dont Spill the Milk and enjoyed playing with our wooden mask.  We also practised walking with a basket on our heads, it wasn’t very easy.

Sensory play – based on the book Handas Surprise i set up an African village tray.  A blue Ikea door mat provided a great river.  I placed pebbles along the edge and added bird seed to the rest of the tray.  I hollowed out some coconuts for huts and placed trees, animals and black coloured dolls on the seed base.  While Elyse played with the tray i read our African themed stories to her and we acted out some scenes.  She was thrilled to find an acorn cup amongst the seeds and we agreed it was the perfect size to use for a basket for our Handa doll.  We searched through the seeds to find ones that were the right size and colour to match the fruit in the story and placed them in the acorn basket.

Craft – African Drum

I used a hot glue gun to attach yellow card to the outside of a coffee tin.  Elyse then decorated by adding sticky jewels and felt shapes.  I used the glue gun again to attach felt circled to the top and bottom of the tin.  Elyse helped to thread string through the felt to complete the drum.

Craft – African Tribal Necklace

I showed Kealan and Elyse some pictures of African necklaces online.  Then i cut the centre out of a paper plate for Elyse to paint.  Kealan was able to cut his own out, i was thrilled.  We then decorated them with pens, dot markers and jewels.

Craft – masks

We made some tribal masks by painting paper plates brown.  When they were dry i cut out eyes and Kealan and Elyse attempted some markings using white paint.  We stuck on some strips of tissue paper to finish them.

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Other on theme activities we did this week were some world puzzles, spotting books with world themes and a travel the world board game.  Both Kealan and Elyse can now identify Africa and Ireland (our home) on the map/globe.

Next week:- Europe

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