This month we took a wild adventure through the Sahara Desert, went on safari through the savannas of East Africa, and toured West and South Africa in a big tour bus. All from the comfort of our own home, I might add.
Okay, okay. So maybe it didn't happen exactly like that, but we DID spend the month of January learning about the continent of Africa. I've always wanted to learn the names of all of the countries of the world, so when making my New Years Goals for this year, I went ahead and put that on there. Because Asante is good at memorizing things, I thought that he might like to do it with me.... and then I thought, well maybe we should just all learn about the countries as we learn the names of the countries. This was how our world-wide study was born.
Our Plan for Learning
Every other month we'll choose a continent to study. I had planned it as every month, but quickly realized that I couldn't prepare and do weekly activities while planning for a totally different region. By the first weekend of January I also learned NOT to plan an activity for every day. It ended up being too much to plan and to do. The kids were happy to read Africa-related books and play with our African animal figurines and puppets on the "off" days.
Here are the highlights of some of the things we did that worked out well.
google doc of the ones we liked best).
We made an African savannah on our train table.
We made stamps out of potatoes and spent an afternoon painting (okay, so Asante stamped, Aly free-painted and Ada painted with water).
We learned about animals through Kids National Geographic (as well as the Little Kids version) and then colored pictures of them.
We dressed up in traditional African outfits.
We looked through pictures and videos from the time we spent in Kenya.
We learned how to count from one to ten in swahili!
We used this website (Explore Egypt) to write our names in hieroglyphics.
I had a lot of other ideas that we just didn't get to, but you can find some of them over at my African continent board on pinterest.
The kids' favorite part was the animals. We learned a ton of fun facts about elephants, giraffes, zebras, hippos, rhinos, monkeys and lions. It was amazing to learn that many of these animals are very community-oriented; I think it helped the kids relate to them better.
I think our next unit with be Central and South America. If you have any fun resources/ideas, leave a comment below and I'll try them out!