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Sometimes parents and teachers are left puzzled because their young preschool and kindergarten-age children refuse to pick up a pencil and show no interest in drawing or coloring. And as we know these two fine motor activities are very important as they prepare children for writing and indirectly benefit brain development in a major way.
We might not realize it, but when we offer a young child a coloring activity that engages them we might be beginning the training of little fingers and young mighty brain to become a surgeon who will be performing life-saving surgeries in the future. We can’t possibly overestimate the importance of fine motor exercises at young preschool and kindergarten age.
Like with many other subjects, under the umbrella of teaching Geography, we can incorporate
- a hands-on kinetic learning that excites children,
- cultural study that opens them up to the world,
- training of hand and finger muscles that is so crusial for their day to day life,
- learning about colors – extension of sesorial learning.
Here is an example of how a simple exercise such as learning about different countries of the African continent, their flags, and their location on the map can encompass and accomplish so many goals mentioned above.
Africa being an incredibly diverse continent, presents a great challenge for children when it comes to learning its political geography. I have no illusion thinking that my kindergarten-age child will remember and learn to identify all 54 countries and 4 territories, their flags, and geographical location.
However, all I look for is a spark in the child’s eyes and interest. If the child is engaged and loves this learning experience, all I am concerned about is the process – making sure it is engaging and developmentally appropriate.
This week in our homeschool we are learning about African flags. There is so much history and symbolism that goes behind each individual flag.
I created the Flags of Africa printable with 3 part cards and blackline master to allow educators to use this resource in various ways and choose what works best in their setting.
Here is how we used Flags of Africa 3 part cards and how you might like to use in your classroom.
Print 3 part cards and blackline master with the cursive tracing font. The printable also includes a print font version and a student booklet with space for independent writing.
Gather coloring pencils, a pencil for tracing/writing, a stapler.
Line up labeled picture cards with flags and corresponding country’s names. Place picture cards and label cards somewhere near. Invite the child to match the flag to the flag and the label to the label.
Set 3-5 pairs of picture and label cards aside.
Using those pairs as a reference, invite the child to trace/copy names of the countries, color the flag and highlight the country location on the African map.
Repeat over the course of time until the child gathers all countries and territories in his or her book.
As an extension, if the child is interested, have the child locate different countries on the world map or globe.
If you have younger children under your care, print both sets and cut cards without cutting labels off. Play a matching game or shuffle cards and invite the child to find matches by playing a memory game.
Africa - Children's Books and Learning Resources
Africa Maps and Blackline Masters,Pin Flags - Montessori
This resource contains colored and blackline political maps of Africa with and without labels. It can be used with various age groups and in many different contexts – for coloring, labeling, pinning flags, marking locations, etc. Small strip cards with 58 flags and labels plus capital cities are also included.
Flags of Africa - 3 Part Cards and Blackline Masters
Three-part cards with African flags. The corresponding picture cards include the country’s map highlighted with red and the corresponding flag.
Encourage your students to practice writing and develop fine motor skills with this blackline option to create a student booklet.
Africa Continent Cards and Country Research B&W Booklet
This resource gives students an initial introduction to the continent of Africa. It contains 28 picturesque continent cards with photographs and short commentary. These cards provide a visual presentation of the cultural diversity of the continent, its natural beauty, architecture, and traditions.
Natural Landmarks and Artificial Landmarks in Africa | Sorting
Sorting activity – natural and artificial African landmarks. Invite your students to discover the most beautiful landmarks in Africa.
Africa Preschool Hands-on Activities - Montessori Nature Printables
Africa Montessori-inspired printable set filled with hands-on skill reinforcement activities for preschool and kindergarten students – fine motor, cutting, push pinning, tracing.
South African Animals Safari Toob 3 Part Cards Editable
Three-part cards with 9 examples of South African Animals for the object-to-image matching activity.
The printable provides a set of cards with photographs of 9 different types of animals included in the Safari South African Animals TOOB – African elephant, lion, lioness, spotted hyena, white rhino, giraffe, zebra, African buffalo, and chacma baboon.
Africa Continent Bundle Montessori Friendly
This unit study of Africa contains hands-on resources to teach students about unique aspects of the continent while developing their concentration, logical thinking, comprehension skills, reading and so much more.
Africa Vocabulary 3 Part Cards - Editable - Montessori Nature Printables
Three-part cards are an excellent tool to help interactively learn new vocabulary and spelling. Classified cards can be used to enrich the child’s vocabulary, to develop reading, writing, and classification skills while broadening the child’s knowledge of the world. Create bilingual/multilingual cards for the students in your minority language with ease.
45 Animals Of Africa - Nomenclature And Information Cards - Montessori Nature Printables
Common mammals, birds and arthropods found in Africa – 3 Part Montessori Nomenclature Cards
Endangered Speices - Object to Picture Matching Activity with Safari Toob
Three-part cards with 10 images for the object to photo-matching activity. The printable features clear real-life photographs.
Includes a set of Endangered Animal vocabulary cards – mountain gorilla, giant panda, Bengal tiger, orangutan, black rhinoceros, black spider monkey, Amur leopard, African wild dog, Asian elephant, and a snow leopard.
Animals Of The Continents Bingo - Montessori Nature Printables
I decided to make this bingo game printable when I noticed how much children ages 3-6 enjoyed playing bingo with their classmates in my classroom. I picked the most known animals of the seven continents in this one fun game. All images of animals are very clear on the white background.
Africa, Amazing Africa: Country by Country
Did you know that Uganda is one of the few places on Earth where you will find the endangered Mountain Gorilla?
If this topic interest you and your little one then get ready some fun.
It is hard to find the time to teach your child about the world around them. Luckily, in 40 Facts About, we've made it easy. Our book contains a diverse selection of the most interesting facts, that will provide your child hours of bonding and exploring.
Come discover how the animals of Africa prepare for bed, How they create their space of serenity. Or, what curious conundrums happen instead.
Come along on a journey, where the boisterous and meek share a common space. Follow us on this unique adventure, where irony seems to be commonplace.
Galivant with us through a land synonymous with majesty, accompany us for a memorable trek, now that, I can guarantee.
The Ultimate Book of African Animals
Join this amazing team to learn all about Africa's unique wildlife, including lions, elephants, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, hippos, gorillas, rhinos, and so many more!
With so many species showcased, this book leaves no grain of sand unturned and no jungle unexplored! Inside you'll find animals of all behaviors, shapes and sizes, from the tiny bombardier beetle to the sneaky desert viper to mischievous monkeys and elusive Ethiopian wolves.
My Africa Vacation
Five-year-old Arinze and his older sister Cheta wait impatiently for school to end. Mommy and Daddy have told them this year they’re going to visit Africa. Arinze and Cheta have never visited Africa, but they’ve grown up listening to their parents talk about the wonders of the great continent.
All About Africa! About All African States and Peoples
Kids, welcome to Africa! This is a great picture book that will take you to the beautiful African states and meet the people who call it home. Learn about the sights and sounds of the place. See the animals roaming in the safaris. Learn about the place’s traditions and cultures too. Go ahead and grab a copy today.
A Is for Africa
From A to Z, stunning color photographs depict everyday life in Nigeria, where the author-photographer grew up—but the images pictured also represent the rich diversity of Africa, and the warm family ties and traditional village life found throughout this vast colorful continent.
The Marvelous Mud House: A Story of Finding Fullness and Joy
Ben and his American family live in a hungry ranch house where they are always wanting more. But then they travel far across the world to Kenya and visit the marvelous mud house where George and Mama George live. There, among the mango trees, they discover a marvelous lesson about what it's like to be full of joy instead.
Safari Readers: Giraffes (Safari Readers - Wildlife Books for Kids)
Take your child on a reading adventure with Safari Readers and learn all about Giraffes in this WILD and exciting book series for kids. Packed with ferocious facts, stunning photography and engaging puzzles, your reading safari will be certain to fuel curious young minds and inspire the next generation of nature lovers.
Over in the Grasslands: On an African Savanna
Learning becomes fun with this book about the Africa savanna! In Over in the Grasslands: On an African Savanna, amazing artwork will inspire children in classrooms and at home to appreciate ecology, environment and the world around us!
The perfect habitat book for kids, Over in the Grasslands teaches early learners about the animals of South Africa, and doubles as a fun, interactive, counting book for kids.
Preschool Books About Race: Every Shade of Smile: Kids Books About Race, Diversity & Inclusion for Baby, Toddlers & Preschoolers
This beautiful book is filled with smiles of every shade and helps little ones understand that even though someone’s skin may be a different color, a smile is universal!
This picture book for babies, toddlers and preschoolers features:
Charming rhyming text about the beauty of a smile and how a simple smile can show acceptance, kindness & friendship.
It All Started in Africa
It All Started in Africa takes young children on a journey through generations of African Americans over the course of history. Children will gain a better understanding of African American history as they engage in the concluding discussion questions. They will be challenged to make life better for themselves and for the people around them. Enter into this exciting, interactive experience all the way to its surprising finale!
Mammals of the African Savanna - Animal Book 2nd Grade | Children's Animal Books
Have you ever been to the African Savanna? If you haven't yet, then this is your chance to go! This book will introduce the mammals that live in the African Savanna. There are pictures and select facts that go with each. Having adequate knowledge on animals will shape your child’s appreciation of their natural roles in balancing life on Earth.
The Fantastic World of African Animals - A Children’s Book about Lions, Zebras, Elephants, Giraffes, Hippos & more… An Educational Wildlife Photography Fact Book for Animal Lovers of All Ages
Discover the African Animals that roam our beautiful planet - Written by a "Wildlife Expert" from the African Wildlife Foundation
Written by Craig Sholley, Senior VP of the African Wildlife Foundation, who worked alongside well-known conservationist Dian Fossey, “The Fantastic World of African Animals” helps children learn to respect and understand the wonders of our natural world. Learning about animals is one of the most recommended subjects for children to be exposed to early on. Books like this stay with kids forever and inspire them to grow into animal lovers and maybe even conservationists!
Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa
As a young girl growing up in Kenya, Wangari was surrounded by trees. But years later when she returns home, she is shocked to see whole forests being cut down, and she knows that soon all the trees will be destroyed. So Wangari decides to do something—and starts by planting nine seedlings in her own backyard. And as they grow, so do her plans.