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By Jean Evansearly years consultant and author

Take a trip to Africa where the children can explore rain dances, tie-dye and African landscapes


African tradition

Africa is a fascinating continent with vibrant colours, lively music and rhythms and exciting wildlife. Areas of Africa are very hot with mountains, rainforests, huge deserts and grasslands.

Africa is home to a wide range of different animals and birds, such as giraffes, elephants, lions, ostriches, zebras, antelopes, parrots and eagles, and interesting fruits and vegetables, such as mangoes, coconuts, yams and butternut squashes.

African homes vary from mud and dried straw baked huts in village communities to apartments and houses in large towns and cities. Traditional, brightly-coloured textiles with bold designs are worn by African women. Dancing to lively drum rhythms is a popular pastime. Many people are skilled artists who create jewellery and ornaments from clay and wood.

Suggested resources

Posters, pictures and photographs of African life available from Africa Guide small-world African animals; role-play items such as African outfits available from The Festival Shop appropriate books such as Hot Hippo by Mwenye Hadithi (Hodder). Visit Africa Book Centre for further titles.

1 It’s raining, it’s pouring

Make up rain dances

Physical Development

Movement and Space

Development matters: express themselves through action and sound (16-26 months); respond to rhythm, music and story by means of gesture and movement (22-36 months).

Early learning goal: move with confidence, imagination and in safety.

What you need

Group size: small groups.

Images of the Masai jumping dance available from Google African music – Putumayo has suitable CDs, such as African Playground and African Dreamland; CD player; fabrics with bold African designs – Ebay has a good selection at varying prices.

What to do

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  1. Stephen Grant
    on 19 March 2011


    Sorry, but I found it difficult to read much further after reading that Africa was a country! It’s a continent made up of 53 countries.