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Safari Fun - A Theme for Your Preschool Classroom

written by: Akili Amina • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 1/20/2012

What is school, if it isn't fun? Well, how about bringing a safari right to your classroom? Bring the wonderment of jungle animals to life with this preschool safari theme.

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    Teaching small children is a job that comes with the benefit of instant feedback in the form of hugs and laughter. Children in this age group are still in the age of 'awe', meaning they still have some innocence when it comes to our life and learning their world. Children who are preschool age will react in a way that is really a pleasure for any teacher to see.

    This preschool safari theme is full of classroom excitement. Your students will learn about Africa and its exotic animals while they create their own artwork.

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    Suggested Reads:

    Here are several suggested reads to support your preschool safari theme. These fun books are all based on the theme of the safari and it's animal kingdom:

    Starry Safari, by Linda Ashman (author) and Jack Mack (illustrator), who has received rave reviews by several customers on her wonderful achievement. One of her fans, had this to say about her feat," My 2 year old can't get enough of this book. We have continually checked this book out of our library...every night he'd ask us to read it. This book has a great story and vivid illustrations. Can't live with out it!" [1] This book is said to be one that will engage children, by bringing them into the world of the wild.

    Way Far Away on a Wild Safari, by Jan Peck (author) and Valeria Petrone (illustrator), whose book was also reviewed by those who were simply flabbergasted by it's appeal and had this to say about their work, " Way Far Away on a Wild Safari is the third excellent book in Jan Peck's "Way" series. There is a reason these books were plugged on the PBS website. Jan's wonderful verse, and Valeria Petrone's masterful illustrations introduce little ones to reading, African animals, and rhyme. Do your child a favor and buy he/she all three of the titles." [2]

    We All Went On Safari, by Laurie Krebs (author) and Julia Cairns (illustrator), is said to be a book that will have your children counting to ten, while learning the Swahilli language. They will speak the language in reference to numbers and even animals, their customers were excited about the book and stated,"An excellent book, which has been written by a very talented author." [3]

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    Fun Activities

    Discussion - After reading your selection of books, this will be a great time for reviewing the children on what they have just learned from the book or books. You should allow them talk about what they think they would experience if they were to go on a safari. Allow them describe the sounds they think they would hear or make sounds of certain animals and have them tell you which animal they think it is. Prompt them talk about their favorite characters from the book and tell you why they chose them. Don't forget to talk about what the eating habits or their environment overall.

    Safari Gear - Gather old newspapers and cut them in strips and use the strips to create the paper mache pulp. Collect two toilet paper holders, tie them together using string. Next, have the children lather their binoculars with the wet newspaper and mold their binoculars into shape. When the binoculars are dry, allow the children to paint them in their favorite colors. Tie kite string on each side by punching a small hole and tying it in a knot. As an added touch, cover the binoculars with animal stickers or write their names on them. Buy their safari hats and they are ready for exploring!

    Jungle - Using the CD "Sounds of the Jungle, Plain & Bush", allow students to wear their preschool safari theme gear and explain that they are safari explorers whose job it is to name the animals they hear. They will love the interaction between the sound effects and their imagination!

    Painting - On over-sized pieces of paper allow the children to prepare for painting by bringing old shirts to wear backward to protect their clothing. Using finger paint, let them draw their interpretation of a jungle animal. Hang them in class to dry. Once dried, let the children stand before the class and tell a quick story of their artwork.

    Everyone - no matter the age - loves to have fun while they learn, and your students will show you how ecstatic they are to learn about animals with this preschool safari theme. Whenever you equate fun with education, you are helping to shape your students into life-long learners!

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    References

    Cited Sources:

    [1] "Customer Reviews: Starry Safari". Amazon.com. June 22. 2009 <http://www.palomar.edu/dsps/actc/mla/http://www.amazon.com/Starry-Safari-Linda-Ashman/product-reviews/0152047662/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1>.

    [2] "Customer Reviews: Way Far Away on a Wild Safari". Amazon.com. June 22. 2009 <http://www.amazon.com/Way-Far-Away-Wild-Safari/product-reviews/1416900721/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1>.

    [3] "Customer Reviews: We All Went On Safari". Amazon.com. June 22. 2009 <http://www.amazon.com/All-Went-Safari-Laurie-Krebs/product-reviews/184148119X/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1>.