African themed activities and projects for kids

Updated March 23, 2017

One way to teach children about different cultures is to involve them in multicultural projects and activities. If you would like to interest kids in the African continent, you can engage them in African-themed games and crafts. Kids can learn about different African cultures and geography through crafts, physical activities and online games.

Corn Necklace

Draw five individual corncob shapes on a piece of cardboard then cut them out. Use a hole punch to punch a hole in the wider end of each of the corn shapes. Lay the corn shapes in a row on a table and thread one long piece of coloured yarn through each corn shape to connect all of them with the yarn. Purchase corncobs from the grocery store and pull off the husks then glue one piece of corn husk to the top of each cardboard corn. On the front of the cardboard corn shapes, glue pieces of real corn from the corncobs that you purchased. Let the necklace dry before wearing it.


Bokwele is a game played in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Divide kids into two equal teams and have each team draw a circle on the ground with chalk. Give each team a set of objects to place in their circles. For example, you can give one team a set of marbles and another team a set of stones. The object of the game is for one team to steal all of the other team's objects without being tagged. Kids should run around shouting "Bokwele" while trying to steal the other team's objects. Kids who are tagged must remove themselves from the game. The first team to steal all of the other team's objects wins the game.

Cave Art and Activity Sheets

Kids can create art that resembles African cave art. To make sandpaper art, purchase pieces of coarse sandpaper from the craft or hardware store. Have the kids draw directly onto the sandpaper sheets with crayons. They can colour African animals, such as elephants, lions or rhinoceros, or they can draw people. Another idea for kids is to print out African-themed activity sheets. On the Enchanted Learning website, kids can print out maps of Africa and fill in the countries and rivers.

Poison Game

The Poison game comes from South Africa and relates to people's use of poisonous berries to dye cloths. In this game, children form a large circle around a person that they designate as "It." Before the game begins, one person should place a cloth, representing poison, in the circle, along with the person who is "It." The person who is "It" picks another person, the "Thief," to enter the centre of the circle. Both "It" and the "Thief" try to see who can grab the "poison" cloth first. Whoever grabs the cloth must run back to the empty spot in the circle left by the "Thief." If the person who is "It" tags the "Thief" before he gets to the outside of the circle, then the "Thief" becomes the new "It."

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About the Author

Julia Drake has been writing since 2007 when she had her first article published in “The Beltane Papers.” She received her Bachelor of Arts in women studies from the University of Washington. She recently completed her Master of Arts in women’s spirituality at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.