South Africa’s landscape and wildlife, flag and national symbols lend themselves to a wide variety of craft projects for children of all ages and abilities. Incorporate symbols of South Africa into arts and crafts to make learning about the country more fun for children while encouraging creativity.
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Study the South African flag and you will see that the different coloured sections are all simple geometric shapes. By creating all the coloured shapes individually, whether from fabric or paper, you can create a fun puzzle for children to put back together in the correct arrangement. You need red, white, blue, green, yellow and black card stock or felt fabric (or any non-fraying fabric) and a picture of the South African flag for reference. Either trace the shapes—a black isosceles triangle, a green Y-shape, red and blue trapezoids and narrow bands of white and yellow—or calculate the necessary dimensions. This project is ideal for children who are learning about different shapes and angles. To make the puzzle a little more complex, divide the shapes into smaller component shapes, for example, divide the red and blue trapezoids into rectangles and triangles. To assemble the puzzle when using card stock shapes, just position them together on a table. With fabric shapes you can add a hook-and-eye tape trim along adjoining edges, which allows you to create a functional flag from the puzzle.
South African Safari Scene
South Africa is a famous destination for wildlife safaris, home to many interesting animals that children will be familiar with from storybooks. Incorporate the wildlife of South Africa into an art project by drawing or tracing some native animals. First draw a background to resemble a South African landscape, or alternatively cut a picture of South Africa from a magazine or travel brochure and glue it to your paper background. Children can draw their own animals, or copy or trace them from books. Cut the animals out and arrange them on the background. Include the national animal of South Africa, the springbok (a species of antelope), and the national bird, the blue crane, along with elephants and lions. Also consider some of the more unexpected South African species, such as the African jackass penguin.
Paper King Protea
The national flower of South Africa is the king protea, a distinctive flower with a large head surrounded by a spiky crown of petals. Make a paper version of a king protea using whatever craft supplies you have on hand. For the crown, use a coffee filter painted orange, red or pink, tissue paper or regular paper and cut triangle shapes along the outer edge. For the head, use a disc of cardboard, the bottom of a yoghurt carton or a rounded plastic lid from a convenience store fountain drink. Cover the head with white cotton balls or white paper and add a stem. You could use a green pipe cleaner, a drinking straw or dowel wrapped with green paper, or a green garden stake.
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