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Africa Kid's Page





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Welcome! We are happy that you wanting to learn more about the delightful continent of Africa, its many countries and wonderful people!
We hope you enjoy the African games, discussion and books.

• We would love for you to give us ideas for this kid‘s page.
• Write a book review about an African book.
• Ask an question you always wanted to know about Africa for our "I Wonder" series.
• Have you been to Africa? Share your experience with other kids!
Just send us an email at: "ibike@" our domain name.


Games played in Africa:  Certainly many Africa kids spend a lot more time working as part of their family and looking after siblings (especially girls) than there counterparts in the North, but there is some play as well. Here is a partial list -- the specific differs a little from place to place.

  • Homemade toys from wood, straw, animal skins and bone, stones, found objects, etc.
  • Boys primarily: Rolling hoops, rims, tires ("inkil" in Eritrea); drumming, soccer, basketball, volleyball, kickball, athletics, wrestling (Gambia), boxing (Ghana), bicycling; playing with trucks hand made from wood (palm), wire, tin cans and other found objects; play-dancing masks (Gambia); checkers (with variations), scrabble, parchisi; "aquilone" flying kites (Eritrea); "balabburo" coin toss (Eritrea); "arimando" marble race (Eritrea); "cucinetti" go carts (Eritrea); "kib-kib" hackey-sack (Eritrea); "ashakhakhat alem" "lawn darts" (Eritrea); "Osani" (Efé, NE D.R. Congo).
  • Girls primarily: bicycling, kickball, jump rope, hopscotch (teley-teley in Eritrea);  playing with dolls, often hand-made from wood, cloth, straw and found objects; clamping/kicking game that seems to be akin to rock/paper/scissor (West Africa); "jacks" with stones (no bouncing ball); "fiti fiti" squat jumping (Eritrea);
  • Boys and girls: Hide-and-seek ("Pero" in Yoruba, "Chirchir Abede" in Tigrinya); marbles (not always with marbles; nuts, seeds, stones and dried fruit); dance, singing and music (the instruments vary by region, but various homemade designs of drums, balaphones and stringed instruments (guitars and harps) - some made with tin cans - are common);
  • Everyone: board game with 10 or 12 compartments, played with seeds or stone -- popularized by Disney as mankala, it is an old game, with real names, played across the continent.  Traditional names for it are: gbo walo (Bassa), ma kpo (Mano), tay gbo knongi (Gbandi), mana (Kpelle), wrah (Kru), owari (Twi), ayo (Yoruba), aju (Ewe), wori (Malinke), wosley (Ivory Coast), owela (Oshiwambo), mweso (Luganda), soni (Usambara), bao (Chichawe), Tsoro (Shona), Isafuba (Ndebele)

Africa map. How fast can you match African countries and capital cities? Have a contest with your friends. (This is my favorite African game! - Village Publisher)

Africa Map Games. Note: the Sheppard maps are more complete than the Child Learn maps.

Africa Photos Galleries of photos of animals, people, plants, scenery, towns and more.

Build a Practice Marimba with Kids! Article by Stephen Golovnin  (PDF, 3 pages)

Introduce yourself to Nigerian games, proverbs, music, schooling and more!

Proverbs, Puzzles and Contests!
African Lifestyles: South African Reggae Performer, Kampala Street Kids, Two Year War


Your questions about what Africa is really like.
— Do you have a question about Africa or Africans? Email us your question at: ibike (at) ibike dot org.

Question: What is a normal day like for an African child?

Answer: A normal day for an African child differs from country to country and whether they live in the city or in a rural village. In general children’s days begin early with morning chores and preparing for school. Some children may go to schools far from their homes, so they wake early. Most African schools require uniforms. At school children learn Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and different languages. Children also have playtime. Soccer is a big favorite in Africa. In the afternoons children go home to do chores, homework or play in their communities.
Answer courtesy Harambee Centre staff. Harambee Centre travels to Oregon and southwest Washington schools to talk about Africa. Visit their organization and kid’s books at

• Have you been to Africa? Share your experience with other kids! Email us for details at: "ibike@" our domain name.


Always make sure an adult is supervising you when you are cooking!

Recipes from 26 African countries and regions; plus how meals are served in several countries.

What's for dinner in Africa?

There are many languages in Africa. Kiswahili is a language used throughout eastern Africa, including Kenya.

Kiswahili greeting: Jambo! Habari?
English translation: Hello! How are you?


The following Africa-positive books are recommended for children.

Nonfiction Books

Kofi and His Magic Kofi and His Magic by Maya Angelou

My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken, and Me My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken, and Me by Maya Angelou

Count Your Way through Africa Count Your Way through Africa by James Haskins

Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions by Margaret Musgrove

A is for Africa A is for Africa by Ifeoma Onyefulu

Ogbo: Sharing Life in an African Village Ogbo: Sharing Life in an African Village by Ifeoma Onyefulu

Made in West Africa by Christine Price

Picture Books

It Takes a Village It Takes a Village by Jane Cowan-Fletcher

Song of Six Birds Song of Six Birds by Rene Deetlefs

Bintou's Braids Bintou's Braids by Sylviane Diouf

Africa Dream Africa Dream by Eloise Greenfield

Safari Animals Safari Animals by Paul Hess

Faraway Home Faraway Home by Jane Kurtz

Only a Pigeon Only a Pigeon by Jane Kurtz

Jafta and the Wedding Jafta and the Wedding by Hugh Lewin

Beatrice's Goat, by Page McBrier

Goodnight Kuu~Kuu: My Cozy All Day Village Safari, by Wamoro Njenga

Chidi Only Likes Blue: An  African Book of Colours Chidi Only Likes Blue: An African Book of Colours by Ifeoma Onyefulu

Day Gogo Went to Vote: South Africa, April 1994 Day Gogo Went to Vote: by Elinor Batezat Sisulu

Gugu's House Gugu's House by Catherine Stock

When Africa Was Home When Africa Was Home by Karen Lynn Williams

Halala Means Welcome: A Book of Zulu Words Halala Means Welcome: A Book of Zulu Words by Ken Wilson-Max

Furaha Means Happy!: A Book of Swahili Words Furaha Means Happy!: A Book of Swahili Words by Ken Wilson-Max

Picture Book Authors
Each author has written at least three children's books with an African Theme:
Niki Daly
Ann Grifalconi
Virginia Kroll
Won-Ldy Paye

Juvenile Fiction

Song of Be Song of Be by Lesley Beake

The Lion's Tale by Douglas F Davis

Girl Named Disaster Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer

Somehow Tenderness Survives: Stories of Southern Africa Other Side of Truth by Beverley Naidoo

Somehow Tenderness Survives: Stories of Southern Africa Somehow Tenderness Survives: Stories of Southern Africa by Hazel Rochman

For annotations and critiques on more children's materials on Africa go to Africa Access.


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