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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
• Have you been to Africa? Share your experience with other kids!
Just send us an email at: "ibike@" our domain name.
» AFRICAN FUN AND GAMES
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
- 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
coin toss (Eritrea); "arimando"
marble race (Eritrea); "cucinetti"
go carts (Eritrea); "kib-kib"
hackey-sack (Eritrea); "ashakhakhat
alem" "lawn darts" (Eritrea);
- 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),
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.
www.sheppardsoftware.com/African_Geography.htm 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)
Browse information about land, languages, people, games. Features African
Play a thumb piano, make a Mask, listen to a Swahili Folktale, visit
Introduce yourself to Nigerian games, proverbs, music, schooling and
Proverbs, Puzzles and Contests!
African Lifestyles: South African Reggae Performer, Kampala Street Kids, Two
» I WONDER...
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 www.harambeecentre.org
• Have you been to Africa? Share your experience with other kids! Email
us for details at: "ibike@" our domain name.
» AFRICAN RECIPES
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?
» AFRICAN LANGUAGE
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?
» AFRICAN CHILDREN'S BOOKS
The following Africa-positive books are recommended for children.
Kofi and His Magic by Maya Angelou
My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken, and Me by Maya Angelou
Count Your Way through Africa by James Haskins
Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions by Margaret Musgrove
A is for Africa by Ifeoma Onyefulu
Ogbo: Sharing Life in an African Village by Ifeoma Onyefulu
Made in West Africa by Christine Price
It Takes a Village by Jane Cowan-Fletcher
Song of Six Birds by Rene Deetlefs
Bintou's Braids by Sylviane Diouf
Africa Dream by Eloise Greenfield
Safari Animals by Paul Hess
Faraway Home by Jane Kurtz
Only a Pigeon by Jane Kurtz
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 by Ifeoma Onyefulu
Day Gogo Went to Vote: by Elinor Batezat Sisulu
Gugu's House by Catherine Stock
When Africa Was Home by Karen Lynn Williams
Halala Means Welcome: A Book of Zulu Words by Ken Wilson-Max
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
Song of Be by Lesley Beake
The Lion's Tale by Douglas F Davis
Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer
Other Side of Truth by Beverley Naidoo
Somehow Tenderness Survives: Stories of Southern Africa by Hazel Rochman
For annotations and critiques on more children's
materials on Africa go to