Do you know anything about Niger? About the people who live there? Besides knowing that Niger was located in Africa, I didn’t know much more. When Samaritan’s Purse shared their heart for helping the people of Guidan Gado village, I knew I wanted to help spread the word about their new Raise a Village campaign. Samaritan’s Purse hopes to implement projects that will directly improve livestock and food production, increase household income, and expand access to clean water for the people of Guidan Gado village.
Of course I wanted to teach my children a little about Niger too. Several of my blogger friends (see the link list below) worked together to create ideas for children of all ages to learn more about Niger. I am sharing some ways to introduce this country to your littlest ones– toddlers and preschoolers.
Niger Preschool Unit Ideas:
With my younger children I focused on teaching them general facts about Niger. I wanted them to know where Niger was located on a map, identify the flag of Niger, and learn some facts about animals of Niger.
We learned that the people of Niger are described as Nigeriens, as opposed to the people of Nigeria, which are Nigerians. I also pointed out that Niger and Nigeria are two different countries.
Finding Niger on a Map:
Even young children can learn where to find things on a map—especially if it is color-coded! When we eat dinner, we like to play a “What country am I thinking about?” game. The person who is “it” gives hints about where the country is located. This past week our mystery country was Niger. Every day we review where to find Niger on the map. We discuss that Niger is a country on the continent of Africa (don’t be worried if your toddler or preschooler does not grasp the concepts of continents, countries, states etc.) After a couple of days even my toddler could find Niger on our world map.
We also own a shower-curtain map of the world. I love to use this map with children. It’s a great hands-on tool to use for kinetic learners. Place the map on the floor and do some of the following activities:
- Jump from North America to Africa (We also jump on all the continents while singing “North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, Africa, Antartica –these are the continents– (ad) song by Geography Songs — disclaimer the music gets on my nerves but my kids have learned their continents!)
- Make a paper airplane and try to land it in Niger
- Place a piece of paper over the country of Niger and trace it
- Place a small plastic bottle on Africa and roll a bouncy ball and try to knock the pin down.
Printable Niger Puzzle
I created a printable puzzle of Niger– an easy version with number strips and a slightly harder one. I printed out a black and white version of the puzzle as a control mat to help my preschooler know where to put the pieces. The background of the puzzle contains the colors of the flag of Niger (Be sure to see Mama Jenn’s flag ideas!)
Animals of Niger Activity Box
Sometimes I just wander the Dollar Store and purchase items for a theme and really don’t know what I’m going to do with them. I found these cute bouncy balls, glow-in-the-dark safari animals, and jungle animal flash cards at the Dollar Tree and Target Dollar Spot. I purchased a petal paint plate and added tongs to the bin. My thought was that my toddler could practice transferring the balls onto the petal tray, that my 4 year old could match glow-in-the -dark animals and that my 6 year old could read the animal facts on the cards. The girls couldn’t wait for the activity tray. They did all the activities above plus came up with one on their own!
They turned a plastic shoe-box over on its side and placed 3 cards standing up. Then they rolled the balls and tried to knock down the cards! If a card was knocked down, that person had to tell one fact they learned about the animal. You can find a list of animals of Niger here, plus Amber from Classic Housewife is sharing additional Niger animal activity ideas!
More Niger Unit Study Ideas:
In support of the Raise a Village campaign, I am part of a team of homeschool educators who are partnering with Samaritan’s Purse to bring you an educational unit study of Niger. Visit the blogs below to see more ideas for studying Niger. While learning about Niger, please pray for the work that Samaritan’s Purse is doing there and how you can help.
Amber fromClassic Housewife
Amy from Milk and Cookies
Carlie from Beautiful Motherhood
Erica from Confessions of a Homeschooler
Jennifer from Mama Jenn
Jimmie from Jimmie’s Collage
Jolanthe from Homeschool Creations
Mary from Homegrown Learners
Maureen from Spell Outloud
As a member of iHomeschool Network’s Samaritan’s Purse Blogger Team, I write about the ministry on a volunteer basis. All posts are my own thoughts and do not necessarily reflect the views of Samaritan’s Purse. I am not on employee, agent, or contractor of Samaritan’s Purse.