Who Am I? African Safari Matching Game and 3-part Cards

Before I started this blog, my husband and I lived in Botswana for over a year.  During that time, nothing was more thrilling then getting to go into the wilderness on a Safari.  We were cheap, young, and crazy, so we went alone into the pan to see what we could see.  We have great memories of that time, and would love to introduce those animals to our kids someday.

Before we dive into the printables that I made, I wanted to share some of my favorite books and toys for learning about an African safari.  The plastic animals are great for sensory bins, outside play, bath time, and anytime.  My kids drag their animal toys everywhere!

Earlier this month, I participated in Preschool Powol Packets' Summer Camp Round Up with a post about Insects and their life cycles.  Today, I'm doing another DIY summer camp post for Safari week!  Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see everyone else's content.

I enjoyed making this printable so much and remembering our time in Botswana with this collection of Safari animals.  One of the thrills of a safari as compared to a trip to the zoo is that you never know what you'll see or if you will see anything.  As I was reflecting on that experience, I decided that a matching game would be a good printable for Safari week.

The PDF comes with two versions of difficulty in the matching game  The hard version asks kids to match the animal to a part of the animal.  For example, a red bear-like nose is matched with a baboon.  I recommend not playing this as a normal matching game (with all the cards turned over) until the players are familiar with all the animal pictures and know all their names.  Instead, kids could have the animal cards in front of themselves and match the pictures to each other.

The easy version of the game has kids just match the whole picture of the animal to another whole picture.  Both games have extra pages for printing the cards two sided to make them less transparent.  I recommend printing on cardstock and laminating them for durability.  I have also included a label for an Altoid tin, which can be used to store the games.

In South Africa, everyone talks about trying to see the "Big Five" animals, which are lion, elephant, cape buffalo, cheetah, and rhinoceros.  Of course, the matching game can be played the normal way where the winner is the person to get the most matches.  In keeping with the Big Five safari theme, I thought that the matching game rules could also have the winner be the person with the most "Big Five" animals.

While I was working on all these matching games, I thought that it might be a good idea to make some Montessori-inspired 3-part Cards with the names of all the animals on them.  The 3-part cards allow children to identify the creatures and learn to spell their names.  I thought it might help adults, too.

There are twenty animal cards including the lionzebrarhinocerosbaboon ⟰ warthoggemsbokmeerkatcape buffalohyena ⟰ springbok ⟰ elephantkuduhippopotamusostrichcheetahcrocodilehornbillgiraffewildebeestAfrican wild dog.  Click on the colored text to buy plastic animals that match the 3-part cards!

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I've gotten excited about making more safari printables in the future.  In fact, even as I was writing this post, I decided to add a few African animal camouflage picture cards.  They can be printed and examined by the child or posted on the wall to show kids how well the animals blend into their surroundings.  I'm sure I'll be adding more later this summer so check back for more fun learning ideas.

For more Safari-themed activities, click the picture!

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  1. Love this idea! There are so a many different animals to learn and this provides a perfect way to do it.


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