Safari Theme

Pre-K & Preschool theme ideas for learning about African animals.

Find more Wild Animal Activities for Pre-K on the category page.


Check here for a complete list of Safari Animal Books!

Safari Animal Books

Elephant Conga Line

{Large Motor}
Children walk like an elephant on all four legs, trying to keep their balance while lifting a front leg and a back leg. We made a line of elephants and tried walking around the circle as a group.

African Drums

{Art, Music}
This is a good activity to go with the book, Jungle Drums, by Graeme Base. Children make drums out of drink mix cans and use pencils or dowel sticks for drumsticks. A piece of paper is wrapped and glued around the can. Children decorate the drum with animal skin patterns:
Elephant: wrinkled (crumpled) paper painted gray
Zebra: black stripes painted on white paper
Giraffe: brown spots painted on yellow paper
Cheetah: small black spots painted on tan paper
Hippopotamus: painted gray-blue
Rhinoceros: painted gray
Hyena: black and brown spots painted on tan paper
If you don’t have drink mix cans, you can make quiet drums by decorating a paper plate, and use plastic straws for drumsticks.

Handa’s Surprise: Interacting with the Story

{Literacy, Large Motor}
After reading the story, Handa’s Surprise, we talk about how Handa carries fruit to her friend. The children try to balance a basket of play fruit on their head the way Handa did in the story.

Handa's Surprise Book Activity

Class Book: “I Went On Safari”

Children choose an African grasslands animal to draw on the page. Each page says: “I went on safari, and what did I see? I saw a ____ looking at me!” The pages are put together to make the class book.

"I Went on Safari" Class Book

Letter Game

Each child has a strip of paper with about 8 letters on it. Children take turns drawing a letter out of a bag. When a letter is pulled out, everyone stamps out that letter on their paper with a safari animal stamp.

Safari Letter Game

Story Retelling

This is an activity that goes with any theme. Choose a book that goes with the theme, and have the children retell the story.
Read the blog post here for details: story retelling

Tangram Animals

Children match tangrams to the shapes on the tangram mats to make African animals. [These mats came from: Tangram Animals A to Z, by Learning Resources]

Animal Tangrams

Stamp Patterns

Children make patterns with safari animal rubber stamps.

Safari Stamp Patterns

Scent Hunt

We talk about ways lions use their sense of smell. Cotton balls are placed around the room: a few unscented cotton balls and some with scented oil. The children pretend to be lions on the hunt by crawling around, and use their noses to find the scented ones. If you have students with perfume allergies or asthma, be sure to use a natural scented oil, such as peppermint oil.

Lion Scent Hunt

Wild Animal Grid Games

Read about and print the Lion & Elephant Grid Games here.

Wild Animal Grid Games

Elephant Bingo Stamping Game

Read about and print the Elephant Bingo Game here.

Elephant Bingo Stamping Game

Zoo Field Trip Checklist

Read about and print the Zoo Field Trip Checklist here.

Zoo Field Trip Checklist

Wild Animal Printable Books

Find two Wild Animal Printable Books here (see “Lions” and “On Safari”).

Wild Animal Printable Books

Wild Animal Roll & Write Game

Read about and print the Wild Animal Roll & Write Game here.

Safari Animal Picture Cards

Safari Animal Picture Cards

Print the Safari Animal Picture Cards here.

Wild Animal Roll & Write Game


Rhymes that go well with a Safari theme:


Find more Wild Animal Activities for Pre-K on the category page.

More Resources

You might like my Animal Environments Sort & Classify pack, available in my shop.

Wild Animal Environments