Make a Swahili Counting Book Activity

1.5 based on 2 ratings
Updated on Dec 16, 2010

Friends and family will be so impressed when your youngster shows off her knowledge of Swahili in this book filled with pictures of animals found throughout Africa.

Swahili, or “Kiswahili,” is the national language of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is commonly spoken throughout East Africa. About one third of Swahili vocabulary comes from various languages including Arabic, Farsi, German, Portuguese, English and French. In this activity, your child will learn how to count from 1 to 10 in Swahili, learn about African wildlife, and apply those tiny hand muscles.

What You Need:

  • 11 sheets of paper
  • Markers
  • The words for 1 to 10 in Swahili (see step 2 below)
  • A reference about animals that live in Africa
  • Pictures of animals from old magazines or the Internet
  • Computer printer if using Internet pictures or copy machine if using magazine photos
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue
  • Markers
  • Hole Punch
  • Ribbon

What You Do:

  1. Help your child research what types of animals live in Africa. She needs to find 10 different ones. Younger children can use computer or magazine resources to locate pictures of each animal, and older children can draw them by hand.  
  2. Help your child pronounce each number in Swahili and ask her to write them at the top of each page:
    • moja = 1
    • mbili = 2
    • tatu = 3
    • nne = 4
    • tano = 5
    • sita = 6
    • saba = 7
    • nane = 8
    • tisa = 9
    • kumi = 10
  3. For “moja,” or “one,” she only needs a single image of that animal. For “mbili” or “two,” she will need to draw the animal twice or print two copies of it, and so on.
  4. Ask your child to create a cover page for her book, including her name and a title.
  5. Once all the pages are complete, help your child punch two holes at the left side of the book and tie a ribbon through them.