Love From Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke

Fast and Easy Extension Activities for Love From Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke

These are again arranged by chapter, rather than according to the schedule, to avoid copyright infringement.  These should all be fairly easy and inexpensive projects, crafts, and ideas to incorporate. I had a little more trouble with this second book, so you might wish to look at the first Anna Hibiscus book for more ideas, as well as the rest of the Anna Hibiscus Chapter Book series (there are also picture books). This book has great missions potential, so most of my ideas revolve around various types of mission work children can get involved in on some level.  

ABC and 123

Visit a relative

Discuss jobs your child does around the house to help it run smoothly

Set up a play school to teach siblings, neighbors, or stuffed animals

Discuss how classrooms sort children by age

Discuss events that happened in your child’s birth year in your neighborhood, state, or country

Tell your children how they got their name and what is special about it

Play Follow-the-Leader

If you have the space and materials, play with a slingshot, trying to hit objects

Talk to your child about what they want to be when they grow up


Talk about missionary workers who specialize in helping underprivileged children: teachers, grocery stores or food dispensation services, etc.  For example, our mission provides lower cost food to people who can not afford full price.  Farmers, ranchers, and gardeners also often help out.
If you would like a great mission to donate to that doesn’t get much advertising, and the founders also homeschooled for years using Sonlight (all their children are now grown, and a second generation is now using Sonlight as well), which provides teachers, school supplies, shoes, and food to the very poor in Guatemala, consider looking into the Manna4Lampira program by Sowers4Pastors (I am not affiliated with this group at all, and none of the donations would go to me.  This is a totally different service provided by a totally different family). They also have a child sponsorship program, along with many other programs. There are many other programs out there, but I like supporting another Sonlight family. 🙂 Food pantries are especially hard hit right now, and could use extra support.  

Anna Hibiscus Catches a Thief

Go shopping.  Buy some bananas. If possible, let your child try carrying them in a basket on their head for a while.  

Play tag

Discuss safety and manners: running away, running through the market, chasing someone because you are angry, going into houses without permission, etc. 

Make rice with palm-oil stew. Roast plantains and yams or any number of other African-based recipes.

Deliver food to someone who could use a meal: family going through a death or tragedy, new neighbor, neighbor moving out, elderly person, etc.

Practice making and accepting apologies

Mission connection: talk about careers in missions that could help Sunny Belafonte with his housing situation. Many missionaries build houses, roads, bridges, schools, churches, wells, and more.  The missionary service I mentioned above also helps build bridges to help connect communities separated by huge mountain passes, among their many services.  Your family might like to support one of these services or look into them more as future career opportunities. Many people can volunteer to help build these items as a family.  I know quite a few families who have visited the mission in Guatemala to help build bridges, for example. 

Help Sunny

Discuss modest dress for your household. Does your household allow children to dress as Joy did? If so, what should they do if they meet a person from a household that does not allow that type of dress?  How should they react if someone tells them they can’t wear a bathing suit or Family emergency numbers

Mission connection: Sunny needed help getting to the doctor’s clinic. There are many people who work in missions helping things get to where they need to be. These include truck drivers, plane pilots, helicopter pilots (both getting supplies to hard to reach or far away places), taxi services for the poor, bus services (many churches in the US have a bus/van service to pick up members who can’t drive or need extra help getting to church), people who work in shipping and freight, and especially churches and families who donate the money and supplies to be moved. Your family might already be giving to missions and helping to get goods and services to people who need them. Share this with your children, where your money or goods are going, and what good they are doing. Examples of easy projects your child might like to try to get more involved: many hospitals and other places accept donations of used clothing, or baby blankets (your child can help hand sew hems around pieces of fabric, or use a knotting method to create blankets or other supplies), gently used toys, etc. Emergency services to place infants in foster care can always use donations of infant equipment and supplies, such as leftover diapers a child outgrew. 

Anything is Possible

Talk about worry and anxiety with your children. Many children hold in their worries or don’t share their anxieties all the time. Discuss how to share what’s wrong and let them know you want to help them with their worries. Share a few of your lighter worries with your children, so they can see this is normal and that sharing helps. 

Look for causes or events in your community your child might like to help support by dictating a letter or joining a campaign. 

Mission Connection: many missions help keep children healthy and alive. Adoptive parents, foster parents, orphanages and children’s homes, medical clinics and hospitals. Pharmacies, research scientists, social workers, and many others help to take care of children with family who can’t take care of them for a little while, or who have no family. Missions can be found anywhere. There are also services and mission workers who take care of the sick or the elderly. Again, doctors and such, but also care workers, home health aides, nursing homes, and hospice services, to name a few. By discussing job opportunities that have a specific mission focus, you can start your child on the path to thinking about incorporating missions as a part of their future, whether that be in building houses or graphic designers who create websites for missionaries to solicit donations. Whatever job they choose, they can choose to use part of that job to help others in need. 

After the Book

While I have not found a good movie about Africa yet that imitates the life of Anna Hibiscus, there are several other books in this series. If your child liked this one, they might like many of the others. (affiliate links enclosed)

Anna Hibiscus series in order: (based on what I found online, series is out of print, so prices vary wildly at times)

  1. Splash, Anna Hibiscus
  2. Go Well, Anna Hibiscus
  3. Have Fun, Anna Hibiscus
  4. Anna Hibiscus’ Song
  5. Double Trouble for Anna Hibiscus
  6. You’re Amazing, Anna Hibiscus
  7. Good Luck, Anna Hibiscus
  8. Hooray for Anna Hibiscus
  9. Welcome Home, Anna Hibiscus
  10. Anna Hibiscus

Love from Anna Hibiscus other article of clothing because of their beliefs. If your household does not allow that type of clothing, discuss what one should do if they meet someone who does. What would be the polite thing to do in that situation? Discuss how on the mission field, they might run into many different types of dress, from those who are very modest, to those who barely wear anything, and everything in between. 

Practice tying head scarfs if you have enough fabric. This video has some easy styles, a couple of which looked distinctly African in nature, but many are seen all over. I specifically chose a video that suited something Anna’s family might wear but didn’t look overly difficult to do. The video also includes a link to a place you can order head scarfs like hers.

What to do in case of an emergency: If they don’t respond, call 911.  How to check for a fever. Simple tricks/techniques to bring down a fever: ice pack, cool compress, tepid bath, etc. 

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