Kingdom of Benin Map

Make a wall map showing where the Kingdom of Benin was situated in West Africa, (present-day Nigeria). This project provides a simple visual introduction to a fascinating culture and makes a colourful classroom display.

Skill Level


Time to Make

1 hour

Adult Supervision


Kingdom of Benin Map

Top Tip

Look at a map of Africa as a guide for painting different colours for the jungle and desert areas.

How to Make

Step 1

Kingdom of Benin Map

Step 2

Kingdom of Benin Map

Step 3

Kingdom of Benin Map

    Draw an outline of Africa onto A2 card in pencil, about 40cm in height. You could do this freehand, or print out an A4 Africa image then draw a grid over the top to use as guide to scale it up. Or, print out an A4 image of Africa, divide the paper into 4 equal sections then enlarge and copy each section to A4 size. Stick the 4 pieces together, cut around the outline then draw around the shape onto A2 card.
  1. Pour some yellow, orange and green paint into a mixing tray. Dip a sponge into the yellow paint then start dabbing it over the Africa shape. You should still be able to see the pencil outline through the paint. Dab light green and dark green paint over the middle area and orange across the top. Use a separate piece of sponge for each colour. Leave to dry.
  2. To make a background, tear some long strips of dark and light blue tissue paper. Brush PVA glue onto a piece of A2 card then paste the tissue strips on top. Stick the tissue horizontally across the card with the strips overlapping. Leave to dry.
  3. Select wooden letters to spell ‘KINGDOM OF BENIN’ and ‘AFRICA’, or any other words you choose to add to your map. To paint the letters, stick a strip of double-sided tape onto card, peel off the backing then lightly stick the edge of the letters on top to keep them still. Paint the letters with a Gold Deco paint pen (or a colour you prefer), dry then carefully lift them off the tape.
  4. Cut out the painted Africa shape. Trim off any overhanging tissue strips from the edge on the background. Glue the Africa shape in the middle of the background. If the edges start to curl, stick the whole map onto another sheet of A2 card with long strips of double-sided tape.
  5. Outline the Kingdom of Benin shape on your map in pencil then paint it gold or colour it in with a gold deco pen or use another bright colour. Outline the shape in black pen so it stands out clearly.
  6. Glue the painted wooden letters onto a card panel. You could draw a border or cut a zig zag edge around the lettering. Glue a cut out an arrow onto the map to mark the Kingdom of Benin.
  7. Add animal and sea life stickers onto the map as decoration. Gently curling the roll of stickers makes it easier to peel off the smaller shapes.