I don't know a lot about Kwanzaa, but when my son came home from school with two Kwanzza crafts, I thought it would be a good time to learn a bit myself! momstown believe it's important to learn about celebrations from cultures all over the world - because most of the time they are also right here at home.
What is Kwanzaa?
Kwanzaa is a fairly new tradition, first celebrated in 1966-67. It is a week long celebration honoring universal African-American heritage and culture, observed from December 26 to January 1 each year. It features activities such as lighting a candle holder with seven candles and culminates in a feast and gift giving.
The colouring above that my son made at school, is of a Kinara. It holds seven candles, one lit each day of the Kwanzza celebration. The black candle in the middle is lit first, and it represents the people. The three red candles represent the struggles. The three green candles represent the future and hope. There is an interactive way to light the candles too - click here.
Download a printable kinara that young children can colour as they learn about the different candles and what they represent.
A Kwanzaa hug
This scissor-and-glue craft speaks to the feeling of celebration and unity that Kwanzza represents.
What you need:
- Construction paper (brown, green, red)
- Black yarn
Cut out a circle for a face and trace and cut out handprints. Use construction paper to complete the face (children can draw eyes, nose. mouth or cut out and glue on the shapes). Glue on yarn for hair.
Fold a long strip of construction paper in three. Glue the handprints on as shown.
On the front, have children write (or cut out stencils) "This is a..."
And on the inside "Kwanzza hug!"
We've found some great Kwanzaa songs, too, sung to familiar tunes:
Sing a Song of Kwanzaa
Tune: “Sing A Song of Six Pence”
Sing a song of Kwanzaa
For seven nights long.
Light a Kwanzaa candle
As each night comes along.
Celebrate first harvest
And for unity.
That’s the way to celebrate
With friends and family!
by Jean Warren
Do you have a Kwanzza craft or activity to share?