Kwanzaa with the Kids: 5 Crafts and Activities
Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration honoring African history and serves to give black people an opportunity to rejoice in their heritage. Whether or not you’re a part of this culture, you and your kids can enjoy getting involved in some fun Kwanzaa activities. How? Here are some suggestions …
Attend a Cultural Performance
A cultural performance, such as the one held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, can really help get your family in the perfect celebrating mood. Enjoy African culture being brought to life through song, dance, and poetry. It's probably something that you and your kids haven't seen yet, so give it a try. It will definitely be something new and different, and it'll give your kids something to remember!
Make Kwanzaa Bracelets
I love this idea! They’re really easy to make, and they look cute too. Typically, they’re made with seven beads (black, green, and red), which are arranged in a particular order to symbolize the principles of Kwanzaa. Find out more about how to make one here. But let's be realistic; if you have teeny, tiny kids, they will most likely use whatever colors scream at them on that particular day. And that's okay too!
Kwanzaa is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in new meal options while exploring and enjoying some African-influenced ingredients. For example, you can try this Turkey and Okra Skillet Dinner recipe. Search around and experience as many delicious Southern-inspired meals as you can this holiday season; and get your kids involved. It will help them learn a few things about cooking, and give you some quality family time together as well. Kwanzaa-themed cupcakes are also fun to decorate. Use the traditional Kwanzaa colors of black, green, and red, and get creative!
Make an African Drum
Sit down with your children and make an African Drum (and some cool music) together. Here are some instructions on how you can go about doing this. You can also listen to some African music to get in the swing of things. It might actually be nice to get away from the typical Christmas music and listen to something more, well, cultural! (I am of the opinion that there are only seven Christmas songs that have an infinite amount of renditions. But, maybe that's just me.)
Make a Kwanzaa Mat
Making a traditional woven Kwanzaa mat, such as this one, can be an exciting and simple family activity. Traditionally, an ear of corn is laid on the mat for each child in the family. There are a number of different methods available online, some using construction paper and some using foam and other materials. I've even seen it done using paper grocery bags! The mat, called a mkeka, is one of the seven symbols of Kwanzaa, so you could discuss this symbol during craft time.
Do you celebrate Kwanzaa? Do you have any additional suggestions for fun ways kids can get involved in the celebration?