Kwanzaa activities are a way for kids to learn about African-American culture. They can even be a creative way for you to teach your children about Kwanzaa and its seven principles.
Here are some great Kwanzaa Activities for Preschoolers and DIY Kwanzaa crafts that can make a big impact on any child. The activity also allows you the flexibility of creating something meaningful and lasting with your own hands.
What is Kwanzaa?
Kwanzaa is a holiday celebrated by African Americans and others that is intended to remember the sacrifices of African ancestors, and create in their honor.
Kwanzaa is a holiday that is celebrated by people of African descent. Kwanzaa falls on December 26th and 27th every year and lasts for seven days. The name of the holiday comes from the Swahili word “kuanza,” which means “first fruits.”
Kwanzaa is a celebration of family, community, and culture that focuses on nine principles that include unity, self-determination, collective work, and responsibility, cooperation, purposeful change/growth, creativity/faith/spirituality, love, and compassion for humanity/the earth.
Knee-High Kwanzaa – Preschooler’s Activity Guide
Knee-High Kwanzaa is an adorable activity guide that teaches children about the meaning of the Kwanzaa holiday. The creators are advocating for a safe, early introduction of Kwanzaa as a means to introduce children to the African American faith.
In this activity guide, you’ll find lots of fun things your child will love doing. Some include counting and reciting their colors, activities that teach children about life, and even math skills!
Each activity is designed with preschoolers in mind and can be completed by them or by adults. A few examples include: playing “Blessing Game,” “Singing with Your Bells,” “Make It Magical” and more!
How to Celebrate Kwanzaa with Preschoolers?
Kids can celebrate it with friends and family by making crafts and playing games while they explore African traditions in their way.
The following are some ways to celebrate Kwanzaa with preschoolers:
- Play an African-themed game such as Sankofa or Balabala
- Make a Kwanzaa craft (such as a garland)
- Set up a Kwanzaa celebration with family and friends, including traditional foods such as spicy chili sauce, sweet potato pie, and fried chicken
Kwanzaa Activities for Preschoolers
Here are some fun, festive activities that you can do with your preschoolers on Kwanzaa:
1. Ice Castle Building
Creating an Ice Castle is a festive activity that creates a winter wonderland inside your home.
Let children use wax paper to make their pattern and follow the cutout sheet while they build their ice castle. Wax paper can be found at any arts and crafts store.
Have children put designs on their ice castles with colored icing or frosting, sprinkles or candy pieces, or dabs of chocolate fondant.
2. Kwanzaa Jar for Preschoolers
Fill jars with treats for each child to enjoy during the celebration – from cornbread mix to rice cereal, dried cranberries and raisins, molasses cookies, orange slices, and more!
3. Kwanzaa Egg-Carton Kinara Craft
This is a Kwanzaa egg-carton kinara craft that is designed for kids’ activities. While one of the principle celebrations of Kwanzaa is the holiday’s feast, a significant part of it centers around the seven candles on Kinara.
The candles are lit on these religious symbols and reflect our faith in them. They also help to light up your life and remind you of your values. These are important aspects that must be taken into consideration when crafting a kinara for your celebration.
4. Make a Paper Plate Kwanzaa Kinara & Mishumaa Saba
Making a Paper Plate Kwanzaa Kinara is a tradition of making an African-style round paper plate in honor of the day, which is then decorated with fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
While Mishumaa Saba is a step designed to show unity by alternating between white and chocolate-colored paper plates.
5. Make Kwanzaa Felt Board
Create an eight-point felt board craft with a Kwanzaa theme that you would like to share
- A banner where you can put your child’s name or another name for the craft
- A Kwanzaa tree skirt for decoration
- Eight felt circles – one for each of the seven principles
- Eight markers or crayons – one for each principle
- One piece of red tissue paper – used as decoration and also used to wrap gifts
6. Make a Kwanzaa Fingerprint a Corn on the Cob
The Muhindi Craft is a hand-crafted corn on the cob that symbolizes the unity of all people. This particular craft is best done by children, but adults are also encouraged to try their hands at it.
It can be made with many variations and ingredients; however, it is not recommended to use red-colored corn cobs.
7. Kwanzaa Necklace Craft
The Kwanzaa Necklace Craft is a project for parents to make a necklace for their child during the Kwanzaa celebrations. It is a project that will help teach kids about the culture and customs of this African-American cultural holiday.
Also Read: 11 Cool Dog Crafts for Preschoolers
The Kwanzaa Necklace Craft is easy to do, and kids will love it. The materials that are needed are an old t-shirt and a string or yarn. You will also need construction paper, glue, and scissors.
The origins of this tradition are disputed, with varying claims of its history. The most widely accepted story tells that the first day of Kwanzaa was December 26, 1966, when seven African-American students gathered in the living room of activist Stokely Carmichael to celebrate their new black identity and culture.
The colors of Kwanzaa are red, black, green, and yellow. These colors represent the Pan-African colors of the continent of Africa. Children when involved in such activities will learn the values of this culture. They must be taught the right ways of celebrating the festivities while learning the rituals and ideas behind them.