African-American Art Activities for Kids

By Anne Kinsey, eHow Contributor

Making African-American art projects can be a great way for kids of all ages to learn about their heritage or the heritage of others. Participating in hands-on craft activities can encourage kids to converse with one another about African-American cultures and history. Art projects can then be displayed as a way to display the talent of the children and encourage them to continue thinking about what they learned.

    Homemade Shakeres

  1. Shakeres are African rattles that are used as percussion instruments. They are usually made out of gourds, but the children can make them using old plastic bottles. Have the children use a funnel to put one-half cup of dried beans into each bottle. Replace the cap, so the children can paint the outside of their bottles. After the paint has dried, put on some fun music, and have the children dance around the room while shaking their shakeres.
  2. Black History T-Shirts

  3. Black history T-shirts give kids a chance to showcase their favorite black history hero on an outline of a T-shirt. Trace outlines of T-shirts onto white paper. Next, print pictures of black history heroes such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Harriet Tubman. The kids can color the pictures, cut them out and paste them onto the front of the T-shirts.
  4. Print African-American Greeting Cards

  5. If your kids have access to computer printers, consider having them print out free African-American greeting cards. The children can color the cards and display them on the walls or give them to friends and family members. Printable African-American cards may feature famous persons in history, Africa-inspired designs or artwork created by African-American artists.
  6. Time-Line Bulletin Board

  7. Teach the children about African-American history using a time-line and then assign each child a piece of the time-line on which to focus. Each child can then create a drawing of her or his part of the time-line. They might use printed photos, crayons and markers to help them design their part of the time-line. Once completed, all parts of the time-line can be displayed on a bulletin board.

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