Kwanzaa is an African-American cultural celebration that is observed each year from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. It is a time when family and friends can come together to celebrate their heritage. Art activities are a creative way to engage children as you prepare for your celebration, or to teach them about Kwanzaa and African-American culture.
Paper Kwanzaa Candles
Red, green and black are the traditional colors of Kwanzaa. Red represents the blood that has been shed by African ancestors. Green represents the land of Africa itself, which is a symbol of hope. Black represents the African people. Use these colors to make a paper Kwanzaa candle decoration.
Take a cardboard toilet paper roll. Cut strips of construction paper in traditional Kwanzaa colors: red, black and green. Glue the strips around the paper roll to make stripes.
Stuff some red- or green-colored tissue paper into the tube. Cut out a piece of yellow paper in the shape of a flame. Glue the flame to a toothpick. Insert the other end of the toothpick into the tissue paper inside the roll so that the paper flame sticks out the top of the candle.
Create some festive Kwanzaa cards by using maps of African nations. Not only will this make a nice greeting card, it will also help introduce children to countries in Africa and their flags.
Take a piece of 8-inch-by-11-inch cardstock in whatever color you like. Fold it over in half, matching the corners evenly, so that you have a blank greeting card. The card is going to flip up, rather than open like a book, so keep the folded edge up as you do your craft.
Check the printable coloring pages at Edupics.com (see Resources) and choose some flags that you like. Resize the flags on your computer to print out slightly smaller than the face of the card. Have the children color the flags. Paste them to the front of the card.
Open the card and write your greeting inside.
Beaded Corn Cob
Tape Ends Together
Corn cobs are a popular symbol of Kwanzaa, representing the children and the future they will help to shape. To make this corn cob, take a Styrofoam egg carton and cut out each individual egg cup. Stack four to six egg cups, one inside the other, using glue to hold them together. Make another stack of three egg cups glued together. Take the two stacks and tape the two flat ends together so it resembles the shape of a corn cob.
Get a bag of yellow beads from the craft store and flat-head straight pins. Slip a bead onto the pin, and press the end of the pin into the taller stacked side of your Styrofoam cob. Continue doing this to cover the taller stack side with beads.
Cut out several leaf shapes from green construction paper, approximately 6 inches long. Glue it to the bottom of the corn cob with the shorter stack of egg cups. Glue them up only high enough to slightly overlap the beads. Fold back the top edges of the leaves so they hang down.
Place your beaded corn cobs in a basket for a table centerpiece