Kwanzaa at Home With Kids

Habari gani! Kwanzaa is right around the corner! Celebrate with these family-friendly virtual festivals, programs, and activities. Kids can have fun while they learn and make crafts that honor some of the important symbols of Kwanzaa that also incorporate the seven principles.

NJPAC’s annual Kwanzaa Festival and Marketplace will be virtual this year and will run through December 31. It will feature online programs inspired by the seven principles of Kwanzaa (unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith). Don’t miss out on any of the fun! Tune in for a panel discussion about storytelling with the elders, social justice or Black theater. Take an online class to explore West African dance, stepping, Zumba, drumming, capoeira, Bebop Graffiti Arts or Afrobeats. Or stop by the community marketplace for some online shopping. Events beginning streaming on December 19. The workshops are free. Learn more and RSVP online.

Montclair Public Library Youth & Teen Services will host Harambee! Songs and Stories for Kwanzaa with April Armstrong on Saturday, December 26. Pull together and celebrate the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa. Sing and clap along with April as she teaches you songs in Zulu (Zimbabwe) and Akan (Ghana). Using uplifting folktales from African, the Caribbean Islands, and African-American traditions, and others, April tells the stories that help illustrate some of the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa. Register for this online event on the website.

California African American Museum of Los Angeles, CA, will host Kwanzaa Kuumba Makers Festival on Saturday, December 26, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. On the first day of Kwanzaa, celebrate with CAAM by practicing the sixth principle of the holiday, Kuumba, a commitment to creativity. During this virtual series of family workshops, artists from the community will show how to make one-of-a-kind creations using common household materials. This event is free. Learn more and register online.

Coyaba Dance Theater will present In Spirit of Kwanzaa live on Tuesday, December 29, at 6:30 PM. This West African Dance Company will perform this high-energy presentation based on the 7 Principles (Nguzo Saba) of Kwanzaa. The free event will be available on the website for 24 hours.

 

Here’s a simple kinara craft that uses egg cartons, craft sticks, and construction paper. It also calls for paint, but you can improvise with markers or crayons as well.

Another kinara craft that’s easy and suitable for younger kids is this one made from toilet paper rolls and a paper towel roll. All you need to do is cover the rolls with construction paper and add orange tissue paper for the flames.

This Kwanzaa necklace is easy enough for kids of all ages. They can keep the necklace or give it as a gift to a loved one. Paint dried pasta and then thread them onto a piece of black cord. You can learn some tips to create this necklace here.

Adding an educational element to craft projects doubles the fun for kids. This Kwanzaa flag decoration activity teaches about the flags of Gabon, Ghana, Benin, and Nigeria. Use construction paper and this tutorial to put together the flags, then use ribbon or yarn to hang them. If you don’t have construction paper in the right colors, try just coloring the flags onto paper.

This wreath features cut outs of children’s traced hands in red, green, and black. The hands are glued so the fingers form a wreath. Then, the seven principles are glued to the wreath. Or you could write each principle on a different hand and discuss their meaning each night for a simpler version.

This mkeka craft is fairly easy and requires few supplies. This tutorial uses black, red, and green construction paper, but you could color plain paper with markers or crayons if that’s all you have. After making a series of cuts in the black paper, weave alternating strips of red and green into it to create the map. This would be fantastic to place under one of the kinara crafts from above.

 

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