Kwanzaa Activities, Crafts, Recipes, and Ideas for Celebrating with Kids - FamilyEducation


Kwanzaa always begins on December 26. Celebrate the African-American and Pan-African families, communities, and cultures with Kwanzaa resources, arts & crafts, lessons, and printables. We have lesson plans on the history of the holiday, activities to help your students learn more about the different aspects of Kwanzaa, printables for writing holiday poetry, project instructions for creating paper chains and wrapping paper, vocabulary lists, biographies of important Kwanzaa figures, and more! These activities are sure to increase your students' awareness of other cultures and beliefs.

African Animal Necklace

African Animal NecklaceThis necklace can be given as a zawadi gift, or your child can make it for himself. Materials No-Bake Craft Clay Animal cookie cutters (optional) String or thread Black satin cordDirections read more

African Beads

African BeadsZawadi (zah-WAH-dee) are the gifts given as rewards for having lived according to the Kwanzaa values during the year. Here is a simple way to make a necklace or bracelet that can be given as a zawadi gift. Materials Ziti noodles Black, red, and green tempera paint (optional) Paintbrushes Glitter, large buttons, plastic beads (optional) Shoelace, ribbon, or thin cord Pine cone (optional)Directions read more

Corncob Painting

Corncob PaintingCorn is a traditional part of the Kwanzaa celebration. Fresh corn is difficult (or impossible) to get at this time of year, so use a dried corncob for this activity. Materials Paper Flat box (the kind a 24-pack of soda comes in) or large baking pan Red, green, and black liquid tempera paint Flat container for paint (big enough to fit the corn) Corncob (husk removed) Clear contact paper (optional) Directions read more

Holiday Books for All Faiths

These books are a wonderful way for kids to learn more about their own holiday celebrations or to discover how others celebrate during the winter season. To read a more detailed description of the books, or to write reviews of them, click on the titles. read more

Kwanzaa Benne Cakes

Kwanzaa Benne Cakes Benne cakes originated in West Africa. Benne means sesame seeds, and they are eaten for good luck. Bring some luck to your Kwanzaa celebration by trying these delicious and simple cakes. Level: Moderately easy Time involved: One to two hours Ingredients: read more

Kwanzaa Calendar

Kwanzaa Calendar Count down the days of Kwanzaa with a customized calendar that marks off the special events and celebrations surrounding this season. The special event pieces are made of felt so the kids can easily stick them to the felt calendar on the appropriate day without using adhesive. You can use the calendar year after year, with new pieces added as desired. This calendar begins two weeks before Kwanzaa and ends one week after Kwanzaa to include the pre-Kwanzaa preparation and the final day itself—January 1. Level: Moderately easy read more

Kwanzaa Candles

This arts & crafts printable gives the names and meanings of each Kwanzaa candle. Students will enjoy learning more about this African-American holiday celebrating traditions and culture. read more

Kwanzaa Chain

Kwanzaa ChainTeach your toddler to build a Kwanzaa chain made of colored construction paper, and use it to decorate the hall.Materials Red, green, and black construction paper Scissors Glue or paste Directions read more

Kwanzaa Clay Jewelry

Kwanzaa Clay Jewelry Seasonal Sense Two types of sculpting clay are typically sold in craft stores—modeling clay and baking clay. The modeling clay doesn't harden and can be shaped into objects and used over and over again. The type of clay you bake hardens to form a permanent object. Some popular brands of this type of clay are Sculpy and Fimo. When purchasing clay to make jewelry, be sure it can be baked to form a permanent bead or design. read more

Kwanzaa Facts

How much do you really know about Kwanzaa? Take our quiz and find out! read more

Kwanzaa Flag Decoration

Kwanzaa Flag DecorationMaterialsConstruction paper in red, green, blue, yellow and whiteScissorsThin ribbon or yarnGlueBlack marker  DirectionsThe Flag of Gabon: read more

Kwanzaa Necklace

Kwanzaa NecklaceOne of the symbols of Kwanzaa is zawadi, or gifts. A handmade gift like this necklace is the most treasured. Materials 1 cup flour Acrylic paints 1/2 cup salt Clear acrylic spray 1/4 cup water Fishing line, beading thread, 1 tablespoon oil or thin elastic cord ToothpickDirections read more

Kwanzaa Pasta Necklace

Kwanzaa Pasta NecklaceThis necklace in traditional African and Kwanzaa colors is an easy art project for a toddler.Materials Ziti noodles Red, green, and black tempera paint Paintbrushes Clear acrylic spray (optional) Shoelaces, ribbon, yarn, or thin elastic cord Directions read more

Kwanzaa Terms

Test your knowledge of these Kwanzaa terms that come from the language of Swahili. read more

Kwanzaa Unity Cup

Kwanzaa Unity Cup A unity cup is a key symbol of the Kwanzaa celebration. You might want to make this lovely cup to signify your unity as a family. Get the kids involved in helping to pick out the symbolic pieces that adorn this kikombe cha umoja (unity cup), and try out different designs and fabrics for variety. You might want to make an extra unity cup to give to a friend as a gift at the final feast (Karamu). read more

Magnificent Mkeka

Magnificent Mkeka Straw is the material of choice when making a mat for Kwanzaa, but fabric is an acceptable alternative. You can incorporate this medium into a specially designed mat that is sure to become a family heirloom. You might want to make a mat to hold the Kwanzaa symbols on the table and then let each family member design his or her own personal place mat. read more

Woven Mat for Kwanzaa

Woven Mat for KwanzaaMaterials Black, red, and green construction paper Scissors Glue or staplerDirections read more