Meaningful and Engaging Kwanzaa Activities

Kwanzaa is a commemoration and celebration of African slavery liberation. It is a time of joy, celebration, and reflection on all that has been accomplished during the year. Kwanzaa events are a way for African Americans and others to connect with the past and build toward a brighter future. Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 to celebrate connection and community among African families. For each of the seven days of Kwanzaa, a candle is lit to commemorate one of the seven principles: unity, self-determination, responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

There are many ways to get involved in Kwanzaa activities. Some suggestions include the following:

  1. Weave a Kwanzaa Mkeka Mat
    Mkeka is a woven straw mat and is one of the seven symbols of Kwanzaa, signifying the importance of beginning all projects with a strong foundation.

Age Group: Elementary

More Information: Education

  1. Make a Kwanzaa Kinara
    A kinara holds seven candles, each representing one of the values of Kwanzaa. All you need for this homemade version are recycled cardboard tubes, paint, and shimmering sequins.

More Information: Crafting a Fun Life

  1. Play Kwanzaa Bingo
    What better way to celebrate African culture than with a game of bingo? Students can learn about important Kwanzaa traditions while having lots of fun!

Age Group: Elementary

More Information: Crayola

  1. Read a Favorite Kwanzaa Story
    This beautifully illustrated book celebrates family roots and traditions, all while teaching one of the core principles of Kwanzaa – coming together to help others.

Age Group: Preschool, Elementary

  1. Make a Handmade Card
    This colorful worksheet teaches students a traditional Kwanzaa greeting (Habari Gani) and the seven principles of this winter harvest festival. The sections can be cut out and turned into beautiful cards for gifting.

Age Group: Elementary

More Information: Education

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