Habari Gani? What news? Happy Kwanzaa, friends! I have been preparing Kwanzaa crafts for my kids and I created a fun Kwanzaa craft idea that they absolutely loved last year! Today, I am sharing our DIY Kwanzaa craft tutorial with you.
One important life value that I strive hard to implement in my parenting and homeschooling is an appreciation of culture and heritage. I want my children to grow up feeling confident about who they are and I want them to have great respect for our culture.
KWANZAA CRAFT IDEA: MAKE A KWANZAA FELT BOARD
Last year, when I taught our Kwanzaa unit, we covered the cultural celebration, African folktales, and fun crafts. We checked out books from the library and we watched short videos about Kwanzaa.
For a supplemental learning activity, I handmade a Kinara felt set so the children could learn how to put together a Kinara and what objects go with it, such as the ears of corn and the unity cup.
OUR DIY KWANZAA CRAFT IS A PERFECT VISUAL AID!
Our Kwanzaa Felt Board is perfect for families who are celebrating Kwanzaa. The DIY Kwanzaa craft is also great for students who are learning about African American culture and the winter holidays.
You can use the Kwanzaa felt craft as a decoration or as a teaching aid. Zhen, Zechariah, and Zephaniah love the felt craft because they can put it together all by themselves.
It has also proven to be a very enriching experience when I read Kwanzaa stories and go over our lessons.
- Zhen (7) is now able to identify a Kinara and she understands why we have five ears of corn on the mkeka (Kwanzaa mat).
- Zechariah (4) is able to identify the colors that represent Kwanzaa (red, black, and green).
- And for Zephaniah (2), our DIY Kwanzaa craft is a great sensory activity. He enjoys touching the soft felt objects and placing them on the felt board.
I hope you enjoy making our DIY Kwanzaa craft! Happy Kwanzaa!
Materials You Will Need
- glue gun
- glue sticks
- fabric scissors
- glitter glue (optional)
- cardboard or tray (to place the glue gun)
- 2 Ziploc bags (for scraps and to store your Kwanzaa craft)
- black or blue pen (for tracing the patterns onto the felt)
- Kwanzaa patterns
- Felt sheets: 1 red, 2 green, 1 black, 2 brown, 3 yellow, 1 orange, and 1 extra (any color for the gifts)
*Special Note: An adult should use the glue gun for safety reasons. The glue gun gets very hot and can burn the skin if one is not careful.
Directions for the Kwanzaa Felt Board Craft
STEP 1: On a blank sheet of white paper, sketch your designs for each object you want to feature on your Kwanzaa felt board craft. In the images below, you will see how I sketched each Kwanzaa object for our Kwanzaa felt board.
STEP 2: Cut out each pattern. Use the patterns to trace the Kwanzaa images onto the felt sheet.
STEP 3: Below I have included what color each image should be. With your pen, trace the Kinara pattern to trace the Kinara onto the brown felt sheet. You will repeat this step for each pattern.
- red felt – 3 red candles
- green felt – 3 green candles and corn leaves
- black felt – 1 black candle
- yellow felt – ears of corn (1 per each child), bananas
- brown felt – 1 kikombe (unity cup), mkeka (Kwanzaa mat), kinara (candleholder)
- orange felt – oranges
- extra felt – any color you like…use for the gifts
*Special Note: As you cut the felt sheet, make sure to save the scraps in a Ziploc bag. They can be used for future art projects!
STEP 4: Decorate the felt pieces and add detail if you like. You can have your child add details to certain Kwanzaa images with glitter glue such as the Kinara, the gifts, or the Kikombe (unity cup).
Of course, you can use any type of art supply to decorate your Kwanzaa set, for instance, construction paper, markers, or paint! Get creative!
STEP 5 Take a piece of brown felt to make the Mkeka (Kwanzaa mat). Cut about an inch off of the mat. Use your black/blue pen to draw lines to make it look similar to a straw mat. I used a ruler to draw the grid on the Mkeka.
OPTIONAL: You can use red, black, or green felt to make a Kwanzaa flag for the mat instead of a straw mat design.
STEP 6: Once you finish tracing all of the patterns, your Kwanzaa Felt Board Craft is complete! Use the felt pieces as a visual aid for teaching lessons or as a festive decoration to keep up during the Kwanzaa season.
- As you teach your children/students about Kwanzaa, use the felt pieces to help explain. It makes for a great visual aid! You can point to each piece and teach students the names and how to pronounce them.
- After teaching a lesson on Kwanzaa, have your children/students put together the Kinara and other Kwanzaa objects on the Mkeka (straw mat).
- Ask students the purpose of each candle and give examples.
- Ask your child/student how many ears of corn will he/she need. Remember, you will need one ear of corn for each child in the family.
- Add a flame to a candle on each new day.
- For writing practice, children can practice writing the Kwanzaa terms. The more practice they have with the words, the easier it will be for them to say it. For example, we have been practicing the terms with Zhen and she is able to identify objects and say a few of the terms on her own!
Don’t forget to print the Kwanzaa Teacher’s Guide to go along with your lessons! It’s FREE and I created it to use with my own little ones.
If you have any questions about how to make this craft or lesson ideas, please let me know. Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!
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All photographs are courtesy of Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit.