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KWANZAA
Kwanza

KWANZAA   ART

CORNCOB PAINTING
After a corn-on-the-cob meal, set aside several of the leftover corncobs to dry.

  • Pour small amounts of red and green tempera paint into separate shallow pans.
  • Set out the dried corncobs.
  • Give your children pieces of black construction paper.
  • Invite your children to take a cob and roll it in one of the paint pans, then then roll it across their papers.
  • Let the paint dry, then dip another cob in the second color and roll it across their papers.
  • Use the children’s paintings as room decorations.

 
KWANZAA BRACELETS

Teach your children how to braid with this activity.  You will need 12” red, green and black yarn strips.

  • Working with one child at a time, tie a red, green and black yarn strip onto the back of a chair or on a door knob.
  • Show the child how to separate the three colors of yarn, then how to braid the three colors together into a length of braid.
  • When the child is done, carefully remove the yarn from its holder, then tie the yarn ends together to make a yarn bracelet.
  • Clip off remaining yarn.
     

KWANZA CALENDARS

  • Set out some red, green and black paper chain strips (approximately 1” x 6”).
  • Have your children link together 12 paper strips to make a 12 day calendar.
  • Send the chain calendars home 12 days before Kwanzaa.
  • Have children hang up their calendars at home and remove one link each day until there is only one link left and it is time for Kwanzaa to begin.
 
WOVEN PLACE MATS

Older preschoolers should be able to weave this placemats without much help.
Take a large piece of construction paper (12 x 18) and fold it in half cross-wise.
Then take a ruler and mark along the fold every inch.
  Then cut from each mark through the folded paper down to within an inch of the opposite side.
Now take another piece of paper and cut out 1” x 12” strips. 
Papers can be the same color or different colors.
Now lay out the larger cut paper and show your child how to weave the paper strips in and out of the paper slits on the place mat.
Every other strip should be started going under rather than over.
When the place mat is filled with woven strips, set out some glue and have your child glue down the loose ends on the edges.
 
KWANZAA GREETING CARDS
Set out three washable inkpads in the Kwanzaa colors of red, green, and black.
Also, set out three rubber stamps in desired shapes.

Give your child a piece of 8” x 9” white construction  paper.

Invite her to use the rubber stamps to make red, green, and black prints all over the paper on one side.
Fold the paper in half length-wise to make a blank card.
Then help your child write a Kwanzaa greeting inside the card to send to someone special, using a #10 business envelope.

Extension:  Have your child stamp on the envelope also.

 
KWANZAA CANDLE PICTURE

On a piece of heavy paper, draw a simple seven-holed Kwanzaa candle holder.
For candles, give your child three strips of red paper, three strips of green paper, and one strip of black paper.

Help him glue the candles on the candle holder, with the red ones one on side, the green ones on the other side, and the black one in the middle.

Then let him “light” the candles by dipping a finger into yellow paint and making a fingerprint flame at the top of each one.
 
CORN SHAKERS
Flatten a cardboard toilet tissue tube and staple one end closed.
Let your child drop a few dried corn kernels into the tube.
Then staple the other end closed and tape both ends securely.
Have your child decorate the tube shaker with paint.

Extension:  Staple on some thin ribbon streams on each end.

 
STRAW BRACELETS

You will need some large red and green straws for this project.
Cut the straws into 1” sections.
Give your child a black yarn piece (approx. 7” long).
Help your child wrap some tape around one end of his yarn section, then using the taped end as a needle, lace on straw sections in a red/ green pattern.
When finished, help your child tie the ends together to create a bracelet.
 
KWANZAA WREATH
You will need some red, green and black construction paper for this project.
Let your child help you with this wreath, by placing her hand on the paper while you draw around her fingers for a hand pattern.
Cut out four hand shapes in each of the three colors of paper.

Give the cut outs along with some glue and a cardboard paper ring to your child and have her glue the hand shapes all around the ring to create a hand wreath.

KWANZAA  GAMES

COUNTING FOR KWANZAA
Since Kwanzaa lasts for seven days, try using the holiday to reinforce your child’s understanding of the number seven.  Here are a few quick things you can do together.
Count out seven spoons, seven straws, or seven napkins.
Clap hands or stomp feet seven times.
Count going up seven steps, then down.
Count out seven ears of corn.
 
WHAT’S INSIDE THE GIFT BAG?
You will need a large soft sided bag for this game.
Place an object inside the bag.
Give the bag to your child as a pretend gift.
Encourage your child to feel the object through the outside of the bag and try to guess what is inside.

Variation:  Let your child place an item into the bag for you to guess
 what it is.
 

MATCHING VEGETABLES
You can make a matching game with a package of vegetable stickers and some small plain index cards.
Look for six or more vegetable where there are two of each vegetable.
Take an index card and cut it in half.
Place two of the same vegetable stickers on each half of the card.
Repeat with the other sets of vegetables.
Now sort through the cards, taking out one of each vegetable and laying it on a table.
Hand the remaining cards to your child and have him find the matching cards and placing them on top of those already on the table.

Variation:  Do the same game only use fruit stickers instead of vegetable stickers.

KWANZAA LANGUAGE

K WORDS

  • For each of your children, print an uppercase and a lowercase K in the middle of a piece of construction paper.
  • Make a sign that says “Kwanzaa” and discuss with the children the beginning letter K and its sound.
  • Then set out washable inkpads plus rubber stamps in the shapes of such things as kites, kittens, and kangaroos, and let the children decorate their papers with stamped-on prints.
  • When the children are done, ask them to name the “K” pictures on their papers.
KWANZAA SOCIAL STUDIES
FAMILY FUN TIME
Togetherness is an important part of the Kwanzaa celebration, so each day, plan one activity your child can enjoy doing with the whole family.  Suggestions:
Learning a new song together.
Watching a favorite video.
Going for a walk or a ride.
Playing a new game.
Reading a favorite story.
Cooking together.
KWANZAA SCIENCE

FRUIT & VEGETABLE SEEDS

  • Set out two each of various kinds of fruits and vegetables that have seeds inside, such as apples, pears, oranges, acorn squash, and avocados.
  • Have your children observe as you cut one of each fruit or vegetable in half and remove the seeds.  (Save the cut up fruits and vegetables for other uses.)
  • Put the seeds on separate paper plates.
  • Now have your children take turns placing the remaining fruits and vegetables next to their seeds on the paper plates.

Extension:  You could have children glue the seeds onto a construction paper cutout of the fruit or vegetable from which they come.

 
KWANZAA CALENDAR

To show your child how many days it is until Kwanzaa, help her make a paper chain that has that number of loops on it.  Label each loop with a task your child could do to help get ready for the holiday.  Such as;
Dusting furniture
Putting up decorations
Making a gift
Water the plants
Make placemats
KWANZAA  MUSIC

KWANZAA PARADE SONG
Tune:  “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again”

The children are marching into town, hooray, hooray.
The children are marching in a great big Kwanzaa Parade.
Some have flags of black, red, and green.
Some have fruits, the best I’ve seen.
Oh, we’re oh, so glad that the children could come today.

The children are marching into town, hooray, hooray.
Some have ears of corn as they come our way.
Some beat drums as they march along.
Some clap their hands as they sing our song.
Oh, we’re oh, so glad that the children could come today.
                                                                                Jean Warren

Provide children with appropriate props to carry as they march around the room.
 

SHAKE IT, SHAKE IT
Encourage your child to use her corn shaker when dancing to music on the radio.

 
KWANZAA CANDLES

Tune:  “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”

Kwanzaa candles black, red, green,
Prettiest candles we’ve ever seen.
We will light them one by one
Up to seven, then we’re done.
Kwanzaa candles back, red, green,
Prettiest candles we’ve ever seen.
                                    Liz Ryerson
 

ADDITIONAL KWANZAA SONGS
Kwanzaa songs and rhymes can be found at the Music Station under Winter Songs

KWANZAA  SNACKS

AFRICAN COCONUT CUBES
Boil slowly together in a big pot.
                I cup fresh or flaked coconut
                1 cup sugar
                ½ cup water
                1 teaspoon lemon juice
                1 teaspoon ginger
Keep stirring until the mixture turns golden brown.
Spread on a greased cookie sheet.
When mixture cools and sets,
Cut it into squares and serve as a snack.
                                                Recipe from Deanne B. Wright
 

KWANZAA SNACK PLATES
Remind your child that the word “Kwanzaa” means “first fruits”. 
Give your child a white paper plate and some marking pens.
Have him draw pictures of fruits and vegetables all over his plate.
Cover the decorated plates with clear plastic wrap.
Use the plates for serving fruit or vegetable snacks.

Variation:  Instead of drawing pictures on the plates, have your child tear out pictures of fruits and vegetables from the pages of old magazines and glue them onto the plate.

 
MAKING SOUP

Plan a family soup night and let everyone help out by cleaning and chopping vegetables to place in the soup.