KidLit Crafts and Activities for Kwanzaa!

Kwanzaa yenu iwe na heri!

(Happy Kwanzaa in Swahili!) 

Kwanzaa is an African Holiday celebrated for seven nights from December 26 to January 1.
Read Kwanzaa-themed picture books, and have fun creating
arts & crafts and baking to honor the holiday!

• Kwanzaa Books and Arts & Craft Activities •

Read the Book — Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa

Inspired by Brer Rabbit, a trickster character from the African-American folklore tradition, the story of Li’l Rabbit captures the true meaning of Kwanzaa-coming together to help others.

CLICK HERE to Make a Kinara, a craft activity from Scholastic

What You Need:

  • Scissors
  • Egg cartons, enough to give each student seven egg cups
  • Red, green, black, and brown paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Craft sticks, seven per student
  • Yellow tissue paper
  • Glue


CLICK HERE to Make a Handprint Kinara 


Read the Book — Together for Kwanzaa

The African-American holiday of Kwanzaa is being celebrated by Kayla and her family. Will her big brother Khari be home in time to join in with the family traditions? This book is a perfect introduction to the special festivities of Kwanzaa.

CLICK HERE to Make a Unity Cup


Read the Book — K is for Kwanzaa

Celebrate Kwanzaa from A to Z! Each letter of the alphabet represents an important word or fascinating fact about Kwanzaa. Explore all that is central to Kwanzaa: cultural heritage, family, and community.

CLICK HERE to Make a Kwanzaa Mkeka Mat from ScholasticWhat You Need: 

  • Black, red, and green 8 1/2- by 11-inch construction paper, one sheet of each color
  • Scissors

CLICK HERE to Make a Kwanzaa Hat


Read the Book — Seven Candles for Kwanzaa

Come celebrate Kwanzaa! Every year, for seven days beginning December 26, African Americans celebrate their heritage during the Kwanzaa holiday. In this book, you can find out about that special time so you can celebrate the seven days of Kwanzaa, too. Learn about the seven candles representing the seven days of Kwanzaa. Follow the recipes for such dishes as Ashanti Peanut Soup, North African Orange Salad, and Senegalese Cookies to make a Kwanzaa feast. Use the instructions to make masks and African toe puppets and other wonderful Zawadi — special Kwanzaa gifts. Learn Swahili for “What’s news?” (Habari Gani) and other Swahili words and phrases that are part of the holiday. Then join the celebration!

CLICK HERE for the Recipe to Bake Senegalese Cookies

Recipe from Global Table Adventure by Sasha Martin

Kwanzaa is an annual celebration of African-American culture that is held from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a communal feast called Karamu, usually held on the 6th day. It was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, based on African harvest festival traditions from various parts of Africa, including West and Southeast Africa. Kwanzaa was first celebrated in 1966.
Kwanzaa lasts for seven days, and each day celebrates one principle, as follows:
Day 1 – Umoja (unity)
Day 2 – Kujichagulia (self-determination)
Day 3 – Ujima (group responsibility)
Day 4 – Ujamaa (cooperative trade)
Day 5 – Nia (intention)
Day 6 – Kuumba (creativity)
Day 7 – Imani (faith)
(Sources:  ETS and Wikipedia)

MEGAN CAHILL-ASSENZA – is from Northport, NY, and a recent Children’s Literature Fellow from Stony Brook University. A writer, filmmaker, and animal lover, Megan is pursuing a career in children’s literature. She currently works in the Academic Tutoring Center at Suffolk County Community College.

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