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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 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 to make a blank card. Then help your child write a Kwanzaa greeting inside the card to send to someone special.

On a large 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 on one 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.


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, or making gifts. Each day, remove a loop from the chain after the task has been done. When the last loop is gone, Kwanzaa will begin.

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.


Togetherness is an important part of the Kwanzaa celebration, so each day, plan one activity your child can enjoy doing with the whole family. Some suggestions would be learning a new song, watching a favorite video, going for a walk or a ride, playing a new game, or reading a favorite story. Or try making soup together, with each family member choosing a veggie to prepare for the pot.

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 and ribbon streamers. Then invite him to dance and shake his shaker in time to music.

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 black, red, green,
Prettiest candles we’ve ever seen.
Liz Ryerson
Remind your child that the word “Kwanzaa” means “first fruits.” Then invite her to draw or glue pictures of harvest fruits and vegetables on small paper plates. Cover the decorated plates with clear plastic wrap and use them for serving fruit or veggie snacks.