How to Make Simple Kwanzaa Crafts for Kids

simple crafts for kids to celebrate Kwanzaa

I introduced my boys to Kwanzaa for the first-time last year. We didn’t have a huge celebration, but I did talk with them about the principles and created crafts with them. Kwanzaa is rarely discussed even though it’s a non-religious holiday that can be celebrated by anyone. Many people are working to change that. The holiday may be over, but I wanted to share a few simple Kwanzaa crafts for kids.

mother and daughter celebrating Kwanzaa

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What is Kwanzaa?

Kwanzaa is a holiday in the United States created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 to celebrate community, family and culture. Its purpose was to help African Americans have a connection to their African roots and heritage. The holiday is based on the first harvest celebrations in Africa and starts December 26th and lasts until January 1st. There are 7 principles known as Nguzo Saba that represent each day.

Umoja (unity)
Kujichagulia (self-determination)
Ujima (collective work and responsibility)
Ujamaa (cooperative economics)
Nia (purpose)
Kuumba (creativity)
Imani (faith)

Kwanzaa Books for Children

Learn about the celebration of Kwanzaa with these awesome books for kids. You can find these Kwanzaa books on Amazon (As an Amazon Associate, I’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. This only applies if you click through and make a purchase. Thank you for your support!) or visit your local book shop. If you’re looking for a Black-owned business in Tampa Bay to support, check out Cultured Books or Black English Bookstore. You can also order from them online.

Kwanzaa Crafts for Kids

DIY Recycled Cardboard Kinara

I love using recycled materials to create crafts. Celebrate Kwanzaa with this simple kinara. This craft was inspired by a cardboard menorah by Super Make It. A kinara is made up of seven candles that represent each principle of Kwanzaa. They are lit on each night of Kwanzaa starting with the black then innermost red, innermost green and so on.


  • pencil
  • recycled paper towel roll
  • recycled toilet paper roll
  • craft knife
  • scissors
  • paper straws (7)
  • hot glue gun with glue sticks
  • cardboard scrap cut into a 3” circle
  • gold paint (for kinara)
  • red, green and black paint for straws (only if you don’t order them in those colors)
  • paint brush
  • 7 yellow pouch tops (or yellow construction paper)


  1. Start by marking a dot in the center of the recycled paper towel roll. Then mark three evenly spaced dots on each side of the center.
  2. Carefully use a craft knife to poke a hole in the dots of the paper towel roll.
  3. Since I already had paper straws at home, I applied paint to them. However, you purchase them at a local store or online in red, black and green.
  4. Next, use the end of the paper towel roll to trace a semicircle on both sides of the toilet paper roll then cut out.
  5. Glue the uncut side of the toilet paper roll to the center of the circular cardboard to build the kinara.
  6. Glue the paper towel roll onto the toilet paper roll.
  7. Paint the kinara gold. Allow it to dry.
  8. Cut about an inch off the green and red straws.
  9. Finally, have your child add a straw candle each night of Kwanzaa. Glue the yellow pouch tops onto the straws to make the “flames” or yellow construction paper.

DIY Kwanzaa Banner


  • cardstock (red, black and green)
  • twine
  • Cricut (optional)
  • scissors
  • tape


  1. I used my Cricut to make the triangles, but you can simply cut them from the cardstock using scissors.
  2. Next, start the pattern with red then black and green. Keep alternating colors until you have at least four in each color.
  3. Cut a piece of twine to the length you want for the banner.
  4. Finally, tape the triangles to the twine to complete your DIY Kwanzaa banner.
DIY banner for simple craft for kids to celebrate Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa Necklace Craft


  • red, black and green acrylic paint
  • resealable gallon bag (one for each paint)
  • yarn or twine
  • parchment paper
  • dried pasta tubes (ziti)
  • hand sanitizer (optional)


  1. First, open your resealable gallon bag then add 1 cup of dried pasta.
  2. Next, add around 1 tsp of acrylic paint.
  3. Squirt about 1 to 2 drops of hand sanitizer into the bag. This step is optional.
  4. Close your resealable bag then shake it around. Make sure the dried pasta is completely covered with the paint.
  5. Shake your bag around and watch the paint consume the dried pasta with color.
  6. Open your resealable gallon bag then add pasta to parchment paper to dry.
  7. Add your colored pasta to a parchment paper to dry.
  8. Once completely dry, thread it onto the yarn or twine, alternating red, black and green.
  9. Your kids will love wearing this necklace to celebrate Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa Sensory Bottle


  • recycled plastic bottle or craft bottle
  • dried pasta
  • acrylic paint (red, black and green)
  • hand sanitizer (optional)
  • resealable gallon bag (one for each paint)
  • parchment paper


  1. You can use leftover pasta from the Kwanzaa necklace craft or use different pasta for this activity.
  2. Color your pasta using acrylic paint. See instructions above.
  3. Once the pasta is completely dry, add them to the plastic bottle.
  4. Your little one will enjoy shaking this bottle and looking at the beautiful colors.
celebrate Kwanzaa with this sensory bottle for kids

Plan on creating these simple Kwanzaa crafts with the kids? Pin it for later! You can also make them for Black History Month or Juneteenth.

Looking for more holiday crafts? Visit my Pinterest boards for Kwanzaa and Christmas activities or check out these fun art projects below:

Paper Plate Kinara

Pan-African Flag Popsicle Stick Craft

DIY Confetti Popper

Cardboard Tube Kinara for Kwanzaa

Kinara Shapes Craft

Kwanzaa Books for Kids

Simple Kwanzaa Crafts for Kids

Kwanzaa Playdough Activities

Cotton Ball Print Pan-African Flag

Mosaic Pan-African Flag

FREE Printable Kwanzaa Coloring Pages

Make sure to check out my story time collaboration with Learn and Play Tampa Bay. I’m reading a book about Kwanzaa and sharing some fun craft ideas.

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