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Kwanzaa Quilt

Kwanzaa is a celebration of community, family, and culture, established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African roots and heritage. Green, red and black are traditionally seen throughout this holiday. Black is used to represent the color of the people’s skin who celebrate it, red for the blood that unites all people of African ancestry, and green for the rich land of Africa.

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Activity PDF

Create a colorful mosaic of the colors of Kwanzaa!

This activity invites children to make a weaving pattern using construction paper to create their own quilt using the colors of Kwanzaa. Place multiple quilts together to create a beautiful colorful mosaic! It’s important to discuss the colors of Kwanzaa and why they’re used. Have children think about colors in their environment and community and what they represent.

📚Get inspired: “Together for Kwanzaa” by Juwanda G. Ford is a great book to start the conversation around this holiday.

❗ New word alert! A Kinara is used during the celebration of Kwanzaa with 7 candles. The word kinara is a Swahili word that means candle holder. The seven candles represent the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa.

🌍 Did you know? Kwanzaa is rooted in African culture, however, people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds are welcomed to join in the celebration

Materials

For this activity you will need:

Black, red, and green construction paper

Scissors

Pencil

Learning Outcomes

Domain

Cognitive

Skills

Identifying patterns

Indicators:

Identifying, creating, copying, and extending patterns

Instructions

Step 1:

Start by folding one piece of construction paper in half, width-wise. Next, cut 1” strips from the bottom of the crease to about 1” from the top of the folded paper. This will serve as your guide when weaving.

Step 2:

Next, cut 1” wide strips of paper from the other two colors so you’re left with multiple strips of paper. Opt for different shades of green and red paper if you can.

Step 3:

Now that everything is prepped, unfold your original paper guide and lay it flat. Take one strip of paper and weave it horizontally over and under each vertical cut out from your guide.

Step 4: 

Repeat this process with different paper strips until your guide is completely filled. 

Step 5:

Trim off the excess from the ends of the strips if need be. Make a few and hang them together to create a beautiful Kwanzaa quilt of colors!

⬆️ For older preschoolers: Have older preschoolers make the cuts in the paper and practice their fine motor skills!

⬇️ For younger toddlers: This activity can be tricky for younger ones; try this with felt to get them used to the weaving action and prevent any tearing of paper.

Playful Questions

What types of things do you see red on in your community? 

When you think of the color green what do you think of?

Let’s look at our skin color on our arms, are they the same?

How many strips of paper can we fit into our quilt?

What makes your quilt unique?