Kwanzaa: Fun family craft + Activity | Nik Snacks

Kwanzaa is a relatively new observance in December and dates back just 54 years. The holiday's primary purpose is to link African traditions with African American customs using words from the Swahili language. 

The holiday last SEVEN days, beginning December 26. There are SEVEN core principles called NGUZO SABA (En-GOO-zoh Sah-BAH). 
Though the holiday is a celebration of African-American heritage and culture, it is important to remember that Black folks are are diverse, reflecting a broad spectrum of experiences and lifestyles. Kwanzaa traditions also reflect this diversity. 

The best part of these traditions (in my personal opinion) is the Kwanzaa feast or karamu (CARE-uh-MOO). Food is an integral part of the celebration and Kwanzaa meals might include jollof rice, a traditional West African dish, jerk meats from the Caribbean, black beans that are popular in Caribbean and South American dishes or traditional Southern American dishes that could include the genre of soul food or Southern American barbecue traditions.

The last day of Kwanzaa falls on January 1, which is also New Years' Day. In the South, a traditional meal includes: black eyed peas, collard greens and hog jowls or other cut of pork.

In an attempt to blend Kwanzaa, cooking and a fun family activity, I've come up with this downloadable craft for you and your family.

Kwanzaa is very family-oriented, it's easy to get children involved. Plus, many of the typical activities enjoyed during this rich, culturally specific, historical holiday are geared specifically toward children and are very adaptable to doing with little ones.

Gather a few supplies (all items are easily sourced at the Dollar Tree, Dollar General or 99 Cents store near you)

  • 6-cup muffin tins
  • Scissors
  • Glue or glue stick
  • Individually wrapped pieces of candy

Download your Karamu activity sheet HERE

Download your Kwanzaa activity sheet HERE

You will need both sheets to complete the activity during the week. After each tin is empty, use it to create a dish for the karamu or Kwanzaa feast on January 1.

1. Print out each sheet.
2. Cut and fold each strip on the bottom of each Kwanzaa activity sheet and place one in each muffin tin cup.
3. Add candy pieces to each tin.
4. Cut and glue each Karamu activity sheet on top of each muffin tin you are using.
5. Enjoy the Kwanzaa holiday!

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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