Teaching kids about Kwanzaa and the meaning of this important holiday is a wonderful way to open their hearts and minds to traditions they may not know. Many people celebrate Christmas but have no idea what Kwanzaa is about or why African-Americans celebrate the holiday. When kids learn about cultures different from their own, it helps them gain empathy and appreciate the world outside their neighborhoods. The more kids know and understand the world around them, the better their futures become. If you’re wondering how to teach your kids about Kwanzaa, just keep reading.
What Is Kwanzaa?
Before teaching your kids about Kwanzaa, you must understand the holiday’s origins and how African Americans celebrate it. Kwanzaa, Swahili for “first fruit,” began in 1966 by its creator Maulana Karenga. Honored from December 26th – January 1st, this week-long holiday celebrates the start of the harvest season in Africa. A common misconception about Kwanzaa is that it aims to take the place of Christmas for African Americans; however, Mr. Karenga made it clear that it is not a religious holiday. This is because so many people choose to participate in both Christmas and Kwanzaa.
During the festive week, there are family gatherings, gift-giving, and candle lighting to honor ancestors; at the end of the week, the holiday culminates with a feast called Karamu, where everyone comes together in love and happiness. Although not as popular as it was in the 1980s, many people still cherish this special holiday that honors a vibrant and beautiful culture.
How To Teach Kids About Kwanzaa
There are many ways you can teach your kids about the origins and meaning behind Kwanzaa. Allowing them to learn for themselves helps give them a deeper appreciation for the holiday.
Go To The Library
The library is where kids can learn and discover so many new things. Take your kids on a reading adventure by having them look up books related to Kwanzaa and find out what they have to say. Benign in a library setting helps promote a learning environment and gets kids excited to know more. You can ask the librarian to point you in the right direction and see if they have any books they recommend on the subject. You can’t go wrong with having your kids read to discover new concepts. A few books to check out are K Is For Kwanzaa and Seven Days Of Kwanzaa.
Interactive worksheets are a fun and exciting way for kids to learn about Kwanzaa while using their creativity. You can print them out here or search for ones that are age-appropriate for your child. When kids draw and write, their brains are engaged in a way simply having information told to them doesn’t do. As they color and answer questions, they will retain the information and understand its importance without feeling like they’re learning. Worksheets open a colorful world to kids and are guaranteed to help bring the meaning of Kwanzaa to life!
Kids love watching movies, which makes them an excellent way to teach your kids about the meaning of Kwanzaa. When kids are engaged and entertained simultaneously, they correlate what their learning with happiness and fun. Movies like A Rugrats Kwanzaa bring their favorite characters into the conversation and bring enjoyment along with education. Older children and adults would enjoy The Black Candle, which documents the struggles African American communities face and how they celebrate Kwanzaa. It brings to like the significance of the holiday and how it has helped grow and shape a generation of African American men and women.
Kwanzaa is a holiday that brings together the beautiful and diverse African American community through celebration and love. Although a relatively new holiday, its significance has far-reaching effects, and it positively impacts the lives of the men, women, and children who celebrate it every year. Knowing what Kwanzaa is and why it people celebrate is not only crucial for those who have never learned about it, but it’s vital to our children’s ability to understand and appreciate different cultures.
If you’re not sure how to teach your kids about Kwanzaa, you can head to the library, use interactive worksheets, or watch Kwanzaa-themed movies. You and your kids will love knowing more about this special holiday.