Are you looking for engaging ways to introduce African culture to your kids? Look no further! African crafts are a hands-on and creative way to teach kids about the diversity and richness of Africa's heritage. From traditional mask-making that reflects African traditions to unique necklaces that tell the stories of African communities, African crafts offer a window into the fascinating world of African culture. Join us on this exciting journey as we explore the wonders of African crafts, spark creativity in our kids, and cultivate their appreciation for the artistry and cultural significance of African crafts.
1. African Djembe Drums
Traditional African drums come in various types, and for our purpose, we will zoom in on the Djembe Drum. This renowned musical instrument originated from West Africa and has strong ties to the Malian Empire. The Djembe Drum is a percussion instrument often synonymous with African drums, featuring a large drum head and a smaller body and bottom. Try making your own African Djembe drum through this simple video guide.
2. African Masks
African masks carry deep cultural significance. African masks are at the heart of social and religious events in many African communities. They serve a dual purpose, embodying both artistic expression and spiritual significance. African masks make excellent crafts for kids; and allow them to explore different materials, colours, and designs, fostering their creativity and imagination. We recommend checking out this quick mask tutorial to get you started.
3. African Necklaces
African necklaces are stunning adornments with significant cultural and symbolic meanings.
They are crafted with intricate beadwork, unique patterns, and vibrant colours. African necklaces make fantastic crafts for kids, as they provide a hands-on opportunity for children to learn about African culture, explore different materials, and create beautiful necklaces. Try making this Maasai necklace.
4. African Shields
African shields are used for protection in traditional African warfare and they have unique designs and symbols. To make an African shield, start with a sturdy material such as cardboard. Cut out the desired shield shape, and then use paint to create intricate patterns or symbols that reflect the specific shield you want. We recommend this Ndebele shield tutorial.
5. African Thumb Piano
The African Thumb Piano, also known as the mbira - a name derived from the Shona language of Zimbabwe, is deeply rooted in African culture and has widespread popularity across Africa. The mbira was used in various ceremonial functions such as weddings and funerals. It was also played to honour individuals and for religious purposes to communicate with spirits and seek their guidance. Now creating a mbira might seem daunting, but it is easy. All you need are bobby pins, a block of wood, a nail, and a staple gun. Follow this tutorial and start crafting!
6. Calabash Bowls
Calabash bowls are traditional African bowls made from dried and hollowed-out calabash gourds. They are commonly used for storing food or as decorative pieces. Follow Crayola's 5-step instructions to creating a Kwanzaa Harvest Calabash.
Kids can explore various African doll-making techniques, such as using cloth wrapping, beading, and embroidery to create intricate details on the dolls. This craft encourages creativity, fine motor skills, and cultural awareness. Try this easy and simple newspaper doll craft.
Arguably, African flags are the easiest crafts on our list. With 54 African countries, each country boasts a unique flag that represents its national identity and pride. You can draw the flag of your chosen country to the best of your abilities. Another way is through printables. To get you started, check out our free African country worksheets.
9. Kente Cloths
Kente cloth is a unique and vibrant textile that originates from the Ashanti region of Ghana. It is made through the intricate process of handweaving using strips of silk and cotton, resulting in stunning patterns and colours. In modern-day Ghana, kente cloth is widely worn to commemorate special occasions and events. You don't need to weave an actual cloth for this craft. Try this Kente Cloth-inspired paper weaving.
10. Painted African Houses
Last on our list is painting African houses. For this craft, we will focus on Ndebele homes. The Ndebele people of South Africa and Zimbabwe are known for their beautiful and colourful homes. The Ndebele women create beautiful works of art and paint the houses that make them stand out. These homes make the perfect craft for kids. Try this Ndebele house art project with your kids.
African crafts for kids are not only fun and engaging, but they also provide an excellent opportunity for children to learn about the rich history, culture, and traditions of Africa. From creating African drums to painted African houses, children can explore and appreciate the beauty of African art while gaining valuable knowledge and skills.
If you're interested in more African-themed crafts for kids, be sure to check out our previous blog post on African Themed Crafts for Kids for more inspiration and ideas. Let your kids unleash their creativity while learning about the diverse and fascinating cultures of Africa through these exciting crafts.
Get ready to embark on a colourful and educational journey into the world of African art and crafts with your little ones!