Jamaican crafts & activities for kids

Updated April 17, 2017

The diversity of Jamaican culture can be seen in its people and their love of dance, music and art. Kids who are making Jamaican-inspired crafts will have many easy and interesting activities to choose from. They can take inspiration from the Rasta colours of black, green and red, or from Jamaica's island vibe and exciting festivals.

Rasta Bracelet

The Rasta bracelet usually comes in the colours of gold, red, green and black. The colours represent the beliefs and lifestyle of the Jamaican people. Kids can easily make a Rasta bracelet with craft foam, beads, scissors, glue and threads in red, green, gold and black. All they have to do is to measure the length of their wrists and cut the foam using the measurement. The width of the foam should not be more than an inch. Then, they punch a hole at both ends of the foam and wrap the foam using the threads. They should arrange the colours in an alternate manner and glue at the back. Finally, they will use the remaining threads as a clasp for the Rasta bracelet.

Tie-Dye Shirt

Kids usually love doing things with paints or dyes, so tie-dying shirts will bring out their creativity and imagination. They just need a shirt that is preferably white, but any colour will do as long as the dye is a contrasting colour. Other things needed are fabric dye, rubber gloves, rubber bands and water. The first thing that kids have to do is to tie the shirt with rubber bands, since these will produce the patterns on the shirt. This is where their imagination and creativity come in. After preparing the dye, the kids can now immerse their shirts but be sure they are wearing gloves. The longer the shirt is immersed, the darker the colour will become. Once the kids are satisfied with the colour, they will rinse it with water and remove the rubber bands to reveal the shirt's design.

Seashell Chimes

Kids will enjoy making seashell chimes they can hang by their windows or doors. Besides seashells, they will need strips of yarn, a sharp pencil, a small plastic lid and white glue. The seashells should be glued to the ends of each strip of yarn using white glue. Using a sharp pencil, let them punch holes on the small plastic lid where the strips of yarns will be attached and tie each strip of yarn in a tight knot to prevent it from falling off the lid. To hang the chimes, kids should make two holes at the opposite ends of the lid and insert a long strip of yarn from one end going out the opposite end. They should then tie the yarn together and hang it by the window.

Paper Plate Masks

Masks are common props during Jamaican festivals such as the Junkanoo festival. Let the kids make simple masks they can decorate themselves and use for fun festivities. All they need are paper plates, scissors, magic markers and ribbons. Direct them to cut paper plates in half and cut out two circles for the eyes, then cut a little from where the plate will sit at the nose. From another plate, have them cut two small circles, then glue those at the top of the plate as ears. They will then punch two holes on opposite ends of the plate and tie with a ribbon. They can now decorate and design their masks using their magic markers.

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About the Author

Based in North Carolina, Rossana Coscolluela has been writing since 1997. She was editor of the University of the Philippines’ “UPV Information Manual” and has also been an editorial consultant for various custom publications. She currently enjoys freelance writing. Coscolluela holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in comparative literature from the University of the Philippines in the Visayas.