Made up of more than 50 countries, Africa is the second-largest continent in the world. It has an array of cultures and traditions throughout its countries. African crafts often focus on the colours of its flag, but there are many other aspects of Africa that children will enjoy discovering through artistic activities.
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When thinking of Africa, the first thing most children think about is its safari animals. The lion is one of the most recognisable of these animals and can easily be created with a few items from the kitchen. Children can decorate a paper plate with the oranges and yellows of a lion's coat and then glue pasta around the edges to make the lion's wild mane. Rotini or penne pastas will produce a thick, bold mane, while pieces of broken spaghetti or angel hair pastas will appear more subtle. Child can finish off their lions by drawing on a nose and mouth, then either gluing on google eyes or cutting holes to transform the lion into a mask.
The African holiday of Kwanzaa runs each year from December 26 to January 1. Each day of the celebration, a coloured candle burns to represent the people, their struggles, and their hope for the future. Since children often want to help with holiday traditions but may not be old enough to practice proper fire safety, parents can help them by creating their very own set of candles. Children can glue construction paper to the outside of seven toilet paper or paper towel rolls to represent each of their parent's candles--one black, three red and three green. Each day of the celebration that the parents light a candle, the children can glue a tissue paper or cellophane flame inside of their crafted candles.
What child doesn't love making noise? By using two recycled cups, a bit of glue, and a lot of masking tape, children are able to handicraft a set of African drums. Drinking cups come in all sizes, so these drums can be customised to the perfect fit. Take two cups and glue the bottoms together to form an hourglass shape. Once the glue is dry, help children attach strips of masking tape to the openings and sides of both cups until they are completely covered. Once finished, children can then decorate their drums by painting or drawing on African patterns. Get the whole family involved by having a dancing and singing party while children play their drums.
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