Craft projects for kids can provide a hands-on way to learn about different cultures. Children may be more apt to remember facts learnt through the creative process than through books. The Incan culture was rich in creative tradition and practices. There are a number of Inca craft projects for kids that are both educational and fun. Take the time to give a brief lesson about the history behind the projects.
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Masks played an important role in Incan culture and are relatively easy to make for upper-elementary school aged children. You'll need tooling foil, masking tape, newsprint, pencils, modelling tools and India ink. Using pictures of real Inca masks for inspiration, draw a mask on newsprint. Tape the drawing to the tooling foil and trace over the lines of the drawing, making sure the impression goes through. Tool the masks by pressing down on some of the shapes and making others jump out. If needed, trace over some of the lines again to make the shapes show up clearly. Cut out the mask and add paint with India ink for an antiquing effect.
Pyramids of the Inca once stood tall and strong. Remains of these pyramids can still be seen today. Make a model of an Inca pyramid using sugar cubes. Find a good picture to use as a model. To start, mix one egg white and a pinch of cream of tartar together until it forms into soft peaks. Add 1 1/2 cups of confectioners' sugar in 1/4 cup increments until combined. This creates the mortar that will hold the pyramid together. Glue the bottom layer together using a pastry brush and mortar. Gradually work your way up, making taller layers until the pyramid is formed. Paint with acrylics for a more authentic colour.
Pottery played an important functional role in daily Incan life. Pots were crafted by shaping the form with their hands and when they dried, were painted with elaborate geometric designs, usually in red, black and white colours. Using clay, have the children try to duplicate the different types of Incan pottery. It may be helpful to print some pictures out to model them after. When the clay dries, paint the geometric designs on the outside.
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