Yasmeen Kamrani Sallam
Invitation to Create a Kinara
Another amazing holiday to celebrate is Kwanzaa. Beginning December 26 and lasting for seven days, Kwanzaa is a celebration of community, family and culture, established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African roots and heritage. There are 7 principles of Kwanzaa in which the candles symbolize 1.Unity 2. Self-Determination 3. Collective Work and Responsibility 4. Cooperative Economics 5. Purpose 6. Creativity 7. Faith. This invitation to create a Kinara is great way to teach children about the holiday.
Before inviting the child to create a Kinara you can read all of these amazing stories to integrate the process by deepening their understanding of the traditions. After reading the story you can invite the child to create a Kinara with loose parts (wood bits, rocks, wood cubes, acrylic ice rocks). You can explain to the children that the Kinara is a seven-space candle holder, representing the original stalk from which the African people originated. The mishumaa saba (seven candles) stand for the Seven Principles.
There are so many amazing celebrations during the holiday season, and the more children learn and represent all cultures in the classroom and in our homes, the more knowledge and understanding we provide for everyone while making every child feel seen and heard in their community. When integrating the stories to open ended activities such as loose parts play it deepens the connection to all aspects of learning.