These traditional African crafts for kids teach us about the rich and colorful heritage of the African continent! Play games, create art and have fun!
I was 10 when The Lion King was first released, and I was hooked! I don’t remember how many times I watched it after that, I just remember that I could sing ‘The Circle of Life’ continuously without missing a beat!
Another bonus of watching the Lion King was that it introduced me to the gorgeous African landscape, so beautifully recreated by Disney in the movie. Not to mention the coolest ever ‘bros’ – Timon and Pumba – and their iconic catchphrase – Hakuna Matata!
While my Swahili is limited to these two words, my interest in Africa has only grown, and the more I learn, the more I realize that there’s so much more to know. So as the next edition of The Lion King rolls around, let’s take this opportunity to learn more about Africa with some traditional African Crafts for kids. Make, learn and have fun!
10 Traditional African Crafts for Kids to Make
Krokotak has a beautiful project that’s so easy to make! Make a bunch of these houses and you’ll feel like you’re in a village in Africa! This project is quite open ended and kids can color in any patterns they like.
Can you believe these masks are made from toilet paper rolls? They look so realistic!! African masks may be treated as decor elements in many places, but in Africa, specific masks are used for special occasions and rituals. Check out the instructions on making these at Dzieciaki W Domu.
This is the ‘Mbira’, an African instrument where the metal tines are played using the thumbs. Make your own mini version of this piano using bobby pins with the help of this project from Thrifty Fun.
Djembe means ‘to Gather in Peace’, and these drums are usually used to spread some peace and happiness among the people. Mainly from West Africa, this drum is shaped like a goblet. Make different versions of this drum like in this project from Dzieciaki W Domu.
Here is another African mask craft, this time from Eco Kids Art. This project is more true to size, since African masks are generally quite large, you can go ahead and make a big collage. Have fun with different art materials to create a gorgeous mask!
Necklaces are an important part of African culture, and each tribe has a different version. In some places, the style and length of the necklace indicates whether a woman is married or not. The necklaces are truly works of art, and you can create your own with this paper plate craft from Education.
Kente is a kind of cloth made by weaving strips of cloth together, like a basket. Kente is popular in Ghana and features colorful prints. But it isn’t just a random mix of colors – each color has a specific meaning, making this garment truly special. Kitchen Table Classroom recreates this art by weaving with paper instead of cloth.
We can’t get over how cute these African dolls from Ekla Blog are!! Just look at that head gear – so intricate too! They’ve done a Japanese version too on the blog, and you can get the instructions to make these dolls from there.
Kids all over the world have their own board games, and if Tic Tac Toe is popular in some parts of the world, in Ghana it’s Achi! Aunt Annie shows us how to make and play this board game which is as colorful as it is fun!
Mancala is the African name for a game with beads and small holes, a game that’s also played in several other parts of the world. This is a game that’s been around since the 7th century, and now you can make it at home, right now! Check out how to with instructions from Amy’s Free Ideas.
I’m sure these crafts have triggered a thirst for more knowledge about Africa and its culture! With so many countries and tribes, each one has its own distinct heritage, and its so interesting to learn about them all! Here’s to learning happily and without worry – Hakuna Matata!