In this activity, children will learn more about Kwanza and make their own symbolic corn out of paper. The name for the holiday of Kwanzaa is derived from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits." Kwanzaa is a celebration of community, family and culture that begins on December 26th and lasts for seven days. Munhundi means corn. The corn represents the children of a family (one ear of corn for each child). The corn symbolizes the parents' wish for the child to grow up strong and happy. As you do this activity with the children you care for, emphasize your wish for them to grow up strong and happy too! Find more educational activities like this one in The GIANT Encyclopedia of Preschool Activities for 3-Year-Olds.
- Information about the Kwanzaa corn
- Yellow, orange, and green paint and brushes
- Brown or black marker
- Brown paper (torn construction paper or tissue paper)
- Paper punch
What To Do
- Munhundi means corn. The corn represents the children of a family (one ear of corn for each child). The corn symbolizes the parents' wish for the child to grow up strong and happy.
- Cut out corn shapes from tagboard.
- Ask the children how many brothers and sisters they have. Give each child one "ear of corn" for each sibling he has.
- Encourage the children to paint their corn. When the corn is dry, encourage them to glue small pieces of brown paper to the top of each ear.
- Give each child a piece of paper with information about Kwanzaa corn. Help them glue the information to the back of one ear of corn.
- Write down the names of each child's siblings on a separate ear of corn.
- Talk about what the corn symbolizes.
- Punch a hole into each ear of corn and string them together. If you tie each ear if corn to the string, they will not overlap and lay on top of each other.
- The child can take it home to be used as a door or wall hanging.