The word amistad means friendship. During Black History Month this word often comes up because it was also the name, ironically, of one of the slave ships taking unknowing people from Africa to America where they were forced into slavery. Yet amistad has come to represent much more—the hard work and friendships of abolitionists and activists that fought for a society free of slavery. This is a perfect opportunity to talk about friendship with your child. What does friendship mean? How is your child able to see the good in her friends, even if they are very different? This craft provides your child with an opportunity to explore her own thoughts on friendship.
What You Need:
- Colored construction paper
- Markers or crayons
- Sheet of paper
What You Do:
- Explain to your child the meaning of amistad, then ask what friendship means to her. What does your child look for in a friend? How does she reciprocate friendship? What does being a good friend mean? Is friendship everlasting or unconditional? After this initial discussion, ask your child to make a list of sentences or words that she associates with friendship, or amistad.
- Now help your child to cut out strips of paper, one for each of the sentence or word on the list. Cut the construction paper along the longest side, about one-inch thick. After all of the strips are cut, lay them flat on the table.
- Ask your child to write down on each piece of paper one word, phrase, or sentence about friendship.
- Once each piece of paper has a word written on it, help your child bend the first strip into a circle to form a ring. Make sure the written words are on the outside. Then, hold the strip in the circle shape by putting a bit of tape at the two meeting points. For each ring that your child adds, make sure she forms the circle by slipping it around the loop of the previous ring, taping it off, and continuing on to the next one. Join the strips together to create a band of interlocking friendship rings.
- Display your amistad craft in a place to remind your child what true friendship means.