Light the Kinara! Activity

4.5 based on 2 ratings
Updated on May 7, 2014

The Kinara is the seven-candle holder that represents an African family's heritage. Invite your child to explore a new cultural tradition by playing this fast-paced, two player Kinara game! This one's a double whammy: Creating the game will refine your child's fine motor skills, while the playing of it will test her ability to think on her toes!

In a Kwanzaa celebration, the candles (Mishumaa Saba) are lit over the seven-day period, between December 26 and January 1. Each of the seven candles represent a different Kwanzaa tradition: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, collective economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

What You Need:

  • Scissors
  • 3" x 5" index cards
  • Shoebox
  • 14 clothespins
  • Red, green and black non-toxic markers
  • Orange construction paper

What You Do:

  1. Have your child cut seven index cards in half.
  2. Ask your child to draw two black, six green, and six red candles on the cards. Have her place the cards in the shoebox, face down.
  3. Help your child color the clothespins as in step 2.
  4. Ask your child to draw one flame shape on the orange construction paper, and trace a total of 14 flame shapes. Have her cut them out when she's done.
  5. Help your child glue the orange flames to the front of the clothespins.

How to Play:

  1. Sit with the shoebox between each player.
  2. Each player gets one black, three green, and three red clothespins.
  3. Take turns drawing cards. Each time a player draws a card, you may place a clothespin on the edge of the box. Place them as they appear in the Kinara: black in the middle, red on the left, and green on the right.
  4. The players are going to be racing to light each Kinara first. You must place a black candle first, so it is necessary to keep drawing until you receive one.
  5. Players should discard back into the box any card he or she cannot use, and mix up the cards. After each player has her black "candle" placed, she will need a red candle, then a green, and so on.
  6. The first player to light her Kinara is the winner!

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