Light the Kinara! Activity
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:
- 3" x 5" index cards
- 14 clothespins
- Red, green and black non-toxic markers
- Orange construction paper
What You Do:
- Have your child cut seven index cards in half.
- 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.
- Help your child color the clothespins as in step 2.
- 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.
- Help your child glue the orange flames to the front of the clothespins.
How to Play:
- Sit with the shoebox between each player.
- Each player gets one black, three green, and three red clothespins.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The first player to light her Kinara is the winner!