African Craft Activities for Kids

By Anne Boynton
traditional drum image by bayu harsa from Fotolia.com

Craft activities can be an effective way to keep children busy, improve their motor skills and teach them about shapes and colors. African craft activities not only have these advantages for kids, but they also teach them about African culture and create an appreciation for it.

African Drum

DLTK's Crafts for Kids gives directions for creating an African drum approximately 9 inches tall. According to the website, materials required include drinking cups made of paper, plastic or Styrofoam, masking tape, glue, shoe polish, rags and permanent markers. First, glue the cups together so their bottoms are touching. Then, cover the openings at the top of the cups with 4- to 5-inch pieces of tape. Cover the rest of the cups with slightly smaller pieces of tape. Paint all of the tape with shoe polish, then use the rags to wipe it off. With the permanent markers, make geometric shapes and designs on the drum.

African Spear

DLTK's Crafts for Kids gives directions on their website for creating an African spear. According to the website, the materials required include a cardboard wrapping paper roll, a Styrofoam meat tray, tape, scissors and paint in brown, black or gray. The wrapping paper roll is to be cut lengthwise and then rerolled so that the shaft is as narrow as possible. Use masking tape to cover the roll. A dull-edged spear tip is cut from the Styrofoam meat tray and taped to the end of the spear's shaft. Paint the spear and shaft.

Kente Cloths

As an African craft activity, children can make Kente cloths, which are hand-woven cloths in African colors used for celebrations and ceremonies in Ghana. According to the KinderArt website, the necessary materials include 18-by-4-inch strips of high-quality paper, pencils, rulers, paintbrushes, water cups, paper towels and tempera paint in red, green, blue, black and yellow. Children paint geometric designs, such as stripes and triangles, on the paper strips. When the strips of paper dry, the shapes can be outlined with a black marker, which is optional.

About the Author

Based in Florida, Anne Boynton has been writing nonfiction articles since 2008. Her articles appear on various websites. Boynton has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2006.