Let’s teach the children some holiday history!
This year will mark the 56th anniversary of Kwanzaa, a holiday started on December 26, 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga to honor the first harvests and unite African-Americans around shared collective principles. It is still considered a newer holiday that many young children or families may not yet know the history of.
Kwanzaa is from December 26th to January 1st and centralizes five core values, including ingathering, reverence, commemoration, recommitment and celebration. Kwanzaa takes its name from the Swahili word “kwanza,” which means first fruits! It's a time for families to come together, acknowledge important beliefs, exchange gifts, and feast together. It's also a time to reflect on the past, honor the present and prepare for the future, uniting African-Americans around a shared understanding we’re still working to build.
The holiday is filled with symbolism that gives meaning and value to the Black experience, including symbols of agriculture, collective labor, self-actualization, the ancestors, children, commitment, and unity. There are also seven candles that remind us of the seven days of the festival and the principles that come with them.
As we approach the holidays, let’s make sure the children know there is much to celebrate and be thankful for, including the Black experience and our commitment to true liberation. To make learning about Kwanzaa easy, here are 5 kid-friendly YouTube channels that will teach your child about Kwanzaa:
Seed of Melanin Kids!
This kid-friendly YouTube channel has several videos to teach children about the African-American tradition of Kwanzaa. From a bit about the history and founder of Kwanzaa to videos about the Kwanzaa symbols and seven-day principles, there are many options to choose from. There is even a Kwanzaa read-along book video! This is a one-stop shop channel for all your go-to Kwanzaa history needs.
Little Crowns TV
This UK channel provides diverse and inclusive educational content for little ones. Their Kwanzaa video is an animation featuring a little girl named Rocsi who tells viewers all about Kwanzaa and why it’s important to her.
Kujo’s Kid Zone
Kujo’s Kid Zone is also very cool, bridging the familiarity of 90s kids show hosts with the new innovative animation tricks. Kujo breaks down Kwanzaa with word definitions, 7 principles, ways for celebrating, and even has some other kid guests stop by. It’s pretty fun and engaging for children.
Mr. Pete’s Playhouse
Another favorite is Mr. Pete’s Playhouse. Kids just love music, and the added bonus of Mr. Pete’s Kwanzaa songs rank this channel in our top 5. The show is super interactive and just in case you’re worried about your children forgetting the history, don’t worry, Mr. Pete uses a variety of mnemonic techniques on his channel to ensure they won’t forget. There’s some information, a book read, and of course, songs that sing all about the principles of Kwanzaa. They’ll be singing about Kwanzaa all holiday long!
5 kid-friendly YouTube channels that will teach your child about Kwanzaa. Photo Courtesy of Mr. Pete’s Playhouse/YouTube