Kwanzaa African Drum – Make Your Own

One of the things you can expect with any type of celebration is that there will be music. Think about all of the Christmas music you hear, beginning right after Thanksgiving. When you celebrate Kwanzaa you can expect to hear the strong rhythm of the African drum. Children love to celebrate so here are some directions on how to make an African drum to celebrate Kwanzaa.

There are a couple of ways to make a drum which will look like it came from Africa. In most cases you won’t be able to create the same sounds as an African drum, but making a crafted drum may help your child understand the holiday better.

Here are the items you’ll need to make one type of crafted African drum:

* Large terracotta pot
* Green, red and black acrylic paint
* Sheet of paper large enough to cover the terracotta pot
* Rubber band large enough to go around the pot

Find African designs in books at the library or on the internet. You’ll want to look for designs which are associated with Kwanzaa or the colors of Kwanzaa. Paint the terracotta pots and allow them to dry.

After the pot is dry, draw a circle on the paper, large enough to cover the pot. You’ll also want to leave enough to hang over the sides. Center the paper over the opening on the pot and then pull a rubber band over the top to secure the paper to the pot. You and your children may be surprised at the sounds which come out of this hand-crafted African drum.

Conga drums are a traditional African drum made of wood and cow hide as the drum head. You may not have the materials or knowledge to make an authentic conga, but that doesn’t mean you or your children can’t make a drum which looks like one.

For this type of drum you’ll need a cardboard tube about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. (Carpet shops are a great place to try as they normally throw this type of tube away.) You’ll also want to find a plastic flower pot where the bottom will fit into the cardboard tube. Next find an embroidery hoop (available at craft stores) which has the same diameter as the top of the flower pot. Finally, you’ll need heavy plastic like the cover to a swimming pool or punch ball balloon and some heavy-duty tape.

Cut the cardboard tube to approximately 12 inches in length. Next cut the heavy-duty plastic large enough that it overlaps the sides of the tube by a couple of inches. Take the embroidery hoop apart and place the plastic over it. Get someone to help you stretch the plastic over the embroidery hoop and then put the outer hoop back over the bottom part. The plastic and embroidery hoop have created the drum head.

Place the drum head over the flower pot and tape it in place securely. Next push the bottom of the flower pot into the cardboard and adhere the two together with more tape. Once the pieces are together, paint it with African designs or red, green and black colors for Kwanzaa. Set it aside to dry. Tie raffia or jute around the areas where there is tape to cover it up.

Learn how to make an African drum to celebrate Kwanzaa. These drums aren’t hard to make and may help you understand the holiday better. When your drum is complete, don’t forget to give it a try!

Our Favorite Tshirt Collection