Perfect Kwanzaa Gifts for Kids and the VIPs in Their Life

On the hunt for a Kwanzaa gift? Check out our guide to the perfect presents for kids, grandparents, teachers and caregivers.
ByAyn-Monique Klahre
August 6, 2020
kwanzaa gift guide, pillow, candles, book
Image: Courtesy Manufacturer
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Kwanzaa is a time to gather together, honor your ancestors and celebrate what makes a community strong. What better way than to exchange thoughtful presents with family and friends? Handmade gifts may be encouraged, but if you’re not the crafty type, we’ve got plenty of shoppable gift ideas that still pay the customary homage to African and African-American traditions, whether you’re shopping for your kids or their caregivers.

Kwanzaa Gifts for Kids

These sweet gifts will give your kiddos plenty to celebrate—and you an opportunity to teach them about their heritage.

Image: Courtesy of Cookie Cutters

Kwanzaa Africa Cookie Cutter Set

This four-piece plastic set of cutters—which create cookies that piece together to form Africa—are a smart way to kick off the weeklong holiday. Besides kitchen skills, parents can use the time together to introduce the continent to little ones and talk about the principles of Kwanzaa. What’s more, your tasty batch can be packaged up as Kwanzaa treats for loved ones. Call it the gift that keeps on giving.

Buy it: $10,

Image: Courtesy of Square Fish

My First Kwanzaa, by Karen Katz

Books that teach kids about their heritage are especially welcome during Kwanzaa. This one, from popular children’s book author and illustrator Karen Katz, is a rousing introduction to the joys of Kwanzaa and its rituals, complete with vibrant pictures.

Buy it: $8,

Image: Courtesy of Baby Okra Boutique/Etsy

Ankara Print Bows

This bow set—hand-stitched in 100 percent cotton African fabric—festively tops off any little girl’s holiday outfit. It comes with a clip as well as ribbon, so your little one can wear it alone or as a headband. (Frugal mom tip: Split the set up, and you’ve got two days’ worth of gifts.) It also works as a bow tie for boys.

Buy it: $50,

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Kwanzaa Gifts for Grandparents

Kids are generally the gift recipients during Kwanzaa, but everyone appreciates a year-end treat, especially if it’s presented as a token of love from your child.

Image: Courtesy of Wazi Shoes

Nightjar Sandal

These chic beaded sandals are handmade in Tanzania, with a portion of sales benefiting The Gretta Foundation, which supports young nurses-in-training in Eastern Africa.

Buy it: $130,

Image: Courtesy of Minted

African Drum Print

Update any room with this cool limited-edition print of an African drum, by a graphic designer from Trinidad & Tobago. It has both modern and historical appeal, and it’s available framed or unframed and in range of sizes and colors.

Buy it: Starting at $21,

Image: Courtesy African Heritage Collection

Kwanzaa Mask Candleholder and Celebration Set

Set your holidays ablaze with this beautiful Kwanzaa set. It includes a kinara handmade by Ghanaian artisans, as well as candles, a bamboo mat and unity cup, as well as an information packet teaching about Kwanzaa.

Buy it: $75,

Kwanzaa Gifts for Teachers

Show how thankful you are for all that your kids’ teachers do with these tokens of appreciation.

Image: Courtesy Baskets from Africa

Bukedo & Raffia Bowl

Here’s something your child’s favorite teacher will love setting out on the table (or hannging on her wall) during Kwanzaa or any other time of year. Handmade by Ugandan weavers, this brilliant serving basket is crafted from banana leaf stalks and raffia from palm leaves, two renewable, plentiful resources.

Buy it: $30,

Image: Courtesy Society6

Kwanzaa Red Black Green Stripes Throw Pillow

Teachers (and just about anyone) hosting a Kwanzaa gathering can appreciate the decorative powers of a smartly chosen throw pillow. This colorful choice adds festive flair to any sofa.

Buy it: $30,

Image: Courtesy of Amistad

The Cooking Gene, by Michael W. Twitty

Written by a renowned culinary historian, this memoir explores the author’s his ancestry—black and white—through food. Along the way, readers also discover the complicated roots of Southern food from Africa to contemporary America.

Buy it: $19,

Kwanzaa Gifts for Caregivers

Whether you’re looking to gift something to your nanny or daycare providers, these Kwanzaa gifts are sure to be a hit.

Image: Courtesy Gifts with Humanity

Two Birds Apron

For recipients who’ll be hands-on in the Kwanzaa feast preparations, this handy gift will be put to immediate use. Made by Ghanaian mothers using traditional batik techniques, the festive, bold apron has a clever front pocket and is made with 100 percent machine-washable cotton.

Buy it: $20,

Image: Courtesy of Texda/Global Girlfriend

Ugandan Organic Waxcloth Wristlet

Just right for essentials, this wallet-sized clutch is handmade by female artisans in Uganda and backed by TEXDA, a group that promotes women textile entrepreneurs. The wristlet comes in a selection of colors and patterns and is made of 100 percent organic cotton.

Buy it: $10,

Image: Courtesy of Harry & David

Dried Fruit Tray

Help your superstar caregiver celebrate the holiday with a bounty of fruit. This colorful mix of dried varieties is a crowd-pleaser and will last through the holidays

Buy it: $30,

Updated December 2019

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