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Fun & Educational Native Crafts to Do with Your Kids

The long weekend is upon us in both Canada (waving hi!) and America. Today (and everyday) is the perfect day to celebrate in Native art culture with your children by doing some of these fun craft projects!

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  • Dreamcatchers 1 of 10
    Dreamcatchers
    The best kind of paper plate craft! Traditional dreamcatchers involve a rather difficult weaving process. This one is an easy craft you can do with your toddler, with some of your assistance. Older tots could definitely use a branch hoop that you've fashioned for them and sinew instead of yarn!
    Step-by-step instructions via Naturally Educational
    Read more about the traditional Dreamcatcher teaching from a First Nations perspective
  • Make Your Own Colouring Book! 2 of 10
    Make Your Own Colouring Book!
    Free template downloads ahoy! And remember: always colour outside of the lines.
    Choose from 10 pages to print via Claire & Her Grandfather (Beat Studios)
  • Inukshuks 3 of 10
    Inukshuks
    Innuksuit are Inuit rock sculptures, or landmarkers, built as a method of survival. Traditionally they are found in areas of bounty for hunting, fishing and gathering food. Thousands of years ago they were used as traveling markers. Today they are more used as a symbol of marking the path to a good place.Other styles of Innukshuks are made as imitations of people.
    Get the instructions for Inukshuk style rock stacking via Lotus Mama
    Instructions for paper and glue rock Inukshuks via The Crafty Classroom
    What Really Is An Inukshuk? Find Out More!
  • Rainsticks 4 of 10
    Rainsticks
    Rainsticks originate from many Indigenous cultures around the world. Tradionally udes during ceremony to invoke storms and rain. The sound of the rainstick was always rejoiced in as it represented the promise of growing crops and the coming of animals. Today, it is one of the most popular of percussion instruments.
    Instructions via The Imagination Tree
    Make some smaller ones for babies from this tutorial also over at The Imagination Tree
  • Sugar Cube Igloo 5 of 10
    Sugar Cube Igloo
    The Canadian Arctic was one of the coldest and unforgiving and long of winter climates in the world. Offering little light, the Inuit had to be very inventive in adapting to their environment in order to survive. Temporary, dome shaped shelters provided a much needed, insulated reprieve from the harsh elements. This little art project is a great way to get crafty with your little one.
    Instructions via The Crafty Classroom
    Learn more about Igloos
  • Puffy Polar bear 6 of 10
    Puffy Polar bear
    Nanuk (polar bears), have been long-time friends of the Inuit. Native hunters believe the nanuk to be wise and powerful, known as the great and lonely roamer. Toddlers will love messing about with all of the textures in this easy and decorative craft.
    Get the instructions via The Crafty Classroom
    Learn more by visiting Polar Bears International
  • Shakers & Rattles 7 of 10
    Shakers & Rattles
    For Aboriginal peoples, there are basically two types of shakers and rattles. Some are considered scared spiritual objects, used mainly in spiritual ceremonies and medicine. Mostly made of natural materials, they differ than those used for dance and pow wows.
    Create the plastic bottle corn shaker from Easy Preschooler
    Make paper plate rattles with Art is Basic
    a comparative history of the Native American rattle
  • Sand Painting 8 of 10
    Sand Painting
    Aboriginal people the world over consider art as a mandatory element to life, as many other cultures do too. Tribal leaders created sand paintings in healing ceremonies, as an integral part to healing the sick.
    Get the instructions and with free printables via Free Kids Crafts
    Get more ideas by visiting Kinderart
    Leran more about Native American Sandpainting
  • Drums 9 of 10
    Drums
    Drums are used for ceremonial purposes and in community gatherings. In first nations culture, a Native drum represents the heartbeat of Noo Halidzoks (Mother Earth), and directly communicates to the Creator.
    Learn how to make an easy drum with your child via Artists Helping Children
    Learn more teachings on the drum from Shannon Thunderbird
  • Gourd Rattles 10 of 10
    Gourd Rattles
    This one is my favourite of the craft projects as it requires a little more prep work from the parents, but will result in a lasting rattle your child can have to enjoy for many years to come.
    Step-by-step instructions can be found on Artists Helping Children
    All about Native American gourd rattles

Links of interest:

Reconsider Columbus Day

An overview of First Nations and Aboriginal art

An overview of Native American art

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More Babbles From Selena…

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Selena is a crafty, culinary mom. Creative Director. Social Media & Branding Consultant. Regular writer on Disney Baby. Part-time big-mouth & frequent foot-eater. Proud of her Anishinaabe roots.

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