Bonnie Bernstein & Leigh Blair in their book Native American Crafts
Infants: Ceremonial Drum – Native Americans believed their ceremonial drums had magical powers. They used these drums to accompany songs and dances. Have the caregiver cover a coffee can with a plastic lid in colored construction paper and decorate it with magic markers using Native American symbols such as a sun, clouds, rain, a rainbow etc. Give infants a wooden spoon and encourage them to hit the top of the drum.
Toddlers: Finger Masks – The Eskimos held dances for religious festivals and for social gatherings – especially during the long winter months. In these dances they acted out the important aspects of their lives. Masks of animals and bird spirits were very common. These finger masks can be made of a toilet paper roll core cut in half. Cut two finger holes in the back and have the toddlers decorate the front with two eyes, a nose, and a smiley mouth. Have them glue feathers, ribbons or yarn as hair. As they dance to music the feathers, ribbons or yarn on their fingers will wave with the swaying of their bodies.
Preschoolers: Ghost Shirt – Native Americans believed that these shirts had magic powers to protect them. They became the symbolic costume worn by men and women in a ritual called the Ghost Dance. They believe that the ghosts of their ancestors would return and reteach them their ancient ways. Give each child a large brown paper bag. Have them cut out a hole in the bottom of the bag for their head and a hole on each side for their arms to stick out. Decorate the front and back with Native American symbols. Black represents night, male, and west. – Blue represents sky, female, and north. White represents winter, snow, and south. – Red represents lighting, sunset, and east. Green represents plants, rain and summer. – Yellow represents day, sunshine, and dawn. Organize Native American celebrations around some important time, a holiday, or an event like Thanksgiving. (For the record, Native American Day is the fourth Friday in September.) If possible, write or talk to Native Americans who live nearby or go to the local library to learn more about particular Native American songs or dances.