Day of the dead (Dia de los muertos) is fast approaching. It occurs on November1st and 2nd this year. What are some activities for the kids to do in Celebration of Day of the Dead that will help them understand what it is all about? Day of the Dead is an ancient celebration of the circle of life. It celebrates both life and death. It originated in Latin America.
The kids need to learn the traditions of their culture. Participation in preparation is one of the means to provide Day of the Dead activities for kids. Kids can assist in the cleanup of the cemeteries: old flowers have to be removed and new ones put in place; any repairs that are needed have to be made to the graves; and any trash on the grounds must be removed. Decorations are colorful, then again the Latin American region is known for fiestas. Kids can make the Calaveras, paper flowers, pasta skeletons, altars, sugar skulls, and felt banners.
Day of The Dead Traditions
Each family usually has an altar in their home for the festivities. These altars are usually decorated with pictures, candles, favorite foods, flowers, and/or other symbolic offerings that had meaning to the dead. The children can make their own version of an altar. The child’s altar could be a picture, a scaled down version of the family’s altar, or an object of their choice.
Paper flowers are easy to make. One of the easiest versions would be to use tissue paper and string or chenille sticks. They add to the aura of the festival.
Pasta skeletons are fun and easy to make. The kids should enjoy this activity. The materials needed are black construction paper, glue, pasta, and dried beans. This activity helps the kiddos learn about anatomy and make decorations at the same time.
Skull coloring pages give the children an outlet to use their creativity. This would be a good activity for the children to do at home or school. These pages could also be displayed as a part of the festival decorations.
They also make skulls out of sugar. Sugar skulls are a traditional folk art and are used in the Day of the Dead celebrations. There are molds available to make the skulls. The sugar skulls are brightly painted with colored icing and can also be decorated with sequins, glitters and colored foils.
The kids can also make scaled down versions of banners. The banners are used to decorate the altars. They honor the deceased with these banners.
These Day of the Dead activities for kids should help the kids learn and understand the purpose of the Day of the Dead festivities. It is important that they understand the cycle of life. The Day of the Dead celebrates and honors those who have already crossed over. It also honors and celebrates those who are still living.