Have you asked your kid what the Day of the Dead is? They may fumble in explaining but worry no more because we are about to explain it to you. In Spanish, the Day of the Dead is called Día de Muertos. It is a famous celebration in Latin America and Mexico. Sometimes, it is referred to as All Souls Day or All Saint’s Day.
The festival’s primary purpose is to remember our loved ones who died. It is also a way of recalling the memories we had with our departed ones respectfully and joyfully. We can use the celebration to make our kids accept and deal with the idea that someday they will be dealing with death. This article is aimed at helping parents and kids understand the ten most awesome Day of the Dead Activities for Kids.
When is The Day of The Dead Celebrated?
According to National Geographic, the Day of the Dead is celebrated in Mexico on November 1 and 2. People usually use the event as an opportunity for a family reunion by combining the customs of the Aztec customs with All Souls’ Day. The event was taken to Mexico by Spanish invaders at the start of the 1500s. The celebration starts with people setting up candlelit altars in their homes, believing that spirits will find their way back to their people. At the altar, there are some foods in case one feels hungry. Each age set has special activities which they undertake.
10. Day of The Dead Skull Pumpkin Candle Holders
Candles’ light is essential to the Day of the Dead celebrations. You can make pumpkin candle holders with your kids. You only need:
- Black Sharpie
- White Spray paint
- Two temperature controls hot glue gun
- Artificial flowers in fall colors
Cut the stem of your pumpkins. Draw a center base for each candle using a pencil. Remove the pumpkin seeds at the point marked as the base. Paint the pumpkins white and let them dry. Draw the preferred skull designs on the pumpkin. Insert the candle in the hole you had created. Arrange the flowers around the candle and glue them using the two temperature glue guns. You can now place your candles at the altar and enjoy their beauty.
9. DIY Photo Frame for The Day of The Dead
Photos are an important component of the Day of the Dead Celebrations, and kids can make some of the items they can for the day. The simple activity only requires;
- A one-pine photo frame
- Colored pencils
The process is the simplest and shortest. The kid should clean the pine wood photo frame, make their design using the pencil (it enables them to make modifications), and then color over the makers and color pencils of your design. You can subscribe to the message you wish to have on the photo grid.
8. Glow in The Dark Days of The Dead Lanterns
The Dead Lanterns are one of the simplest alternatives to the candles on the altar. For you to make them, use non-toxic, glow-in-the-dark paint. Avoid using glow-in-the-dark sticks because they can be dangerous to kids. You only need;
- Glow in dark paint
- White plastic cups
- Some LED tea lights
- Sharpie markers
Using the markers, instruct your kid to draw their preferred skull design on each cup. Please encourage them to use different markers and colors. Take the cups with the skull designs and put them on the LED lights, and watch how beautiful they are glowing. The Dead Lanterns can be done both indoors and outdoors.
7. Easy Day if The Dead Kids Craft
The technique involves printing with Styrofoam. It is so simple to do with children because it does not require special equipment. You shall require:
- Styrofoam sheet
- Black paint
- White paper
- Rolling pin
- Glitter and stickers to decorate
Trace the skull’s shape onto a Styrofoam sheet using a pen’s end. Cover the Styrofoam with black paint. Carefully place a sheet of white paper over the top and, using a rolling pin, transfer the paint to the paper. Lift the sheet of paper off to reveal the impression of the skull. You can repeat the process over several skulls of different designs and let them dry. Using a glitter pen and adding the glittering stickers, you can draw the best skull structures you want on each side. For a picture demonstration of the procedure, check it on the Gingerbread House.
6. Skull Bath Bombs
Skull Bath Bombs are not only used for the Day of the Dead but also during Halloween. When making them, you shall need. Its experts suggest that the skull bomb should be made when there is low humidity so that we avoid expansion because it can absorb moisture.
- A cup of baking soda
- Half cup of cornstarch
- 1/2 of citric acid
- 1/4 cup of Epsom salts
- 2 tbsp of unrefined coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp of Oleoresin
- 1.2 to 1 and 1/2 tsp water
Mix the baking soda, citric acid, cornstarch, and Epsom salts. Add coconut and the remaining oils to the mixture and mix thoroughly. Add some water as you keep on stirring. The moisture you have archived above should be scooped into each side of the mold and pressed gently to ensure that the details are precise; then, you overfill each side and firmly press it together. Allow the bomb to dry for hours before storing it in airtight packaging. The process should be parent-guided. Learn more about the process on Beauty Crafter.
5. Sugar Skull Pots and Flowers Craft
Sugar Skull Pots and flowers are very easy for kids to make during The Day of the Dead Celebrations. You shall need the following supplies to make them.
- Glue gun
- Two small planters that are about 5 inches
- Sugar skull duct tape
- Flower foam
- Knife to cut the flower foam
- Colored markers
- Piece of cardboard, 5 by 5 inches
- 2 pieces of yellow tissue paper
- Pieces of pink and blue tissue paper (one each)
- Printable skulls sized to 2 inches tall
- 2 colorful straws
Get out the planters, duct tape, and scissors. From the top to the bottom, apply the duct tape in stripes, then another on the sides, leaving a gap of one inch at the bottom. While attaching the tape to the planters, line up the pattern you would wish to have. Take your knife and cut pieces of the floral foam to fit in 2/3 of the planters. Draw and cut out two inches wide circles on your cardboard.
Use the yellow tissue to scrunch and glue it around the cardboard circle. Do the same with the blue/ pink tissue but on the out layer of the yellow circle. Color and cut out two sugar skulls and attach them to the center of each flower. Glue a paper straw to the back of each flower & push them down to the floral form. A picture demonstration of each state is as in Growing Up Bilingual.
4. Day of The Dead Sugar Skull Wind Chime
The Day of The Dead Sugar Skull Wind Chime is one of the best outdoor decorations you can help your kids make or let the grown ones make for themselves. Its advantage is that it helps in old upcycling materials. It’s mostly used by hanging it on the altars or the trees next to it. You shall need the following to make it.
- Wind chime tubes. You can order them from Amazon
- Wooden skull cut, or if your kid is good in art, they can make one
- White spray paint
- Sharpie markers in different colors
- Drill/ Hammer and nail
Using the brush, paint the wooden skull cut out white using the brush or spray if available. Use the drill, hammer, and nail to make holes at the top and bottom of the cutout. Using a pencil, trace the design of your sugar skull on each side of the skull cut out. Use a black sharpie to trace the pencil drawing, and erase the pencil tracing marks when it dries. Take different bright colors and decorate the sugar skull to the design you would wish to have. Connect the wind chime to the bottom of your decorated skull, then attach a string/ metal chain to the wind chime using a hook at the end to the top. Hang the wind chime at the desired location and enjoy.
3. Day of The Dead Mask Craft
You can help your kid in making the Day of the Dead Mask of any choice they would prefer. Even at school, teachers can integrate its making as part of art and craft. According to the Gowning Up Bilingual, you shall need:
- Acrylic paints
- Permanent markers (they are more effective for kids)
- Jewels and flowers to make them more attractive
- Old newspapers and working space
- Stick glue
- Old skull samples/ sketches which are plain
Prepare your working area by covering it with old newspapers. They should be clean. Paint the skull with white paint- the paint acts as the surface on which you shall draw the mask of your choice. Let your kid use the pencil and draw any design they prefer on the mask. You can add more than one design to the mask to make it more attractive. Using glue, you can stick some flowers and glitters to make them more popping. Let the drawing and the stuck flowers/sparkles dry.
2. Printed Stone Skulls
Painted stone skulls are a super simple craft that involves the decorations of skulls, often using sugar together with marigolds to honor the dead. Commonly stone painting is done by boys, and they draw their inspiration from the Red Ted Arts’ (Sharpie). For you to make the skull, you shall need the following.
- Rocks that have skull-like shapes
- Acrylic paint
- Old newspaper
- Overalls because acrylic paints can stick
- Sequins, glitter, and mod podge to improve their attractiveness
Before you start, ensure your work area is fully covered using the newspapers. It’s advisable that you work on an outdoor flat surface. Using one of the brushes, paint a white skull on the stones and let them dry under the sun. Choose your favorite skull features and add them to the white surface using different colors. Traditionally, a heart shape that is upside down and marigolds are used.
Note: It is optional for you to use glitter or sequins to attain maximum sparkling.
1. Matchbook Shrines
Matchbook Shrines is one of the Latino crafts that kids can make by upcycling-the process of taking items that one can easily toss out and you do something new to them. To make matchbook shrines, you shall require;
- Empty matchbooks
- Glue stick
- Assorted paper images
- Small flowers/ charms
- Black permanent marker
The stages are elementary:
To make sure that the color sticks on the matchbooks and give them a worn look, use your sandpaper to rough up the outside of the book. Using the marker, write the messages, phrases, or doodles of your choice on the book surfaces. Apply the watercolors to the matchbook, both outside and inside. Using the glue stick, add more pictures to the surface. Choose a favorite picture to be the focal point and insert it between the rows of the cardboard where the matches were. It is advisable that you use photos of the loved ones you would wish to celebrate.
Now you know your kids’ activities during the Day of the Dead celebrations. Apart from their cultural values, they have health and wellness benefits in that they improve our kids’ creativity in arts. Besides, it is one of the best ways to engage in outdoor activities. Those who value the culture should attempt to export the culture to other parts of the world. Latin American and Mexican tourists should take advantage and try to export it as a tourist attraction feature.