Latino communities are celebrating “Dia de los Muertos,” or “Day of the Dead.” This holiday is the Hispanic version of the Catholic Christian All Souls Day. Families remember their deceased relatives. Parents should explain to children that although Day of the Dead festivities include skulls and skeletons; they are not meant to scare. The holiday is a joyous time that celebrates family and ancestors. Here are free printable activities to share with children and help them explore Day of the Dead.
* Tiki Chris has skull mask craft templates. These can be printed and attached to card stock or paper plates. Any age child can make these masks, but parents will need to help preschool children with cutting.
* Mystic Voodoo provides a complete how-to guide to make a family altar. The altar commemorates deceased loved ones and decorates the home for Day of the Dead. Along with tips to make the altar, there are printable papel picado (Mexican paper cutting) patterns.
* PBS Zoom: Under the “Arts and Crafts” category, there are printable papel picado and paper flower crafts. Paper cutting projects may require parental supervision as they are made with tissue paper.
* Family Fun The family altar is often decorated with garlands of flowers and this website has printable flower crafts. Parents can keep eager children busy creating these printable cut-paper flowers to decorate the home. There are flower crafts for differing ages and ability levels. Older children can help younger ones.
* A-Z has a 31-page activity booklet with puzzles, word search, information, coloring, Calavera mask craft project, games and lessons. This booklet is geared for parents and teachers; families may print the materials from their computer. Children will enjoy making a cut-and-paste skeleton. This is a good way for parents to teach their kids about how bones are connected to create the human frame.
* Dia de los Muertos has printable coloring pages of decorated skulls for children. On Dia de los Muertos, people paint their faces with skull patterns and dress as skeletons. They dance special holiday dances.
* Fantasy Jr. has printable Day of the Dead coloring pages.
* Mr. Donn provides a child-friendly explanation of Day of the Dead. There are links for crafts, recipes, printable games and puzzles.
* Fox Latino News has several recipes for Day of the Dead. There are recipes for Pan de Muertos (Bread of the Dead) which is a traditional treat eaten on the holiday. There are also easy recipes for parents to make with children. Kids will love the sugar skull candy recipes.