“At first glance, the Mexican custom of El Día de los Muertos — the Day of the Dead — may sound much like the U.S. custom of Halloween. After all, the celebration traditionally starts at midnight the night of Oct. 31, and the festivities are abundant in images related to death.
But the customs have different origins, and their attitudes toward death are different: In the typical Halloween festivities, death is something to be feared. But in el día de los muertos, death — or at least the memories of those who have died — is something to be celebrated.” via SpanishAbout.com
Though we don’t celebrate this holiday in our family it intrigues me and I’m definitely a big believer in educating my children about the world around us even if we don’t necessarily hold to those traditions or beliefs. What I really like about this holiday is how death is not something to be feared but something to be celebrated. I definitely want to lean in the direction of celebrating over fear.
Here’s a fun Day of the Dead activity you can share with you class or children as you discover and explore the Latino culture. Note every culture celebrates it differently and in Mexico there is a big emphasis on the colorful skull art.
- contact paper
- masking tape
- tissue paper
- Day of the Dead skeleton (from Spanish Playground) or these boy and girl calacas.
1. I printed off this lovely printable and traced it onto the contact paper with it still in tact. I left out some of the details as you can see but you can get as detailed as you wish. If your child is older let them trace it. My little one is two so I did the tracing.
2. Then adhere the shiny side of your contact paper to a window by slowly peeling it off and using masking tape around the edges.
3. Then let your child enjoy filling it in with tissue paper.
My two year old really enjoyed this activity.