Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is a happy time for honoring the deceased with your kids. Help your kids to grow up accepting death rather than fearing it. These are some ideas for a Day of the Dead celebration using sugar skulls and poems.
Background on Day of the Dead:
El Dia de los Muertos is a holiday that started in Mexico as much as 3,000 years ago. Aztecs used to celebrate all month, but the official date is now November 2 so modern families can devote 3 days to honoring and praying for their deceased loved ones. Some of the most popular traditions include visiting the graves of family and friends, decorating altars for the deceased, and gathering for a parade. Sharing special foods is a big part of the festivities including pan de muerto (a sweet egg bread) and calaveras de azucar (sugar skulls). For your Day of the Dead party, treat your kids to some sugar skulls and write poems to go along with them.
Calaveras Poems for Kids on Dia de los Muertos:
Funny stories about the dead are a highlight of this holiday. Parents and kids can share anecdotes and turn them into short poems. Cut out tombstone shapes from construction paper and you can write them down together. You might want to remember deceased grandparents or family pets. Done with sensitivity, it can be a constructive way to talk about any recent loss your family has suffered.
Day of the Dead Sugar Skulls for Kids:
You can buy sugar skulls in three sizes at MexGrocer or use their easy recipe to make your own in less than an hour. Kids can help with the preparation and decorating. Either way, you can write the name of the recipient on the forehead of your calaveras. Presentation ideas could include rolling up your poems into tiny scrolls and giving your sugar skulls little pipe cleaner arms and hands to hold them. If you’re decorating a whole altar, you could display the sugar skulls and poems on it.
Day of the Dead is a great opportunity to give your kids the chance to view death in a healthy manner rather than avoiding the subject or labeling it as morbid. It’s a valuable teaching and a lot of fun to share happy memories of our deceased loved ones with these special sugar skull poems for kids on Dia de los Muertos.