Carnaval, the period of time just before Lent, is celebrated in many Latin American countries in different ways. Because it precedes days of sacrifice, Carnaval is a celebration that involves costumes, dancing in the streets and parades.
So Carnaval is today and there’s no time to prepare anything. Don’t worry, the important thing about celebrations is that they are all about having fun not about spending lots of time and energy on preparing activities for the kids. So here are 5 fun and easy ideas of activities and crafts that you can do with things you are bound to have around the house or that will require only a quick trip to a craft store.
1. Have a Carnaval parade in your living room.
Bring out that dress up trunk filled with old costumes and get out your face paint your make up and do some quick facepainting. Get everyone in the Carnaval mood with some Caribbean music or Brazilian samba and dance around the house.
2. Decorate Cascarones.
Many Latin American countries share the tradition of cracking decorated cascarones (eggshells) filled with confetti on the head of unsuspecting friends. To make cascarones make a small opening on the top of the egg, clean out the shell and dry it. Paint the outside the eggshell or cascaron and fill with confetti. Close the opening on the cascaron with colorful tissue paper glued with Elmer’s glue.
3. Make a shoebox float parade.
Using empty shoe boxes and whatever craft supplies you have on hand have every member of the family make a float. The first thing each one should do is pick a theme, then let each child’s creativity take over.
4. Make Carnaval masks.
There are many ways to make a masquerade mask and I will include only a few, which vary in difficulty. At home we chose to buy some simple masks at the dollar store and decorate with jewels and glitter paint. Here is my little man having a blast with his mask.
If you have cardboard or foamy at home you can do your own masks and decorate with whatever you have on hand: glitter, ribbon, paint, jewels, feathers, etc.
5. Carnaval movie night.
I undestand some of us moms have to work all day and coming home and trying to whip up dinner and crafts for Carnaval is just too much to ask. You can pick up some mardi gras masks at your nearest party store and rent a copy of the movie Rio. Enjoy the movie with the kids and everyone can wear their masks and dance along to the wonderful music.