5 Last Minute Carnaval Crafts & Activities To Do With Your Kids

My little man with his mask.
My little man with his mask.and fill with confetti. Close the opening on the cascaron with coloful tissue paper glued with Elmer’s glue.

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. 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.

Here is a video on how to decorate a butterfly mask with feathers. 

Here is a cute mask you can make at home with your child’s handprints.

cascarones de carnaval2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Carnaval movie night.

I understand 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.



Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

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3 thoughts on “5 Last Minute Carnaval Crafts & Activities To Do With Your Kids”

  1. This is such a cute post Paula! I love doing activities like this with my daughter. I never thought of making cascarones for mardi gras, but what a great idea! I love all these ideas. 🙂

    We haven’t really celebrated in the past, but I would love to start doing something more like carnival…thank you for all the fun ideas! 🙂

    • We had not celebrated Carnaval since we move to the US 4 years ago, but now that the kids are a little older I thought they would enjoy it more. My daughter is really excited that we are visiting Guatemala this year and won’t stop telling everyone about it so she has inspired me to put a little more effort in keeping all of my guatemalan traditions alive. She still remembered her last Carnaval in Guatemala even though she was only two. This year both my kids just loved painting the cascarones, dressing up, dancing around the living room with our dog and specially breaking the cascarones on Mommy and Daddy’s head! We will not skip Carnaval ever again. 🙂

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