Did you know that Mardi Gras is coming up on Tuesday, February 12?
We can never turn down another reason to celebrate. And my mother-in-law was born in New Orleans, so we have a special affinity for the city that celebrates Mardi Gras.
Here's what we did for our own little kid-friendly Mardi Gras party last year:
We printed this free mask template on construction paper and cut it out. Then, we decorated the mask with glitter, craft jewels, and feathers. I used a pen to prick a hole on each side of the mask and strung elastic thread through the hole. Then I tied the thread to form a mask that fit each of my kids. (You could use any kind of string or thread, but the elastic thread was nice because it was stretchy and allowed the masks to fit more snugly on my kids' faces).
We also made our own construction paper bead necklaces. I helped the kids cut construction paper into strips. They colored and decorated the paper strips with markers. Then, I helped them glue each strip to itself to form a cylindrical paper bead. We let those beads dry and then strung our homemade beads onto yarn to form a bead necklace. I tried to use Mardi Gras colors (purple, green, and gold).
Once we were properly attired in our homemade masks and necklaces, we danced around to some Jazz music. Then we pulled out a box of instruments and marched around with our own parade.
It was a simple, yet delightful little party.
A good book to go along with this holiday is Mimi's First Mardi Gras by Alice Couvillon
This book has a lot of text, so younger ones might not be able to sit through it. But for those with a longer attention span, it is a very thorough and fun introduction to Mardi Gras. It follows a little girl who experiences her first Mardi Gras. Her parents answer a lot of her questions about Mardi Gras and her childlike excitement about all her new discoveries makes the book come to life. My kids especially enjoyed the illustrations with all of the different people in costumes.
Other fun family activities for Mardi Gras would be making some delicous Gumbo soup or beignets, watching a video about the history of Mardi Gras, or watching the Disney movie, The Princess and the Frog. I also have a Mardi Gras Pinterest Board if you want to check that out.
And Just for an FYI, here are the Mardi Gras dates for future years:
Mardi Gras 2014: Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Mardi Gras 2015: Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Mardi Gras 2016: Tuesday, February 9, 2016