The morning air is crisp, the smell of pumpkin spice is everywhere and flannels are upon us. Fall is finally here and that means my family’s favorite holiday is so close–Halloween! Our son has loved Halloween since he was a tiny little tot and his favorite thing to do is to pick out a costume for the entire family. While we have “patiently” waited for our favorite season to come around, our son had actually came up with a different idea for us this year. In addition to our normal Halloween activities like costumes, decorations and handing out candy, we will also be celebrating Día de los Muertos!
What is Día de los Muertos?
Día de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday.While there may be some similarities between Halloween and the Day of the Dead, they are very different. The festivities for Día de los Muertos actually start on Oct. 31st and end on Nov. 2nd. During the 3 days, families celebrate by creating altars of loved ones who have passed with photos and food. The purpose of the three days is to pray and remember them. If you have not seen Coco yet, I would 100% recommend making a family movie night out of it because it does a perfect job in explaining this holiday. In fact, it is because of the movie and a recent passing that our son wants to remember and honor his loved one.
This will be the very first time we “celebrate” Día de los Muertos. While we might not create an altar and celebrate all 3 days, I have came up with a way to still make it fun for the kids by doing some cute and easy Día de los Muertos crafts!
Tissue Marigold Flowers
Our first craft will be Marigold flowers. Marigolds are used during the Day of the Dead because it is believed that their bright color and smell guide the spirits to visit their altar. (In Coco, they are the bright yellow flowers.)
You will need:
- Tissue paper (yellow and orange)
- Pipe cleaners
Enjoy the step-by-step picture tutorial on this easy craft!
Also, the more sheets you use the “fluffier” your marigolds will be!
Day of the Dead Doll
Our second craft will be a Day of the Dead doll. This project is perfect for my babies because they love all things plush, and we can store it when fall is over and take it out for every Día de los Muertos to come.
You will need:
- Felt (Black and white for body) and any other colors you’d like for decoration
- Pins, needle and thread
- Hot glue or fabric glue
- Sheet of paper for tracing
- Pencil/ Marker
- Polyester filling
There is actually no real technique I used for the stitching of the doll. If you want to make it faster than I did, you can actually just glue the entire thing!
I hope you try these out with your kids and let us know how your marigold flowers and dolls turn out!
Originally published October 2019