5 Fun Day of the Dead Crafts and Treats for Kids

Day of the Dead Mini Paper Nichos
Ryan Liebe
Commemorate Día de los Muertos with these fun, colorful crafts from Mexican mom Elba Valverde, of the bilingual blog Live Colorful.
Ryan Liebe
Ryan Liebe

Tissue-Paper Transfer Art

What You'll Need: Template (optional), pencil, scissors, bleeding art tissue (we like Spectra brand), 16x20-inch canvas, paintbrush

What To Do:

1. Trace a design onto the top of a colorful stack of 5 to 7 pieces of tissue paper. (If making the calavera shown here, follow the instructions on the template.) Cut out the shapes, and trim into smaller pieces if desired. Re-create your design on the canvas collage-style, arranging a single layer of tissue pieces in a variety of colors; discard the excess or save them for another project.

2. Carefully brush water onto the paper, holding each piece in place as you work and rinsing the brush between colors. Allow the colors to bleed slightly into one another where they meet. Let dry for about 20 minutes or until the tissue is dry and is starting to pull up from the canvas. Remove it to reveal a colorful print. And remember: Regular tissue paper doesn’t work this way, so try our recommended brand! 

Ryan Liebe
Ryan Liebe

Sugar-Skull Pillows

Edible sugar skulls are a treat on Day of the Dead, and they’re extra sweet as the inspiration behind these pillows.

What You'll Need: Felt, tacky glue, pencil, scissors, poly fiberfill, beads, pom-poms, sparkles

What To Do: 

1. Measure and cut two 18x18-inch squares of felt for the pillow base. Stack the squares and use tacky glue to adhere three sides together; let dry.

2. Draw and cut out a skull shape, flowers, eyes, nose, and mouth from contrasting felt. Glue the felt pieces into place; let dry.

3. Stuff the pillow with poly fiberfill and seal the open edge with glue. To finish, attach beads, pom-poms, and sparkles with glue.

Ryan Liebe
Ryan Liebe

Mini Paper Nichos

Tiny altars are perfect for filling with photos, mementos, and other trinkets to remind you of loved ones. 

What You'll Need: Templates, cardstock in assorted colors, pencil, scissors, tacky glue, stapler and staples (optional), small beads and sequins, decorative mini paper punches (flowers, hearts, etc.)

What To Do: 

1. Download and print the box and altar templates and cut out.

2. Trace the box template onto a sheet of cardstock. Cut out and fold along the dotted lines to assemble. Glue or staple to secure. 

3. Trace the altar template onto a sheet of cardstock and cut out.

4. Decorate the altar with sequins, punched paper shapes, and other embellishments. 

5. Glue the altar façade on top of the box; let dry. Display with desired mementos.

Ryan Liebe
Ryan Liebe

Memory Card Game

Teach your little ones about the symbols behind the holiday, from marigolds to monarch butterflies, with this colorful matching game.

What You'll Need: Illustrations, X-Acto knife, self-healing mat, ruler, basswood sheets, sanding sponge, rag, paintbrush, Mod Podge

What To Do: 

1. Download and print the illustrations; cut out.

2. Using an X-Acto knife, a self-healing mat, and a ruler, cut out fourteen 2¼x2¼-inch squares from basswood sheets (available at craft stores). Sand lightly with a sanding sponge; remove the dust with a rag. 

3. Use a paintbrush and Mod Podge to secure the cutout images to the wood squares. Let dry.

4. Cover images with another layer of Mod Podge and let dry completely. 

5. Turn pieces over and follow the same steps to adhere the design for the back of the game in place. Wait a few minutes, then get playing!

Davide Luciano
Davide Luciano

Day of the Dead Pizzas

Don’t blame us if your kid wants to watch Coco for the 87th time after eating this colorful snack!

What You'll Need: Whole-wheat pita bread, sweet peppers, black olives, marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella

What To Do:

1. Preheat broiler to low, and place rack in middle oven position. Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. Using a 4-in. skull-shaped cookie cutter, cut 2 skulls out of 2 pieces of whole-wheat pita bread. Using small cookie cutters and a sharp knife, cut mouth, nose, and eye shapes from sweet peppers and black olives.

3. Divide 1 Tbs. marinara and 2 Tbs. shredded mozzarella cheese between the skulls. Place on prepared baking sheet.

4. Broil for 4 to 5 minutes or just until the cheese melts.

5. Decorate the skulls as shown with the peppers and olives, or as desired. Broil for another minute. Makes 1 serving.

Nutrition Per Serving 152 calories; 7g protein; 3g fat (1g sat. fat); 25mg carbs; 3g fiber; 3g sugar; 1mg iron; 92mg calcium; 374mg sodium

This recipe by Dora Stone appeared in Parents Magazine as 'Day of the Dead Pizzas.'

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