We are now less than a month away from Dia de los Muertos my second favorite holiday after Thanksgiving.
We introduced the girls to this holiday last year for the first time. We built an altar, made colour paper ‘picado’ decorations and baked pan de muerto. On the altar, we had pictures of my grandmother, my husband’s grandfather and the girls’ Abuelo, my father in law. We decorated our altar with Marigolds, which are very important flowers in Thailand too so easily sourced. We told them stories about their ancestors. P struggled with the concept of putting food out for them and kept asking when they would come to eat it. I wasn’t sure how to explain symbolism. In truth, I am not sure I am ready to explain it this year.
Our two-month trip to Mexico was a great opportunity, will all the calaberas (skulls) and catrinas to remind the girls about this tradition. I’ve been thinking of ways to engage them in the preparations and get them excited. I really want to move them from a place of ghosts/spirits/ the dead are bad,scary, evil to one of remembrance and a more positive attitude towards our dead.
My go to site for all things Mexican is Becky Morales’s wonderful Kid World Citizen site. As a homeschooler, I am spoiled to have a blogger like Becky who is an educator and also has cultural ties to Mexico. Her site is a treasure trove of ideas, activities, and resources.
This year she has prepared a wonderful Day of the Dead activity pack filled with everything you could possibly want to explain, decorate and celebrate this holiday.
From Calabera skull colouring and assembling skeletons to math reinforcements with exercises created with traditional marigolds. Recommended story books, handwriting sheets, Picador decorations. 50+ pages of great materials. It is a total treasure trove and a steal at 6.99. You can get it at Teachers Pay Teachers site here!
My girls got their first pages this morning as we prepare our house. They are over the moon and insist they will only do Dia de los Muertos activities all month!
Here’s an award-winning short film the girls loved. If you haven’t talked about death, afterlife, spirituality and such, you may want to have a look first. I was faced with a barrage of questions which given my current uncertainty in what I believe or wish to tell my children left me a little bit tongue tied.
And finally, here is the trailer for a new movie called The Book of Life, produced by Guillermo del Toro, coming out later this month. The animations and illustrations for the land of the remembered are stunning. I can’t wait to see it.
I hope you will join us as we celebrate the memories of those we love who have passed to their next great adventure. Let us know how you remember your loved ones.