The Day of the Dead, on November 1 and 2, is a holiday celebrating the afterlife in Latin American culture. We found a fun activity book to help kids learn about it: the Day of the Dead Activity Book. The book offers a history of the holiday, a word search and crossword puzzle, and themed craft and recipe instructions so you can explore this unique take on the afterlife and Hispanic heritage with your kids. Try some of the activities featured in the book:
1. Make calabaza en tacha (candied pumpkin):
In a large pot, ask kids to put wedges of 1 small pumpkin, ? cup brown sugar, 1 Tbs molasses, 2 cinnamon sticks, the juice of one orange, and 2 inches of water above the pumpkin wedges. Cover and simmer until pumpkin is tender, 15 to 30 minutes, spooning the juices over the pumpkin as it cooks. Serve warm with the sweet juice.
2. Sugar skulls designed by your kids:
These brightly decorated skulls, traditionally made from molded sugar, are meant to both respect the dead and poke fun at death. Get the instructions in the book or try these steps.
3. Create an ofrenda together:
Most Day of the Dead ofrendas, or altars, include an arch made of sugarcane. Your children can use cardboard covered with paper flowers (see instructions here) or use the one that’s included in the Day of the Dead Activity Book. Kids can then decorate their altars with a cloth and photos of loved ones.
Day of the Dead Activity Book is available through Scholastic Reading Clubs.