Have you heard of calaveras de azúcar? The English translation is sugar skulls. They are a popular tradition for the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). Family members offer them as a way to honor those that have passed away. We made a foam sugar skulls craft using common craft supplies we already had on hand while learning more about them.
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The Day of the Dead is a holiday that celebrates loved ones who have passed away. Unlike other ways people honor those no longer with us, it’s a time for celebrating and capturing their spirit in a positive way. The deceased are believed to return home to enjoy the offering at their private altar (offrenda). Sugar skulls, marigolds, and their loved one’s favorite foods are common things placed on the altars.
How to Decorate the Foam Sugar Skulls
- foam skulls or use craft foam to make your own
- flowers – stickers, for scrapbooks, felt flowers, etc.
- other embellishments such as: sequins, hearts, jewel gems, markers, shape stickers and so on
- glitter glue pens – optional
They are cheerful, colorful and whimsical. To decorate your own foam sugar skulls, you could add things such as flowers, swirls, shapes, sequins, stickers, dots, shiny embellishments and so on. They often feature flowers in the eye sockets. See sugar skull examples on Pinterest!
The Book of Life
My kids initially learned about this holiday when we watched the kids movie titled The Book of Life. We have watched together as a family several times since it’s a cute story and an engaging way to learn about Hispanic culture. I definitely recommend seeing it! Initially I thought it was going to be corny, but I found myself loving it. The story takes place both in the real world and in the afterlife (Land of Remembered). The afterlife is so vibrant and colorful. I love the positivity that is showcased.
Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart, embarks on an adventure that spans three fantastic worlds where he must face his greatest fears. – IMBD
This post is part of a Day of the Dead series with Multicultural Kids Blog. Head over to see what other bloggers shared. There’s lots of great activities, crafts, and learning including ways other parts of the world celebrate this day!