It’s crazy to think how fast Thanksgiving and Christmas came and went. Just like that, all the food (and wine) is gone, all the packages are opened and those “super awesome” new toys now just sit on the shelf. Schedules quickly go back to normal: back to school for the kids, back to work for mommy and daddy and back to the attic for all the holiday decorations. But, lucky for us locals, we live in a city where when one holiday is at its inevitable end, another celebration is just beginning!
Hip Hip Hooray Carnival Season is here!
Now, I didn’t grow up here in New Orleans, so learning all the ins and outs of “how to do Mardi Gras” was a first for me (by the way, if you have advice on being a “first time Mardi Gras mom” don’t forget to share it with Karen!). But, I happily remember our first Mardi Gras season four years ago and our season of introductions to king cake, parades, fifty layers of beads around my neck, overflowing bag of beads and stuffed animals, and crazy crowds. It was a magical adventure! And we were hooked.
Flash forward three years and we now have an enthusiastic toddler to share in all the festivities with. Last year Emma was a little young to really partake in all the fun, so we’re making a BIG deal about it this year! I’ve already posted the parade dates/times to the family calendar and mapped out all the routes. We know where to be and when (and it’s strategically planned around nap time!). I’m in the process of teaching Emma how to say, “Throw me somthin’, Mister!,” and she’s almost got it … “trow meester.” The only thing I’m behind on are the purple, green and gold decorations (and I have no excuse – the stores have had stocked shelves since before Christmas!!).
So, to help with my Carnival decor this year, I thought I’d let Emma have a little fun with some kiddie crafting! Try any or all of these fun crafts to get your kids super excited about Mardi Gras, and please feel free to share your ideas as well!
Decorating and Crafting with Little Ones for Mardi Gras!
Almost any craft that you can think of (noodle necklaces, painting, baking sugar cookies and even making your own play dough) can be modified for Mardi Gras just by focusing on purple, green and gold. But if you’re more ambitious and don’t want to stop at just using the season’s colors, there are many other festive things you can try! I’ve linked some of my favorite ideas below.
Paper Plate Mardi Gras Mask :: Shoebox Mardi Gras Float :: Easy Mini King Cakes :: Paper Crown :: Coffee Can Mardi Gras Drum :: Mardi Gras Musical Makers :: Mardi Gras Maracas :: King Cake Board Game :: Mardi Gras Wind Sock :: Mardi Gras Coloring Templates
Some other fun ideas that friends have shared are breaking out the poster board, markers and maybe even glitter to create “Throw Me Something Mister!” signs to bring to the parades. We have rain scheduled for the next few days, and it’s never too early to start planning for parades! It’d also work to make your own New Orleans twist on the famous salt dough ornaments; simply follow the same recipe but shape the ornaments into king cakes, masks, crowns or other Mardi Gras symbols. If you can stand the idea of a Christmas tree in your house through February, consider transforming it into a Mardi Gras tree with purple, green and gold ornaments, beads and feathers! If a full-size Christmas tree doesn’t have a permanent home in your living room, you could also consider decorating a smaller version for the countertop.