Monday, February 16, 2015

Celebrating Mardi Gras in Preschool

Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday, and every year I celebrate with my students.  Exploring Mardi Gras gives my students the opportunity to participate in a holiday that many of them do not celebrate at home, but they can definitely appreciate the basic components of this holiday - sweet treats, parades, masks, and music.

I show my students some photos of Mardi Gras celebrations during circle time. You can find a lot of pictures on Google Images, just be sure to preview them first! It helps to search for children's parades, and my students also love to see pictures from the dog parades, and of the big parade floats.

We always start the day off with a taste test.  We live in a community that has a high population of Polish descendants, so traditional Paczkis are easy to come by (and similar enough to donuts that the children are eager to try them out), but you could also sample beignets or King Cake.



After a sweet snack we decorate masks to wear during our parade.  Last year we decorated pre-made masks that I found at the Dollar Tree, but I've also used masks cut out of paper, and I've found some other cute ideas on pinterest, of course. 


Like this cute one from Mrs. Jackson's Class. I also like to add a necklace-making activity, it gives my kiddos an opportunity to practice some fine motor skills while adding to their costume for the parade.  Last year we rolled beads from strips of paper and strung those, but this year I want to try this Twizzler necklace (from No Time For Flashcards), why not add to the sugar rush?!

We'll put on our masks and necklaces, grab some instruments from our classroom stash, and parade around the school.  Its a great way to finish out the morning and experience Mardi Gras. 

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