I first learned about Día de Muertos and the calavera icon when I moved to the United States. In Puerto Rico, we celebrate All Saints Day, and All Souls’ Day. This happens to coincide with the popular Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrated in the United States, Mexico, and many other countries across the world.
I wasn’t sure how to introduce my child to this beautiful tradition of honoring deceased loved ones. After all, skulls can be pretty scary and are associated with goblins, ghouls, and Halloween.
Luckily for me, the children’s movie The Book of Life was released last year, and little one and I watched it together. It’s a beautiful movie! It was a perfect way to introduce my child to Day of the Dead, and let him know that the calaveras really weren’t so scary to look at.
We watched the movie with little one and his friends, and made calavera puppets afterwards! I used a simple skull template that I found here. I made a few copies of the template and used brown paper bags, glue stick, and markers.
To give them an idea of how to decorate their calavera I printed some colorful calaveras for them to use as a guide. Then I let them create, and decorate to their hearts content.
They played with their Day of the Dead calavera puppets for hours on end!
This post is part of our first annual Day of the Dead series. Visit our main page for the full schedule of articles and to link up your own! You can also find more great resources in our Hispanic Heritage Series.by