Celebrating holidays with kids is so much fun. It is so important to learn about other cultures and other places, even within our own country. In the north, we typically don't celebrate Mardi Gras so we decided to spice things up and start enjoying this fun tradition of our neighbors to the south. We celebrate on Fat Tuesday (which is the literal translation from the french Mardi Gras) to add a little fun to our week.
We decorate the house a bit with beads that we have on hand and created a New Orleans Jazz station on Pandora. It's so festive!
Around noon I throw some simple ingredients into our slow cooker so that we can enjoy a New Orleans staple, red beans and rice, for dinner.
Last year, I printed out two different word searches (the easier one for my five year old and a little harder one for my eight year old) for them to work on while I put the finishing touches on dinner. There were so many interesting words (mostly different types of food! yum!) on the trickier one that I printed out for my daughter. It's amazing how many different dishes are served in New Orleans.
My husband and I had taken a trip to New Orleans not to long ago and brought back masks for our children. They found these at the bottom of their dress up basket and had their own parade. Your kids could even make their own masks. Print and cut out a mask from a template, tape a craft stick or punch holes and thread ribbon tie around their head and decorate using feathers, beads, markers and whatever else you have on hand. The crazier the better!
We started reading Today is Monday in Louisiana and the title page picture of the beans in the shape of boot caught my daughter's eye. We pulled up a map on my iPad of Louisiana and got into a conversation about the geography of the Louisiana. It was short lived, but I'll take it!
No Mardi Gras celebration is complete without a King Cake. It's fun to serve huge pieces to see if anyone gets the little plastic baby that is baked inside. So strange, I know. I didn't grow up with this tradition but it's so silly that it's really fun for everyone. Our local Whole Foods has a ton of King Cakes for sale right now in preparation for Fat Tuesday so it's easy to get your hands on one.
This year, Fat Tuesday is coming right up on February 28. This is such a great holiday to bring a little diversity into your home. We had so much fun learning about and celebrating alongside our southern neighbors. Do you celebrate Mardi Gras?