Mexican Day of the Dead With Kid Art (Free Printable)
Using Kid Art to Learn About Day of the Dead
I have become fascinated with this holiday. I appreciate Day of the Dead for the opportunity to celebrate family members that have passed on and, yes, even the opportunity to talk about death with our young kids. I read this awesome Dia de los Muertos post on SpanglishBaby last week. It truly resonated because that was exactly how I learned about death – by going to funerals and watching my family grieve.
Alina has started to ask questions about her Papi (my grandfather) and Grandpa Bell (Daddy D’s dad). Since we have photos of them in our home and talk of their legacy often, she asks to see them and “give them kisses”. After years of mourning, hearing your three year old ask for a deceased relative they never met can be painful. And it really got me thinking: do I want my children to experience death for the first time at a funeral or through our pain of a recent loss?
While I didn’t celebrate the typical Mexican Day of the Dead growing up, I do want to incorporate many of its cultural traditions into my bicultural parenting. We likely will never have altars or ofrendas (offerings) in our home, but I don’t have any quarrels with Day of the Dead images. If you look at them through a cultural filter, are they any more scary then our typical American Halloween stuff? I also love celebrating with food traditions (like this yummy Atole drink recipe).
Ultimately though, it has been through the use of Mexican Day of the Dead kid art that I’ve gained the most appreciation for this holiday. Making simple crafts like this paper flower tutorial and this cute Day of Dead free printable, gives us the opportunity (as parents) to talk with our kids about loss and death from a place of creativity and joy. It’s not easy to talk about such topics with Alina, but I was grateful to have been able to do so while coloring and spending quality time together.
The beauty of embracing world cultures is in your ability to apply them to your parenting. And using kid art to gradually open the discussion on death is my way of embracing Day of the Dead.
Feel free to click on the free printable above. This post might help you understand more of what Mexican Day of the Dead is about.
Also, check out this easy DIY Floral Crown for Day of the Dead!