Happy almost Fat Tuesday everyone! Next week Tuesday is the day to stuff yourself silly with Paczki and if you follow my tips for low-cost ways to keep your kids entertained, you’ll be able to stuff your wallet silly too!
Education: Why not start out by teaching your kids what Mardi Gras means? I found an excellent clip by PBS kids that spells it out very simply. It’s also nice and short for short little attention spans.
Parade: So not everyone has the time and money to go to New Orleans to see the parade in person, but through the magic of the internet and a YouTube link you can check out the parade from the comfort of your own home (plastic beads optional).
Craft Corner: Check out this link for some cute coloring pages that are Mardi Gras themed. I like Crayola’s site because it is incredibly user friendly- just click and print!
We practiced our fine motor skills by cutting out Mardi Gras Masks from construction paper and then used glitter glue, paint, stickers, and gems to decorate them. Or you can use this link to the free printable templates for kids and adult size masks that I WISH I had had when we made these last year!
Party Goods: If you don’t feel like making your own masks and don’t mind spending a bit then check out ones you can buy at Party City. They have a wide selection of everything you need for your Fat Tuesday party from paper plates and napkins to masks, feather boas, and plastic beads. I also found similar napkins, plates, and masks at our local Dollar Tree (though it should be re-named Dollar Twenty-Five Tree).
Paczki: I’ll be honest, I have tried the pre-made Paczki at the grocery stores and they are terrible and stale. Sadly, I don’t know of any good Polish bakeries out here and even if I did, you have to order your Paczki weeks in advance to get them. We just go to our favorite local doughnut shop- Bosa and load up on fresh doughnuts instead.
Music: Why not set the mood for your Paczki or doughnut eating with a little Mardi Gras music?
Read Alouds: Our library didn’t have much in the way of Mardi Gras books, but I did find three fun/free read alouds. Enjoy them at the links provided.
Mardi Gras ABC by: Connie Toledano was a fun, holiday themed way to sneak in some alphabet learning with my kids.
Dinosaur Mardi Gras by: Dianne De Las Casas will teach you and your kids about dinosaurs and New Orleans during Mardi Gras. “Chomp, chomp. Stomp, stomp.” your way to fun!
Delphine Denise and the Mardi Gras Prize by: Brittany Mazique allows you and your kids to join Delphine Denise and her friends as they learn that friendship is more important than flashy floats and Mardi Gras grand prize crowns!
Hopefully you and your family will enjoy these tips and ideas for making your Tuesday and your wallet fat and fun!