For the month of October we are learning about the southwestern frontier of America with my American Girl History Josefina Guide. Josefina’s family is originally from Mexico, so I wanted us to learn about the traditional holiday of Dia De Los Muertos at the end of the month.
Dia De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday celebrated on November 1st & 2nd. It is believed that on this day a border is opened between the spirit world and the real world where the souls of the dead awaken and are able to return to feast, celebrate, and be with their loved ones again. It is important for living family members to remember and honor their loved ones who have died with celebrations and offerings. It is a joyous tradition to reconnect with deceased loved ones and keep their spirits alive.
You can read more about the traditions and history together in these two articles:
- History Channel (history.com)- Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos)
- National Geographic- Dia De Los Muertos
If you would like to learn and enjoy Dia De Los Muertos this month with your children, below I’m sharing some great books, activites, printables, crafts, and more. You don’t have to use everything I’m sharing, but are able to pick and choose any of the projects or free printables to use with your family to create your own unit study.
Read some of these fun picture books all about Dia De Los Muertos. Check them out from your local library or click on the link to find them on Amazon.
(This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, no extra cost to you. I only link items I love or have used!)
- Dia De Los Muertos by Roseanne Greenfield Thong
- I Remember Abuelito: A Day of the Dead Story by Janice Levy
- Dia De Los Muertos by Hannah Elliot
- The Dead Family Diaz by P.J. Bracegirdle
- The Remembering Day by Pat Mora
- A Gift for Abuelita by Nancy Luenn
- Felipa and the Day of the Dead by Brit Muller
- Let’s Celebrate Special Days Around the World by Kate Depalma
These flowers are used to decorate homes, gravesites, and ofrendas. They are believed to lure the souls back from the dead to the land of the living with their bright color and powerful scents.
– Skeleton Craft: Put together this skeleton from the FREE template and decorate it to celebrate Dia De Los Muertos.
– Create your own ofrenda in your home:
An ofrenda (offering) is an altar, built to honor lost loved ones. Offerings are placed upon the ofrenda, to help remember, learn about, and celebrate their lives. Their are 3 main elements to add: water- a jug of water to quench the thirst for the long journey, fire- candles are lit to light the way, earth- represented with food to alleviate hunger. Many add their loved ones favorites items as well such as candy, liquor, or toys.
– Color by Number pages (FREE printables)
– Enjoy this fun themed charcuterie board for kids while you read together or watch the movies.
Of course we will be watching Coco and The Book of Life movies on Disney+ as well as many great videos for kids on YouTube.
- Dia De Los Muertos|Hispanic Heritage Month| Elena of Avalor|Disney Junior
- Dia De Los Muertos |Film School Shorts
- What is Day of the Dead?| National Geographic
- How to Draw a Sugar Skull| Art for Kids Hub
I hope some of these ideas will be a special time for you all to celebrate Dia De Los Muertos! Read together, cook together, and craft together…spending time learning with the ones you love most. Enjoy!