February 9th is Fat Tuesday in New Orleans! You don’t have to travel to the Big Easy to enjoy some festive fun. Here are some at-home crafts, activities, and recommended books to celebrate Mardi Gras with kids (of all ages). A big thank you to our friends at Melissa & Doug for sponsoring today’s ideas for creative play!
Cook Up Some Jambalaya Together
Yummy! This is one of our favorite slow cooker recipes for jambalaya – I modify it slightly to be more mild for the kids. My kids love to help out with adding ingredients to the slow cooker, measuring herbs and spices, and stirring it all up. We usually serve this over rice and it’s always a big hit at dinner time.
Craft Up Some Paper Masks
Masks are an integral part of the Mardi Gras celebration! Clara and I had so much fun crafting up paper masks using this marvelous mask kit from Melissa & Doug (designed for ages 4 and up). Afterwards, we took lots of silly photo-booth style pics together! I love that this paper mask kit does not require any glue, and it features such beautiful designs. This is a great open-ended art activity that is also great for sneaking in some fine-motor practice for the little ones. Perfect for parties!
Dance to Some New Orleans Jazz Music
Mardi Gras is a huge party, and parties NEED music! Here is our favorite Spotify playlist featuring the sounds of New Orleans jazz — perfect for impromptu living room dance parties. Crank up the music! Let the kids burn off some of their extra energy, and why not join them for some active play time fun too?
Make Some Beaded Necklaces
We especially love the wooden bead kits from Melissa & Doug — so pretty and colorful!
Mardi Gras Story Time
Some of our favorite story books about Mardi Gras include:
- Mimi’s First Mardi Gras (ages 4 and up)
- Dinosaur Mardi Gras (ages 4-8)
- Gaston Goes to Mardi Gras (ages 5 and up)