(Open thematic poster-Mardi Gras) Print and display within your daycare.
(Open educa-decorate-Mardi Gras) Print, cut out, and laminate. Decorate the walls of your daycare and hang decorations from the ceiling to set the mood for the theme.
(Open educa-theme-Mardi Gras) Print and laminate the various elements. Use them to present the theme to your group (and parents) and decorate your daycare.
(Open stickers-Mardi Gras) Print the illustrations on adhesive paper and use them to create an original sticker collection.
Door decorations-Mardi Gras
(Open door decorations-Mardi Gras) Print, laminate, and cut out the items. Use them to decorate your daycare door.
Inflate several colourful balloons and tape them to the floor to delimit your circle time area. If you prefer, use the balloons to create a colourful path leading to your daycare entrance. Simply use adhesive tape to create two parallel lines.
Collective garland-Mardi Gras
Hang a clothesline in your daycare. Before children arrive, cut several pieces of green, purple, and yellow streamers, each measuring approximately 50 cm. Hide them throughout the daycare. Invite children to search for the streamers. Every time a child finds one, name its color and help him knot it on your clothesline. In the end, you will have a festive garland that will decorate your daycare for the theme.
Mardi Gras tree
With your group, make a variety of Mardi Gras decorations. Give each child a tree branch and have them decorate a clean metal can. They can fill their can with sand and insert their branch. If you wish, use a larger container and a bigger branch to turn this into a group project. Children can paint their branch and sprinkle it with glitter before the paint dries. When they are done, they can hang their Mardi Gras decorations in their tree.
Create an oversized mobile by hanging a variety of shapes and items associated with Mardi Gras from the ceiling. You could also use adhesive tape or adhesive paper to press Mardi Gras pictures on the ceiling.
Transform your dress-up corner
For this theme, collect several different types of masks. Ask parents if they have masks they no longer need that you could add to your collection. Otherwise, you could make your own unique masks. You will find models within this theme. Set masks on shelves, hang some from doorknobs and hooks in your dress-up area, etc. If your corner doesn’t already contain the following items, be sure to add them: a curtain hung from the ceiling, a mirror, a chest filled with old clothing items, hooks for hats and wigs, jewellery, accessories, etc.
This tool was created in response to a special request we received. (Open poster-Clocks spring forward) Print, laminate, and display where parents are sure to see it.
Before children arrive, decorate your daycare with Mardi Gras pictures. Add bright colours throughout your daycare. Encourage children to discover the theme.
Each morning, have fun hiding an object associated with Mardi Gras in your daycare. It mustn’t be completely hidden, but finding it should be challenging for your group. As soon as they find a hidden item, photograph it and print the picture. Use the pictures to create a special wall. Children will be happy to show their findings to their parents at the end of the day.
Wear a colourful hat and Mardi Gras beads to welcome children in the morning.
(Open picture game-Mardi Gras) Print and laminate the pictures in the format you prefer. Use a hole-punch to make a hole in the upper right and left corner of each picture. Stack the pictures and insert a ring through each set of holes. The flipogram is easy to manipulate. Simply show children how they can lift a picture and flip it under the stack. Name each item with your group. Use the flipogram to encourage children to talk during circle time and to ask them questions about the theme.
Surprise discussion box
Before children arrive, fill a box with ribbon, string, balloons, party horns, pennants, etc. in bright colors. Seal the box with heavy adhesive tape. Using a glitter pen, draw question marks and colorful designs all over the box. Ask an accomplice to deliver the box. Collect your special delivery with your group. Let children manipulate the box and shake it. Encourage them to guess what it contains. Open the box together and use the items to create a special thematic garland. Write “Mardi Gras” on the pennants.
The pictures may be used as a memory game or to spark a conversation with the group. Use them to decorate the daycare or a specific thematic corner. (Open picture game-Mardi Gras) Print, laminate, and store in a “Ziploc” bag or in your thematic bins.
(Open picture game-Mardi Gras) Print each picture twice. Laminate and cut them out. Use them for a memory game.
WRITING AND ACTIVITY SHEETS
Activity sheets are provided for each theme. Print and follow instructions. (Open activity sheets-Mardi Gras)
Creating a homemade activity booklet
Print and laminate several activity sheets and writing activities. Arrange them in a binder and provide dry-erase markers. Leave the binder in your manipulation area and invite children to complete the activities during free play. The use of dry-erase markers will allow you to use the booklet repeatedly.
(Open writing activities-M like Mardi Gras) Print for each child or laminate and use with a dry-erase marker.
(Open stationery-Mardi Gras) Print. Use the stationery to communicate with parents, in your writing corner, or to identify your thematic bins.
(Open educa-nuudles-Mardi Gras) Print for each child. Have children color the sheet and use Magic Nuudles to give it a three-dimensional look. Variation: You don’t have Magic Nuudles? Have children fill the spaces designed for Magic Nuudles with bingo markers or stickers.
To order Magic Nuudles
Use the flashcards to spark a conversation with your group, in your reading and writing corner, or to identify your thematic bins. (Open word flashcards-Mardi Gras) (Open giant word flashcards-Mardi Gras) mask, necklace, sequins, hat, party, parade, glitter, streamers, confetti, music, jester, feathers
(Open word flashcards-Mardi Gras) (Open giant word flashcards-Mardi Gras) Print the word flashcards and encourage children to use them to reproduce words using scrabble tiles. Manipulating the small wooden or plastic tiles will help them develop their fine motor skills. What’s more, they will slowly begin to recognize the letters that make up different words.
Words on a wire
(Open word flashcards-Mardi Gras) (Open giant word flashcards-Mardi Gras) Print two copies of several word flashcards. Hang one copy of each flashcard on a clothesline using colourful clothespins. Arrange the other word flashcards in a pile. Let children take turns picking a word flashcard. Help them read their word before inviting them to find the corresponding word flashcard on the clothesline. When they find it, they can place the word flashcard they picked over the word flashcard on the clothesline using the same clothespin. Help younger children manipulate the clothespin if necessary.
(Open word flashcards-Mardi Gras) (Open giant word flashcards-Mardi Gras) Print several word flashcards and hide them throughout your daycare or yard. Divide your group into two teams. When you give them the signal, children must collect as many word flashcards as possible within a predetermined period of time, for example 3 minutes. When the time’s up, invite children to join you. In order to earn a point for their team, children must be able to “read” the word flashcards they found. If they are unable to name the correct word, the other team can earn a point if they are able to do so.
(Open word flashcards-Mardi Gras) (Open giant word flashcards-Mardi Gras) Print and laminate the word flashcards. Have each child pick a flashcard. They can take turns presenting the word they picked to the group. With your group, talk about each item. Ask children questions to encourage them to share what they know about each thing.
Associating words and pictures
(Open word flashcards-Mardi Gras) (Open giant word flashcards-Mardi Gras) Print, laminate, and display the word flashcards on a wall within your circle time area or on a large piece of cardboard that can be moved around. Print a second copy of each word flashcard and cut each card from this series in half so that you have one set with words and one set with the corresponding illustrations. Press Velcro behind each card. Stick a piece of Velcro next to each complete word flashcard on your board. Invite children to match the words and illustrations and stick them on your board.
THEMATIC DAY-MARDI GRAS
(Open perpetual calendar-Mardi Gras) Print and display close to your daycare entrance to inform children and parents of this special day. Organize a very special green, purple, and gold-filled day for your group. Replace a few regular lightbulbs with green lightbulbs. Hang green Christmas lights to create a special atmosphere at lunch time or during naps. Invite children to wear green, purple, and gold items.
Schedule of activities
(Open schedule-Mardi Gras Day) Print and complete the document. Use it to inform parents of your scheduled activities.
Wear a colorful mask to greet children in the morning. Encourage children to wear a mask to daycare.
Greeting and area setup
- Paint a jester hat on children’s cheeks as they arrive.
- Serve purple punch to your group.
- Set a bowl filled with green, purple, and yellow fruit (kiwi, bananas, grapes, honeydew melon, etc.) on a table.
- Create special green, purple, and yellow hats with your group or encourage parents to make one with their child.
- Press Mardi Gras pictures on surfaces throughout your daycare or add green, purple, and yellow decorations here and there. Hang other items from the ceiling.
- Keep Mardi Gras colors in mind when selecting toys.
- For lunch, use green food coloring to transform foods. Serve shepherd’s pie and use food coloring to turn the mashed potatoes green. Cook spaghetti and add food coloring to the cooking water.
- Add a drop of green food coloring to children’s milk.
- Serve broccoli, cabbage, green beans, peas, etc.
- For dessert, prepare a green fruit platter (honeydew melon, kiwis, and green apples). Children can dip them in a caramel, cream cheese, or pudding-based dip.
- At snack time, use cookie cutters to cut musical notes, trumpets, or drums out of rolled out sugar cookie dough. Bake the cookies and once they are cool, have children spread green, purple, or yellow icing on them.
- Play jazz music to provide children with the opportunity to discover a new type of music. Have fun dancing around the daycare.
- Use a green makeup pencil to draw a mask on each child’s cheek.
- Create unique Mardi Gras hats and have children wear them for a special treasure hunt. They will enjoy searching for Mardi Gras beads.
- Hang a large banner on a wall and have children create a collage. They can cut items out of catalogues and flyers, tear pieces of green, purple, and gold paper, or add glitter and other Mardi Gras elements all over the banner.
- Play a modified version of musical chairs and have children dance around the chairs, waving green, purple, and gold scarves (or fabric pieces).
- Organize a variety of workshops so that children can create original masks. They will enjoy wearing their mask at the end of the day, to surprise their parents.
ACTVITIES FOR BABIES
Mardi Gras mobile
(Open educa-decorate-Mardi Gras) Print and assemble the various items to create a mobile that you can hang over your changing table.
Green, purple, and yellow
Explore these colors with young children. Simply set a large piece of paper on a table and add a spoonful of each color. Let children mix them together using their fingers.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Fill an opaque bag with a variety of green, purple, and yellow objects. Children take turns feeling the bag, without looking inside. They must try to identify one of the objects. Each child may ask two questions. If they are unable to name one of the objects that is in the bag, their turn is over. Every time a child successfully identifies an object, he becomes the game leader for the next round, the one who answers questions.
Mardi Gras pyramid
(Open large stickers-Mardi Gras) Print and use the stickers to create games. Collect several empty metal cans (different sizes). Decorate the cans with the stickers. Use them to build a pyramid on a table. Children take turns tossing a frisbee towards the pyramid to make it fall.
Surprise fishing game-Mardi Gras
Attach a rope to the end of an old broomstick. Use hot glue to attach a clothespin to the other end of the rope. Children take turns using your homemade fishing rod to “catch” items related to the theme. You can hide behind a large furniture item and insert a different item (picture, card, etc.) in the clothespin’s opening for each child.
Playing cards-Mardi Gras
(Open playing cards-Mardi Gras) Print and laminate. Give each child the same number of cards. They can take turns hiding their cards in the daycare. When they are done, let the hunt begin! Children race to find as many cards as possible.
The Mardi Gras jester race
(Open playing cards-Mardi Gras) Print and laminate several cards and hide them throughout your daycare or yard. Divide your group into two teams. When you give the signal, children race to find as many cards as possible in a predetermined period, for example 3 minutes.
(Open pieces giant jester) Print, laminate, and cut out each piece. Children sit on the floor and assemble the jester.
Modeling dough color exploration
(Open Mardi Gras color exploration) Print and laminate. Arrange the shapes on the table and provide green, yellow, and purple modeling dough. Children make tiny modeling dough balls and set them on the shapes, associating colors.
Provide a variety of accessories that children can use to make Mardi Gras creations with modeling dough. Use homemade modeling dough so you can set their creations out to dry or, if you prefer, simply take pictures of their work.
- Green, yellow, and purple pipe cleaners.
- Green, yellow, and purple drinking straws, cut into pieces.
- Plastic gems in Mardi Gras colors.
- Green, yellow, and purple candles.
- Caps from old green, yellow, and purple markers.
- Green, yellow, and purple soft drink bottle caps.
- Cookie cutters, Mardi Gras shapes (trumpets, jester hat, musical notes).
- Green, yellow, and purple necklace beads.
- Buttons, Mardi Gras colors.
- Plastic forks and knives in Mardi Gras colors for creating fun designs.
- Different sizes of pompoms that can be pressed in the dough.
Jester obstacle course
Children can take turns wearing a jester hat. Set up an obstacle course and deposit Mardi Gras illustrations here and there. Children can collect them as they complete the course. This activity can also be done outside.
Organize a parade so that children can show off their Mardi Gras masks and hats. If the weather is nice, parade around the neighbourhood and, if possible, make a quick a stop at a nearby nursing home.
Inflate four or five green, yellow, or purple balloons. The balloons must never touch the floor. If you wish, you can make this activity more challenging by telling children they mustn’t touch the balloons with their hands, or that they must blow on the balloons to propel them towards the ceiling.
Where are the Mardi Gras jesters?
(Open Mardi Gras jesters) Print. Hide several jesters in your yard. Every time a child finds a jester, he says, “I found a jester!” and hands it to you.
MUSICAL AND RHYTHMIC ACTIVITIES
Musical Mardi Gras fun
(Open picture game-Mardi Gras) Print and laminate the pictures. Arrange them on the floor of your daycare. To the sound of music, children walk around the daycare. When the music stops, they must quickly find a picture to stand on. Variation: If you wish, remove one picture at the end of each round.
Game-Four Mardi Gras jesters
(Open game-Four Mardi Gras jesters) Print, glue the cards on opaque cardboard and cut them out. Arrange all the cards upside down on the floor or table (so you can’t see the illustrations). Children take turns rolling a die. Every time a child rolls a “1”, he can turn a card. If he doesn’t already have this jester in front of him, he keeps it and places it in front of him for everyone to see. The first child who has collected all four jesters wins.
(Open sorting jesters) Print for each child. Invite them to color and cut out the jesters. When they are done, they must glue each jester in the correct silhouette, from the tallest to the smallest.
Snakes & ladders-Mardi Gras
(Open snakes & ladders-Mardi Gras) Print and laminate. Use a die and small figurines that can represent jesters as playing pieces. The object of the game is for every child to reach the final square.
Counting cards-Mardi Gras
(Open counting cards-Mardi Gras) Print and laminate. Prepare a series of wooden clothespins on which you can paint or draw numbers 1 to 9. Children count the items on each card and place the corresponding clothespin on the correct number.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Photo booth-Mardi Gras
(Open photo booth-Mardi Gras) Print the accessories. Cut them out and stick a drinking straw behind each one. At your local dollar store, purchase additional accessories such as necklaces, scarves, ribbons, etc. to complete your photo booth. Set up a special corner by hanging a piece of fabric, a large cardboard background, or a special Mardi Gras décor. Let children choose the accessories they prefer and photograph them. Invite parents to have fun with your photo booth too. Print and display the pictures. They will represent great souvenirs!
(Open scrapbook-Mardi Gras) Print this new page for each child. Insert it in their scrapbook once it is completed.
Green, purple, and yellow rice bin
Fill a bin with rice and add gold coins or tiny green and purple objects. Children can take turns using a fork to gently remove rice grains and discover the items.
(Open word flashcards-Mardi Gras) (Open giant word flashcards-Mardi Gras) Print and laminate the word flashcards. Children trace the letters that make up each word in a baking sheet filled with flour.
Green and purple ice cubes
Fill several ice cube trays with water. Add a few drops of green or purple food coloring to each section and set them in the freezer. If you prefer, simply insert a green or purple object in each section. Set a plastic bin on a large towel, empty the ice cubes into the bin and let children explore them.
Mardi Gras sensory bin ideas
- Simply add items associated with Mardi Gras to your traditional rice or pasta bin (ex. glitter, figurines representing jesters, beads, etc.).
- Cut yellow, green, and purple plastic tablecloths into strips and use them to fill a bin. Hide Mardi Gras items among the colorful strips.
- Shred green, purple, and yellow paper and use the shredded paper to fill a bin. Hide tiny items among the pieces of paper.
ARTS & CRAFTS
(Open masks-Mardi Gras) Print. Provide a variety of green, yellow, and purple arts & crafts materials. Children use the items to decorate their mask as they wish. When they are done, attach a piece of string to either side of their mask so they can tie it behind their head.
I am a jester now
Photograph each child in your group individually. Print a picture of each child. Have children trace the contour of a paper plate around their face and cut out the circle. Once this is done, have them glue their face on the paper plate. (Open jester hat) Print the hat model for each child. Have them color it using green, purple, and yellow markers. Provide tiny bells they can glue on their hat before cutting it out and gluing it on the top of their paper plate. Display these fun portraits in your daycare during the theme.
Mardi Gras banner
To create your banner, you will need green paper with patterns or designs printed on it (scrapbooking paper). Draw triangles on the paper (all the same size) and ask children to cut them out. If you prefer, simply cut triangles out of burlap for a more rustic look. Children can glue musical notes or other foam shapes on the triangles. Once you have enough triangles, glue them on a long piece of green ribbon. Between the triangles, knot a purple or yellow party streamer section, letting them hang down somewhat. Hang your garland in your daycare.
(Open dancing jester) Print for each child. Have children cut out the pieces and color them. Assemble them by inserting fasteners where indicated.
My miniature jester
(Open my miniature jester) Print, color, and cut out the pieces. Have children glue them on an empty toilet paper roll. Hang the jesters from the ceiling.
(Open mandalas-Mardi Gras) Print for each child. Have children color the mandalas as a calm activity.
COLORING PAGES-MARDI GRAS
Coloring pages theme-Mardi Gras
(Open coloring pages theme-Mardi Gras) Print for each child.
Identical coloring-Mardi Gras
Print a coloring page for each child and another copy that you will use to create a model. Color only certain parts of your model. Present the model to your group and invite them to reproduce it by coloring the same sections with the same colors.
Coloring binder-Mardi Gras
Laminate several coloring pages and arrange them in a binder. Provide dry-erase markers. Set everything on a table for children to use during free play.
Musical drawing-Mardi Gras
Give each child a coloring page. Have them sit around a table. When the music starts, children pass the coloring pages around the table. When the music stops, they begin coloring the page they have in their hands. When the music starts again, the coloring pages resume travelling around the table and so on.
Homemade puzzles-Mardi Gras
Give each child a coloring page. When they are done coloring, cut the coloring pages into pieces to create simple puzzles.
SONGS & RHYMES
(Open songs & rhymes-Mardi Gras)
By: Patricia Morrison Sung to: Apples & bananas
I like to wear my mask, mask, mask
To parade down the street
I like to wear my mask, mask, mask
For Mardi Gras celebrations
I catch beads, beads, beads
And wear them around my neck
I catch beads, beads, beads
During Mardi Gras celebrations
I dance, dance, dance
To Mardi Gras music
Oh yes, I dance, dance, dance
At Mardi Gras celebrations
The educatall team