NOLA

My tour of the Mardi Gras Museum NOLA 2005

It’s Mardi Gras! Although I have never been to a Mardi Gras celebration I have been to New Orleans where Mardi Gras really never stops. My husband and I spent a week in NOLA soaking up the local color, eating some of the best southern fare and enjoying a whole lot of musical history (along with our bourbon in to-go cups). Ah life before vacationing with kids.

Mardi Gras is also called “Fat Tuesday” the “feast before the fast.” It’s a day to over indulge in food, drink and merriment before the fasting and abstaining for 40 days of the Lent season. You can read more about Mardi Gras history here.

Here’s how we are getting Mardi Gras ready:

I found this really fun alphabet activity from Crystal & Co. and fell in love!

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Use easy print outs and coloring pages for a fun Mardi Gras pre-K activity.

 

After tracing and cutting out our crowns from yellow construction paper, we used our “sticky jewels” and stickers (no glue required) to decorate them.  We colored the letter K, cut it out and glued it to green or purple pages- representing Mardi Gras colors.

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Use gem stickers for a less messy option for decorating your crowns.

 

We also printed out a Mardi Gras mask for the kids to color. We had fun talking about the grand Mardi Gras ball gowns, masks and costumes.

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We found this Mardi Gras mask coloring page online.

 

My girls quickly recognized that a King would need a Queen. So, we added a Q for Queen activity.

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Our Mardi Gras art.

 

No Mardi Gras celebration would be complete without King Cake!

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Store bought cinnamon rolls are a great cheat for King Cake.

 

I was really excited to find this cheater King Cake idea on Pintrest! A traditional king cake is a fluffy pastry dough filled with cinnamon and a sugar glaze. Why NOT use store bought cinnamon rolls? By tradition, there is usually a small plastic baby inside the cake. Whomever finds the baby will have good fortune, and is often treated like a king for the day. I’m not too keen on adding plastic toys to my list of baking ingredients, so I used a colorful Tootsie Roll. (Mostly b/c I am fresh out of miniature, plastic babies in my pantry and I have plenty of Tootsie Rolls).

 

 

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Hide a small edible inside the rolls for kids to find.

 

The girls enjoyed sprinkling the colored sugar over the glaze.

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Baking is a great activity for kids to use those fine motor skills.

 

There ya have it! A super simple way to introduce Mardi Gras to your little ones. A few colorful activities to get you through a dreary winter day. If you want to keep the momentum going turn up the Jazz, open and umbrella and dance around the house. If you really want to get a little crazy try this recipe for pralines (or praw-leens as they say in N’awlins). Or, just buy them here.

 

Mardi Gras Fun Facts:

The colors Gold, Green and Purple symbolize Power, Faith and Justice.

It is actually illegal to ride on a Mardi Gras parade float without wearing a mask.

Whom ever finds the baby in the king cake has to buy the king cake for next Mardi Gras.

Over 500,000 king cakes are sold in New Orleans alone!

New Orleans isn’t the only host to Mardi Gras. Countries around the world celebrate with Carnival which includes dramatic costumes, floats and parades.

The original Mardi Gras traditions began with  merrymakers binging on all the meat, eggs, milk and cheese remaining in their homes just before Lent.  This is to prepare for several weeks of eating only fish and fasting.

 

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