The colors for this celebration are usually purple (denoting justice), green (faith), and yellow (power).
Let the Mardi Gras Theme Planning Begin!
This page is just a beginning of activities and ideas!
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Choose the preschool lesson plan/activity type you are looking for from the list below or scroll the page for all the activities!
Mardi Gras Color Mixing
Provide green, gold/yellow, purple, black and white paint and paper.
Let the children paint with these colors and see what variations of Mardi Gras colors they can create.
Do A Dot
Materials needed: Bingo daubers of varying colors, paper
The children use these to make festive creations with.
Materials needed: long strips of paper, tape, glue, misc. art/craft supplies
Have children cut long strips of paper or two short ones. Tape end to end.
The children decorate their headbands with the materials you have on hand.
When dry, place on child's head to form a crown and tape ends together.
Mardi Gras Masks
Provide masks for the children to decorate using misc. art/craft supplies. You can purchase the masks or create a stencil of a mask shape on a manila folder. The children then trace onto paper and cut out and then decorate.
Add cars, trucks and little people for a New Orleans Parade!
Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your theme!
Although the main Mardi Gras colors are purple, green and yellow--use any colors for this activity.
Place several colored coins or necklaces or beads in front of you.
Have the children name the colors.
Take all the beads in your hand. Place only one or two back in front of you.
Ask the children which one or ones are missing!
Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific themed questions while making these fun snacks!
This is a TRADITIONAL snack for Mardi Gras! Here is a recipe I found for it:
Filling: 4 ounces cream cheese, 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed), 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 cup raisins (soak in hot water for 15 minutes, drain and pat dry) 1/2 cup pecan halves (I have never used these because of nut allergies).
Cake: 2 rolls (total of 12 individual crescent rolls) refrigerated crescent rolls in the can
Icing: 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar; 3 to 4 Tablespoon milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, Purple, green, and yellow colored sugar crystals or food coloring
To decorate for Mardi Gras, sprinkle wide stripes of purple, green, and yellow colored sugar crystals.
If using food coloring:
Just make a cake! Separate vanilla canned frosting into 3 bowls and color one purple, one green and one yellow (with food gel) and decorate!
What a PERFECT theme for costumes! Provide different types of costumes, masks, beads etc. Have a parade!
Dripping With Color
Provide purple, green and yellow paint that is watered down. Provide pipettes for the children to drop the paint at the top of the paper and it will slowly drip down like fireworks!
Colored Coin Tossing
Provide the children with purple, green and yellow paper plates.
Encourage them to toss them across a large area such as a taped line across the room.
VARIATION: Make these as an art activity first. Have them decorate one paper plate of each color listed above. Encourage them to print their names and decorate.
In parades, colored coins are tossed to the crowd. Your students and use their larger paper coins for some games or to toss as they go on a walking parade outside!
Colorful Parachute Fun
Use the parachute to flip off (or try to keep on!) purple, green and yellow (or any colored) balls!
Try going slow, and then fast.
You could try doing this parachute game with different tempos of jazz music playing!
Book Suggestions for the Library
The colored necklaces found in party stores for Mardi Gras can be used in so many ways for math! Here are some examples:
Materials needed: string, wooden or plastic beads of many colors.
The children string the beads to make necklaces. You might also want to provide some colorful bowls for the children who don't want to make necklaces to use to sort beads.
VARIATION: Some children have a difficult time stringing the beads. You could provide the larger pony beads and chenille pipe cleaners for them to string.
EXTENSION: Encourage the children to identify and make patterns with the beads.
Crawfish Matching from Miss Pennye P.
Laminate some crawfish on mats (as on the newspaper mats)
Create and laminate some Boiled Crawfish.
The children count the Boiled Crawfish and match the number to the amount of crawfish!!!
Gumbo Soup Match from Miss Pennye P.
Create opposite pictures(up/down; in front of/behind, etc.)
The children place them "in the pot" next to each other.
You could also create Letter matches or number or color matches rather than opposites.
Provide rocks, rice, coins, sand and other items and a small plastic bottle with a cover.
The children choose a few items to put in their bottles and experiment with the sounds they make!
Use the maracas to dance to music.
Colored rice is beautiful and fun to use!
To color it, just add a couple of teaspoons of rubbing alcohol, food coloring and a bunch of rice (I do it in a ziploc baggie) and mix. Add more color as needed.
Lay out on a cookie sheet to dry.
Provide spoons, cups, etc. and rice to your sand table.
Macaroni is a little more difficult to color. I use the same ingredients as I do for the rice (above) but the colors are different because pasta is yellow to begin with. It is still fun to use.
Add colored macaroni and ziti to your table with string for lacing!
These are fun for any theme! For this theme, use small, clear plastic bottles. Place equal parts (about 1/3 each) of vegetable oil, water (colored with Mardi Gras colors!) and Karo syrup. Add a few short strings of beads.
Make several of these. They are so cool to watch as you turn them upside down!
Gumbo Letters Thank you Miss Pennye P. of LA for this idea!
Create a large poster with stenciled letters on it.
Provide a large (gumbo) pot. Fill it with letters.
The children use a ladle to scoop out the letters and place on the poster to match the letters!