This year, Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday as it’s also known as, lands on February 25 (that’s tomorrow!). This day marks the end of Carnival season. It always falls on the day before Ash Wednesday, which signals the beginning of Lent.
One of the best elements of this celebration are the array of colours, materials, and sights of the day! Blues, greens, golds, beads, masks, feathers, and elaborate costumes fills the streets in joyous noise!
Popular crafts to help symbolize the day and to have a little fun are creating Masks and Hats! Older adults in our care often enjoy painting, colouring, cut & paste tasks, and having a few laughs! So the following activities are great to bring out their creative fun side.
Masks & Hats!
There are a variety of materials and tools to use to make these simple designs. Often finding objects in your own household, craft stores, or dollar stores are the best places to find simple and inexpensive items.
Two craft ideas we will explore today are Masks and the Jester Hat! It’s always important to provide choice to our seniors (**note: placing masks on faces may cause anxiety and fear, so please use your knowledge of your loved one or person in your care, to ensure their safety and well-being).
One of the most prominent costumes at Mardi Gras are masks! They’re colourful, unique, and fun!
There are many options, instructions, and images in Pinterest (as seen above) and online to help you! I have chosen a few simple simple designs that use store bought and handmade options.
You can use paper plates, by cutting them in half, painting them, cutting out holes for the eyes, and adding flair with beads, sequins, feathers, or glitter! Fasten a Popsicle stick or straw, with tape or glue, as a holder!
Find store-bought masks and decorate with feathers, stickers, sequins, and beads! You can also cut out shapes and glue onto the mask as a design option!
Using colourful craft paper, trace your loved ones hand prints, glue together, cut-out holes for the eyes, and decorate with stickers, feathers, beads, or their own drawings! Fasten a Popsicle stick or straw, with tape or glue, as a holder! What a great keepsake to not only have their created artwork, but to also have their handprints!
Another great craft our seniors enjoy are the Jester hats! These whimsical and colourful hats are easy to create and fun to wear! Worn by carnival revelers, it’s a great way to share some laughs!
These hats use simple craft paper in the Mardi Gras colours, simple shapes, scissors and glue! You can always jazz it up with beads, sequins, stickers, or their own drawn designs!
Simply cut a long rectangle that will wrap around the person’s head as a band. Decorate using stickers, drawings, beads, sequins, glitter or shapes cut out of extra paper!
Next, cut 5 – 6 long triangle pieces that will be coming out of the top of the hat. Fasten the base of the triangles to the top of the rectangle band using glue.
Cut shapes like stars or circles to glue to the tip of the triangle. Even more fun would be to use pom-poms that you can find from the store to give it more depth!
Once complete and dry, assemble the hat by bringing the ends of the the rectangle piece together and glue at the seam, ensuring that it will fit snug, but not tight, to the top of their head.
Whatever option you choose, your loved one will have a few laughs, be engaged, and have a great time! And don’t forget, Fat Tuesday isn’t complete without pancakes!! What a deliciously great way to end the celebration!