I really enjoyed the movie Coco, but especially the visuals of it. I had learned a bit about Dia de los Muertos when I was in school, but this film was a great opportunity to learn a bit more. Lately at work I’ve been doing a program for some of my kids called Passport Pals, where we focus on learning more about a different country every month. This month we picked Mexico, so I was excited to tie in some Dia de los Muertos activities!
We usually do some trivia, a craft, a game, and snack for the country. After doing some research I decided to have the kids make their own Papel Picado for the craft. If you’ve seen Coco you might remember the stunning opening sequence that was told on animated pieces of paper. That’s called Papel Picado, and it’s a type of Mexican folk art that used to decorate the altars during Dia de los Muertos, as well as other occasions.
It’s normally quite elaborate, with tons of detail. However, I’m working with kids who are about 8-11, and I also don’t have hours to spend on it. So I made my own simplified version for the kids to follow. They were welcome to put anything they wanted on theirs, but of course I made my example Coco themed!
You can take the basic ideas here and make them as simple or as intricate as you’d like. I also scanned the templates I drew up for myself, so you are welcome to use those, though I will say they are by no means perfect!
Don’t forget to head to the bottom of this post, where I’m also hosting a giveaway for a copy of Coco on blu-ray!
- Colored paper (I used printer paper – you could use tissue paper, which is more authentic, but it is a little trickier to work with)
- Cut pieces of brightly colored paper in half so that you have a number of flags to make. I did 5, but you can do as many or as few as you’d like.
- Decide what designs you’re going to do on it. You can create a template and trace it, sketch it out and then cut it out, or just freestyle it.
- Cut out your designs. For kids I suggest folding the paper in half and cutting it like you would a paper snowflake – it’s an easier way to create some cool designs! If you’re trying to do something more intricate and you’re an adult, an exacto knife would be best.
- Cut a length of string that will be long enough to hold all of your flags together.
- Tape the string onto the back of each flag so they hang in the order you want them.
- Display somewhere and enjoy!
Enter below to win your own copy of Coco on Blu-ray/DVD! Giveaway will run until the end of Dia de Los Muertos – Saturday, November 3rd. Open to US residents only. Good luck!