If you’re part of the Caribbean Diaspora in Canada you know that mid-Summer is our Carnival time. Since the Islands generally play mas around February/March we’ve had to adjust to Canadian weather. It would be very difficult to dawn your regalia and dance down the street in 10ft of snow! All of that being said, it’s cancelled. Of course. The Covid been cancelling everything. BUT that doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate!
As a homeschool mom I’m always looking for opportunities to build exploring our culture and passing down traditions into our lesson plan. As such we usually do Carnival activities in February during Trinidad’s Carnival week, but since everyone is staying home this Summer I’ll share some of my favourite activities and resources to celebrate but also teach our kids a little about our history and culture.
Top 5 At Home Carnival Activities For Kids
YouTube has loads of great videos of Junior Parades from around the word. It’s a great way to see how Regalia differs from country to country. Craft your own regalia to wear and dance along in your living room!
Doing facepaint at home is an easy and fun way to feel festive! For a craft you can even head over to SocaMom for a free printable that your kids can design their own face paint on. The Buttons loved this activity…and got glitter everywhere…
Head Scarf Tutorials
Working on your head scarf tying skills is actually super fun and when you’re done all of your kids look like your Mammy! This activity is sure to fill your home with giggles.
Big Drum Dance
The Big Drum Dance is a group activity that can be fun for kids of all ages. Normally you have Cutters (drummers) and a Chanuelle (singer) but you can find traditional music online. Dancers can form a circle that moves slowly around while each takes a turn dancing in the middle. These dances are meant to be done barefoot to feel the connection between the earth and the ancestors. Tie a blanky or scarf around your waist and get dancing!
Since I homeschool I love a good learning opportunity! I developed a set of Caribbean Island Social Studies worksheets that are meant to be done as a family to encourage the sharing of our oral histories and have a bit of fun. This bundle includes writing and drawing activities, as well as some discussion questions.
I’m not even going to include FOOD in my Top 5, because let’s be honest, it goes without saying! Food is such a huge part of how we pass down tradition and culture and no celebration is complete without a few special dishes. The Buttons are no stranger to fry bake, coconut cake, drop cookies, pigeon peas pilau, or curry chickpeas and roti. This month I think I’ll take my bake skills to the next level and try making coconut bake. I once asked my Aunties for my Grandfather’s recipe and they all said something different so we’ll see how it goes…
Happy At Home Carnival!