Day of the Dead or Dia de Muertos is a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and other countries around the world. Traditionally, a skull or “calavera” (in Spanish) is decorated to help celebrate the day. Turn ping pong balls and battery tea lights into “Sugar Skull” magnets for a great way to open up a dialogue with kids about holidays celebrated in other countries.

Materials:

  • ping pong balls
  • battery tea lights
  • hot glue gun with glue sticks
  • hot glue or white craft glue
  • paint pens
  • magnets

Instructions

    1. dotd-longPoke a hole in a ping pong ball. Adults can do this part. Using a thumbtack, press the pointed-end firmly into the ball and move it around a bit to make the opening bigger.

    2. Poke the tip of your scissors into that opening and cut out a hole about the size of a dime.

    3. Apply hot glue all around the edge of the hole.

    4. Insert the plastic "flame" of the tea light into the hole and press firmly until the glue dries.

    5. Hot glue a magnet to the bottom of the tea light, making sure not to cover the switch that you use to turn the tea light on and off.

    6. Using a black paint pen, draw a skull on the ping pong ball. We drew a rounded forehead a pointed chin, two rounded "dots" for the eyes and a triangle shaped nose. For the mouth we drew a rectangle and intersecting lines for teeth.

    7. Finally, decorate your skull. Draw flowers and leaves around the skull and add dots and lines wherever you wish. Use your imagination to make the skull fun, festive and elaborate!

    After the paint pen ink dries, turn on your tea lights and stick you cool new magnets to the refrigerator!

    Happy Day of the Dead!

Caroline Gravino, a PBS Parents resident crafter, is a designer of creative family projects, tinkering painter and mother of four children. She writes about project ideas for the whole family and how to encourage creativity in kids on the popular blog, Salsa Pie and shares videos on the PBS Parents YouTube Channel. Subscribe HERE.

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  • Jill Parrella

    Love these! As always you have the best ideas I wish I thought of! Thanks!

  • Mandy Shunnarah

    I don’t have any kids, but my roommate and I are going to have a ton of fun making these! 24 year olds like Day of the Dead crafts, too. :)