Ideas for games, activities and entertainment for children at carnival
Here are some ideas for games and activities for children on the theme of carnival. Indeed, carnival is a festival for fun, laughter and everyone can dress up! This festival is now very popular in Europe and America. Carnival is an opportunity to have fun and dress up, and children love it, as you can imagine. But first let's go back to the origins of carnival.
The origins of carnival :
The etymology of the word carnival comes from the Italian "carne (meat) levare (remove)", which means in literal translation: "to remove the meat". This term refers to the period of Lent following Mardi Gras, during which Christians give up eating fatty foods... Thus, Carnival has its origins in antiquity and is traditionally associated with the Christian calendar and takes place between Epiphany (6 January) and Shrove Tuesday, which changes its date each year and takes place between 3 February and 9 March. Epiphany marks the end of the Christmas period and Shrove Tuesday is the eve of the beginning of the Lenten period.
This explains why it is customary at Carnival to eat more abundant food, as it will be forbidden the following day with the beginning of Lent, which will last for 40 days.
Thus, Carnival has its origins in Europe and has spread all over the world.
The principle of Carnival:
Carnival is a day of celebration where people dress up, play the role of someone else, wear masks and above all the basis of carnival is the reversal of roles! This last practice of role reversal can be found in many festivals as far back as antiquity! For example, during the festival of the Sacaea, in the 2nd century B.C., in ancient Babylon, slaves and their masters exchanged roles for 5 consecutive days!
In Rome, at the winter solstice, in honour of Saturn, the Saturnalia festival took place, where slaves and masters also exchanged roles for a few days!
Carnival was initially rejected by the Church before it was finally integrated into the Christian festivals.
This festival has its origins in Europe and is now international. There are now very famous carnivals such as the one in Rio or Venice!
So people dress up, play a role, reverse roles: children become adults, the rich become the poor... Masks are used to keep the secret of the person behind it! Behind their mask and disguise, all participants are equal!
Organise a police investigation to celebrate Carnival:
To discover carnival, and in particular the Venice carnival, why not organise a great detective investigation for the children?
Carnival games and activities for children:
If you don't have the opportunity to go out for the carnival, then you can organise a pancake party at home. Or make them for a snack! Children love pancakes. It's unusual and easy to make! Pancakes are eaten at carnival time because, as explained above, we allow ourselves to eat more fatty foods before the beginning of Lent. You can also make waffles, popcorn... Today, everything is allowed!
This is the time to bring out the whole range of disguises your child has at home! For Mardi Gras, we dress up and even wear make-up! If you don't have a costume, then we improvise by getting out old clothes and adapting them to the children... And this is how an old dress can become a real princess dress!
This is an opportunity to do a fun craft activity. Take this opportunity to make some nice carnival masks. You can draw them yourself or print them out directly from the internet. The children can colour them in... To make them thicker and more durable, transfer the mask you have printed onto cardboard...
Simply replace the chairs with the masks (those you have made for example)... Place the masks in a circle on the floor... Put one less mask than the number of children. Start the music. The children will turn around the masks. Then when the music stops, the children must quickly get a mask and put it on their face. The child without a mask is eliminated and so on until there is only one child left!
Prepare a quiz with a carnival theme. Adapt the questions to the age of the children... With all that has been said before about the history of carnival, it will be easy to work out the questions. The child who finds the right answer gets a point. For the youngest children, adapt this into a quiz. Suggest 3 answers among which is the right one ...
The intruder game:
The intruder game is an observation game... The children will move around and observe each other in the room... The adult will choose a child in his head and will then start to describe him aloud, starting with a general description and going on to the more detailed one... The children will have to find out who the intruder is!
It is easy to adapt it to the carnival theme... Because the children can play it in costume and with a mask and the descriptions will be on the different costumes!
Drawing is winning:
Organise a 'draw is win' on the theme of carnival! Prepare a list of words on this theme in advance. The children should take turns to pick a paper and only draw it.
List of words on the theme of carnival: Harlequin, costume, pancakes, sweets, Venice, mask, clown, confetti, music, make-up...
Take advantage of the carnival to do many activities and original games with your child! It's a festive time, conducive to discovery and learning.
Organise a snack workshop
For carnival, it is customary to have a good snack, with delicious cakes and a big glass of milk. Instead of buying ready-made biscuits, why not organise a cooking workshop with your children?
To get the little ones, between 2 and 4 years old, involved in this culinary activity, you can stick to the classics and make a chocolate cake, pancakes or waffles. The dough is easy to make.
For older children, you can be original and cook chocolate to cover the pancakes, fancy lollipops or fruit brochettes. The aim is to offer healthy and tasty food to children, but also to share a convivial moment during the preparation and tasting of the snack.
The texture game
After the snack, you can organise the texture game, which will be a lot of fun for your children. For this activity, take some trays or containers in which you place items with different textures. Use whatever is hidden in your cupboards: rice, flour, sugar, lentils, semolina, etc.
The idea? Encourage children to discover the world with their hands! They will have to dip their little finger into each container and guess what they are touching. In addition to being fun, this game awakens the sense of touch, while teaching them to differentiate textures.
Everyone on the dance floor
Carnival is a festive event, so it's a good opportunity to put on a little show. Does your child play a musical instrument? Now is the time to show you how well they're doing. You can also play music and ask your child to follow the rhythm. He will develop his musical ear...
For a successful Carnival, don't hesitate to determine a theme that will appeal to children and that will be a common thread for the various activities and events: superheroes, princes and princesses, historical characters, animals... Ask the children what they prefer!