Day of the Dead Activity Ideas for Early Years


If you are learning about DÍa de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, with younger children, we've got lots of activities here that they will enjoy. 

Día de los Muertos is a colourful celebration filled with laughter and delicious food. It happens every year on the 1st-2nd of November in Mexico and other Central and South American countries. Although DÍa de los Muertos is not a spooky festival, like Halloween, some children might be frightened by the skulls so we have compiled a collection of activitites that don't include lots of Calaveras and skulls.  

We also have a printable version of the Day of the Dead Early Years Ideas Planning Sheet available in colour or black and white. 

Language and Communication

  • The main language spoken in Mexico is Spanish. Teach the children how to say hello in Spanish and explain that not everybody in the world speaks the same language. 
  • Introduce vocabulary such as altar, offering, remember and celebrate. Use picture prompts to spark discussion. 

Personal, Social and Emotional

  • Day of the Dead is a celebration of family. Ask the children to show you pictures of their family, or people that are special to them, and talk about them.
  • Children might feel frightened by images of skulls. Discuss what we can do if we feel frightened. 

Physical Development


  • Read the Disney Pixar book of Coco which is a child-friendly introduction to the festival. 
  • Look at non-fiction books about Mexico. 
  • Explore some travel brochures for Mexico. 


  • Find and make some traditional Day of the Dead recipes such as pan de muerto, a type of Mexican bread. 

Understanding the World

  • Identify where the children live on the globe. Find Mexico on the globe. Learn a little bit about Mexico
  • Learn about flags. Compare Mexico's flag with other flags of the world. 

Expressive Arts

  • Have a go at creating some papel picado
  • Look at paintings by Frida Kahlo. Encourage the children to create their own self-portrait. 

Printable Planning Sheet

We have a printable version of this planning sheet available in colour or black and white. 

More Related Activities

Day of the Dead Activity Ideas for Early Years
Tuesday, 25th October 2022

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