Kids at Home with MPPL

Kids at Home with MPPL Blog

Celebrate Diwali With Sweets

Happy Diwali- festival of lights
small Diwali candle

Diwali (dih VAH lee) is a Hindu festival and a national holiday in India. The word Diwali means “row of lights.” This year the holiday begins on November 14. The celebration usually lasts for five days, during which people decorate with small lamps made from baked clay, exchange gifts, and eat delicious food, especially sweets. Try this recipe with your kids at home, and find out more about this holiday with books about Diwali from the library or one of these websites:

Diwali sweets

Sweet Maida Biscuits

Recipe from Chitra’s Food Book

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour (maida)
  • 2 TBSP melted butter
  • 3 TBSP powdered sugar + 2 more TBSP to sprinkle on top
  • 3 TBSP boiled milk (cooled to room temp)
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • a pinch of baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • water as needed
  • oil for deep frying

Instructions:

  1. Combine melted butter, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Mix with your hands until creamy.
  2. Add the flour, cardamom, and milk. Mix to make a crumbly mixture.
  3. Add water gradually to make a soft, stiff dough.
  4. Knead for a few minutes and then set aside and cover for 15 minutes.
  5. Separate into 5 balls of dough and dust each with flour.
  6. Roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thick and cut into small squares.
  7. Heat oil in a pan.
  8. Allow the dough to dry before frying. Deep fry the biscuits in batches over low to medium flame so they cook evenly and don’t brown too quickly on the outside. Be careful when turning the biscuits in the oil so they do not break.
  9. Drain them on a paper towel and sprinkle powdered sugar on top if desired.

Netflix Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices

young African American girl in poofy sweater in front of bookshelves

Netflix has created a collection of twelve 5-minute episodes of celebrities reading children’s books. The featured books are by Black authors and they highlight the Black experience. The videos are available for free without a subscription on the Netflix Jr. YouTube. Here is the Netflix Bookmarks playlist.

Visit the Netflix Bookmarks website for links to additional resources, such as books and activities focused on concepts of identity, respect, justice, and action. The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) helped develop resources for this project, including the Supporting Diverse Communities Toolkit, #LookToLibraries, and ALSC booklists. 

For more Black stories to share with your family, check out this post from our Staff Picks for Kids blog. 

El Día de los Muertos/ Day of the Dead

paper wolf craft
hanging dia de los muertos craft

El Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated primarily in Mexico and Latin America, though there are versions in places like Ireland, India, and the Philippines. Día de los Muertos can take place over several days, with families and friends getting together to celebrate their loved ones who have died.

Traditionally, you decorate the grave of your loved one, and build them an ofrenda, or altar. This will have things like photos of them, and the things that they liked in life. It is believed that these loved ones come back to visit us on Día de los Muertos, so you also make it easier for them to find their way back, with strong smelling cempazúchitl, or marigold flowers, and luminarias. You’ll also see skeletons, many with colorful decorations, and some made out of sugar! Skeletons are usually doing things that people did in their lifetime, to remind us that death is a part of the journey, and not to take it too seriously.

Now that you know a bit about the holiday, here are two crafts you can do to celebrate!

Our version of a luminaria involves the following supplies:

  • a jar (ours is plastic, but you could also use glass)
  • a battery-operated candle
  • thin paper, like tracing paper or vellum paper
  • Markers (permanent or washable)

Measure out paper to fit inside the jar. On the paper, you can draw something. Use your creativity here; it could be skulls, skeletons, flowers, or whatever you would like. Once you are done decorating the paper, it can go into your jar. Turn on the candle, drop it into the jar, and then you are done!

paper wolf craft

Pedro Linares, a Mexican sculptor, was the creator of alebrijes, which you can see during Día de los Muertos and in movies like Coco. They are animals but with fantastical elements that you can’t see in real life. He was inspired to create these after getting sick and having a dream about a land with creatures like a donkey with butterfly wings, a rooster with bull horns, a lion with an eagle head.

To make your own alebrije, here is what you will need:

  • Colored cardstock + Pattern
  • Glue
  • Markers, colored pencils, crayons
  • Scissors
paper wolf craft
paper wolf craft

Print out the pattern and trace it onto your cardstock paper. First, fold your paper on a diagonal. (You can also do a different animal, just make sure to trace it on a fold so it will have two sides.)

Cut through both sides of paper, leaving the sides connected along the fold. Next, cut out the tail and fold it in half.

Next, decorate your animal. You can also cut out other decorations for your animal, like wings, horns, or whatever you’d like.

Star Wars Reads Month

paper porg craft

READ. THIS IS THE WAY. 

Celebrating its ninth year, Star Wars Reads month is all about reading and learning about your favorite “galaxy far, far away.” The Star Wars Reads webpage has activity sheets, reading logs, and other fun ways to celebrate.

Create your own reading buddy by making your own Desktop Porg

paper porg craft

Supplies Needed:  

  • white copy paper or construction paper (two 8.5″x 11″ sheets) 
  • crayons, colored pencils, or markers 
  • stapler 
  • scotch tape 

Directions:

  • 1. Cut one sheet of paper into two strips, making one a little wider than the other.
  • 2. On the wider piece, use a brown crayon or colored pencil to color an hourglass shape on the wider piece of white paper. There’s no exact size to this- every Porg is different!
  • 3. Roll the Porg’s body shape into a cylinder and staple the bottom. You may need to trim any edges that stick out the back.
  • 4. Color the thinner piece of white paper for the Porg’s head. Draw big eyes, nostrils, and the mouth.
  • 5. Roll your Porg head and staple it together just like you did for the body. Then staple the Porg head to the Porg body.
  • 6. Draw some basic feet and wings with your remaining paper. Color the feet orange and the wings brown. Cut them out and tape or staple them on the body.
Virtual family trivia night: Star Wars, October 23

Test your knowledge at Star Wars Family Trivia night on Friday, October 23. Presented by Baig of Tricks, this event is a Live YouTube Stream starting at 7 p.m. 

Use these links to participate at the time of the event:
YouTube Live Stream: http://bit.ly/SWTriviaYouTubeStream1023
Baig of Tricks Interactive Trivia Event: http://bit.ly/SWTriviaBaig1023