Even though the first U.S. Mardi Gras was a small celebration south of New Orleans in the early 1700s, it has grown into a large, countrywide celebration since then. If you want to let your teenager in on the action, plan some games and crafts that follow this theme. These activities will get your teen in the mood to celebrate and have fun without getting into too much trouble.
Mardi Gras Masks
A Mardi Gras celebration isn’t complete without a festive party mask. Offer your teen a plain white party mask, markers, feathers, sequins, jewels, ribbon and glue. Let her decorate the mask to her liking. Ask her to wait to try it on until it dries completely, otherwise the face mask will take on a whole new meaning.
Your teen doesn’t have to obtain beads in inappropriate ways to enjoy Mardi Gras. Cut several 3-foot lengths of sturdy string and tie a large square knot in the end of each or tie a bead to the end. Give your teen a bowl of glass or pony beads and let her string up several necklaces. She can hand the finished necklaces out to her friends or she can keep them for herself.
A scavenger hunt can work for a group of teens. Make a list of several Mardi Gras-related items and the quantity they need to find of each, such as two feathered masks, 10 gold beads, three jesters, one fleur-de-lis and any number of items that has “Mardi Gras” printed on it. Split the teens into equal groups or have them work individually. Each team gets a list. The first person or group to find and mark off all of the items on the list gets a prize, like an extra special string of beads.
A nighttime treasure hunt will keep your teen busy. Collect several glow-in-the-dark items for this hunt, like glow sticks, necklaces, bracelets, rings, cups and masks. Hide these outside or indoors while your teen waits somewhere that he can’t see you as you work. Once you are ready, let the hunt begin. Making this a race with friends or siblings adds to the fun.