It’s Carnival Time! Instead of making a whole mask, the kids gigantic face parts – and it really brought out the silly in them.

You don’t need too many supplies:

  • cardboard
  • tempera paint
  • glue
  • scissors
  • wooden skewers

IMG_2555To make the masks just draw out a body part, cut and paint. When the paint is dry, glue the skewer onto the back and…wahlah you are done.



Chiacchiere are rectangular pieces of fried dough eaten during carnival season.  Chiacchere means to chat – I really don’t know why, because they are so good that when I eat them, it’s probably the only time I am not chattering!


  • 3 1/2  tbls Butter softened
  • 4 c            Flour
  • 2 Tbls        Grappa
  • 2 1/ 2 tsp   Baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 whole     Eggs
  • 1              Egg yolk
  • 1 tsp         Vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c         Sugar
  • oil for frying
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Sift flour and baking powder together onto a flat surface and form a ‘volcano.’  In the center add all the remaining ingredients (except for the oil) and kneed until the dough becomes uniform and elastic (approx 10 min)  Put in a bowl, cover with plastic and let rest in a cool place for about 30 min.

Roll out dough to about 2 mm thick.  Fold into 3rds and roll dough again.  Do this 3 or 4 times so that the dough will be uniform and compact. Roll dough out one more time and cut in to 5 x 10 cm rectangles with a rotary pasta cutter. Cut 2 parallel lines into the the rectangle (going the long way).

Heat oil in a pan (should be about 4 cm deep of oil).  Fry each rectangle until it is golden in color and set onto paper towels to absorb the excess oil.  When cool, dust with powdered sugar.  Makes approximately 80 rectangles.

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Carnival Workshop

It’s Carnevale (also known as carnival or mardi gras)!  Time for chiacchere (a type of pastry eaten in the northern parts of Italy during this period) and confetti fights!  It’s traditional  to make masks for this holiday, but this year we wanted to do something a little bit different. This year the kids made Carnival Poppers.  Once you have finished, you either have someone hold the Popper high above your head and give yourself a confetti shower – or even better… hold it above the head of an unsuspecting and have then him pull the sting and they will get a confetti shower!


  • TP rolls
  • colored construction paper (or some sort of fancy papers)
  • cardboard (like an old cereal box)
  • tissue paper
  • stuff to decorate-pens, glitter, stickers
  • confetti ( you can stretch this activity out by having kids cut up their own confetti)
  • kitchen twine
  • tape
  • glue
  • one bead per popper
  • stick glue (school paste)
  • Elmer’s glue
  • craft needle
  • hole punch
  • things to draw circles: 1) a circle slightly smaller than the opening of the tp tube (we used a milk bottle cap) 2)  a circle for the ‘roof’ of the popper (we used a tin can)

There are many steps to make the Carnival Poppers, so you can print out the instructions: above if you want.  To make the Carnival Poppers, here’s what you do:

Trace a small circle onto cardboard.

  1. Cut out the small circle
  2. Glue the circle to a small square of tissue paper
  3. Thread the needle with a short length of twine (approx 25 cm), tie a BIG knot at one end, poke through the cardboard circle and pull through.  Glue the knot down  (we used tape, but the knot slid out of the hole and the pull mechanism didn’t work).
  4. Glue the tissue paper to the tp roll, with the long end of the string hanging out
  5. Cut out 2 of the same shape (and size) from construction paper.  Write Pull on one piece.  Glue these ‘pull tabs’ onto the end of the twine.Cut a piece of paper large enough to go around the tp roll (approx 10 cm x 6 cm).  Decorate the paper with pens, shapes cut out of paper, glitter.  Cut strips out tissue paper and glue to the paper of your 10 x 16 cm rectangle.
  6. Glue the decorated paper onto the tp roll (streamers stride down).
  7. Now for the roof.  Trace the big circle on construction paper and
  8. Cut out circle.
  9. Decorate the roof.
  10. Cut a slit to the center of the circle.  Bend into a cone shape and glue closed.
  11. Punch 2 holes  on opposite ends of the tp roll.
  12. Fill the roll with confetti.
  13. Thread another piece of twine (approx 40 cm) through the two holes in the tube and then string on the bead (this is to keep the string centered).
  14. Thread the string through center of the roof (you may need to use the scissors to make the hole a bit bigger).
  15. This is the tricky part.  Put a line of glue around the edge of the top of the tp roll.  Slide the roof all the way down the string a lightly press until the roof stick on.
  16. You are finished!

Thanks to AlphaMom for this craft!