How to Have Fun With Kids this Carnevale

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by Ashley Caneva

This marks our second February in Italy and I am still adjusting to not observing the obligatory night-before-Valentine’s rush to complete little cards for everyone in the boys’ classes.

Now, February’s cardstock valentines have been replaced with carnevale masks, chalky conversation hearts have made way for crostoli, and the streets are already dressed in confetti. 

I think carnevale is my favorite new (to me) Italian holiday. It’s the perfect excuse to dress up in silly costumes and have fun just for fun’s sake. Parents, you can even wear that unicorn onesie for a passeggiata on the Molo without judgement.

Typically, there would be social gatherings to celebrate silliness together, but Covid has yet again led to a change in plans. That, of course, doesn’t mean that there aren’t lots of ways to celebrate from home or while socially distanced. Here are a few ideas to get you started!

Confetti and Costumes!

Take the kids’ favorite parts of Carnevale (confetti and costumes, of course) and bring them home! Everyone in the family can create and wear costumes, play games, and throw confetti on eachother. Yes, it will be a mess – but messes are temporary. The memories will last!


Some aspects of Carnevale don’t have to be affected by the current restrictions at all – best of all, the customary sweets! Purchasing some crostoli, frittelle or krapfen from your local pasticceria will keep tasty traditions in place while supporting local businesses!


Decorate elaborate paper masks, make harlequin-inspired decorations, you can even bake mask-shaped cookies! 


Silliness is always more fun when there are people to share it with! Share photos of your Carnevale creations with us on Instagram with the hashtag #intriestekids so we can all share in the celebrations together!

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Ashley Caneva
Ashley Caneva was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, but developed a love for other cultures when she was very young and began traveling when she was 12. She studied Literature and History in college and was contemplating getting a Master’s degree in Shipwreck Archeology when she met her husband while on a trip to Peru. After working in early childhood classrooms, coordinating clinical trials, and running her own transcription business, she decided to combine her passions and created Little Explorers Big World, an online resource dedicated to cultivating a love and appreciation for world cultures in young children. Ashley is mother to two vivacious boys, a recent breast cancer survivor, an amateur genealogist, and is thrilled to live in a place where she can sink her teeth into her passion for history.


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