The solution? Sugar cookies.
Though I will be the first to admit that these are not the most authentic sugar skulls that ever existed, we were still able to have fun and learn a little about Day of the Dead in the process. And we didn't have sugar and meringue powder all over the classroom when we were done.
The night before your event, you make simple sugar cookies in an oval shape. This works best if you split up the chore among several students, in case someone forgets or someone is not as good at baking as they claim. *wink*
In class the next day, you frost the cookies with white icing and then decorate them with various colored icings to make them look like calaveras.
The colored frosting can be made easily by spooning white frosting into ziplock bags and adding a drop or two of food coloring. You then seal up the bags and squish them around until the color mixes through. Cut a tiny little notch out of the corner of one of the bags and Bob's your uncle! (That is slang for "Everything is great").
We made enough cookies for each student to have two. It's more delicious that way, but it also is a learning process and it lets the kids experiment a bit without having to worry that they have ruined their cookie.
Have fun, amigos!