Cinco de Mayo can be a fun fiesta day for kids and a wonderful way to learn about another culture’s celebration. While looking for craft ideas, I learned a lot about the holiday myself. It is not Independence Day for Mexico, which is a common misconception. The holiday memorializes the Battle of Puebla, 1861, when the French invaded Mexico to collect a debt. The Mexicans were able to defeat the French in Puebla, which kept them from advancing to the capital of Mexico City. Before you begin your celebration, I highly recommend reading Cinco de Mayo, a children’s book in the On My Own Holidays series. I’ve included it in the books section below.
Ready to celebrate?
What You’ll Need:
Toliet paper rolls
1) Cut felt to fit the toilet paper roll. There should not be any felt hanging over the edge. Remember to use brightly colored felt. It is a celebration after all!
2) Cut a square of felt that will fit over the end of the toilet paper roll. Hold it on and cut a circle out that will fit the end of the toilet paper roll without hanging over, or creating holes.
3) Use the hot glue gun to outline one end of the toilet paper roll with glue. Place cutout circle on and allow to dry.
4) When dry, turn it over and fill 1/4 of the way with lentils or rice. Glue on the other felt circle to seal it.
5) Make some music!Check out these #Maracas made from paper rolls! Hours of #toddler fun. #parenting #kidscraft Click To Tweet
These may not be authentic, but they sure are silly and fun. Something about wearing a painted paper plate on your head just makes you want to dance. So dance we did while we made these. To fiesta music, of course. LIttle Pim has a Spanish Bop CD that did the trick. Helpful hint: There is also a littlepimco YouTube channel that has language lessons for kids.
What you’ll need:
Paper plates, the more durable the better
1) Paint the paper plate right side up. Encourage your child to come up with the most elaborate design she can.
2) Allow paint to dry.
3) Open scissors and use one blade to cut a semi-circle on the inside of the plate. Bend the rim upward. Done!
If needed, you can cut the back of the rim to hit your child’s head.
This non-fiction children’s book takes a look at Cinco de Mayo with a kid-friendly account of the historical events. It ties together the events and the festivities that are celebrated now. The bright colors and pictures really help to hold the attention of little ones. Other holidays in this book series include Chinese New Year, Easter around the World, Ramadan, etc.
A happy-go-lucky mouse explores the sights and sounds of a Cinco de Mayo celebration. He sees the pinata, the maracas, sombreros, but does not see the cat who is much more interested in him than the festivities! The pictures and colors in this book are also great, and the game of cat and mouse really makes for a funny, exciting tale. A great way to introduce the culture of the event. Use your new maracas to celebrate with the mouse as he makes his way through town!
This fun children’s book is full of bright, vibrant colors that are reminiscent of traditional Mexican artwork. The canyon train takes you to different scenes that explain the culture or environment of Mexico. Some pages list the Spanish words for things that you encounter. Be sure to spend time on each page exploring the pictures. There are several things to talk about on each!.
Nurture the Experience:
Get your tablet ready! You and your child have explored several different picture books depicting Mexico. Explore some digital images from 20th century Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frieda Kahlo. You don’t need to be an art expert. Just Google Diego Rivera and pull up some of his work. Talk to your child about what she does and does not like about each image. Be sure to tell her what you do and do not like about the images. Then Google Frieda Kahlo and do the same. Ask what is the same and what is different between what she looked at before and what she is looking at now. This will introduce the basics for how to talk about art.
In your free time (ha!), I highly recommend reading about the lives of both Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera.