Within history, Cinco De Mayo has become a celebrated holiday of Mexico’s victory over the Second French Empire in 1862. Along with that, the day has become a way to celebrate Mexican culture. With its breathtaking colors and beautiful music, Cinco De Mayo is the perfect day to show appreciation for this heritage and can be done through a variety of activities: like dancing, cooking, and listening to music.
During this holiday, a special Cardinal Rule Press book that comes to mind is Three Pockets Full by Cindy L. Rodriguez and illustrated by Begoña Fernández Corbalán. This story follows Beto, a boy who refuses to wear a traditional Mexican wedding shirt to his mother’s wedding. He learns about acceptance, as well as the importance of his Mexican heritage and overall teaches the reader about having pride in their own culture. Since this book speaks on the value of Mexican heritage, we want to celebrate Cinco De Mayo by offering a list of fun activities for families to do together to learn about Mexican culture!
1. Trying Authentic Hispanic Food
A great way to celebrate a culture is to try the foods they offer! Making authentic Hispanic dishes can be a perfect way for kids and families to learn about Mexican heritage. Cooking is a great bonding activity for families and allows children to try new foods they haven’t had before, while also seeing the value of what other cultures can bring through something as simple as a meal. A popular recipe to try is churros. Churros are a sweet, Mexican dessert that’s easy to make that kids can help out with as well! Another dish to try is mole poblano, which is a savory and official dish of Cinco De Mayo
2. Learning Spanish!
Learning a new language is an exciting way to celebrate a certain culture and show appreciation towards it. By putting together simple Spanish words onto flashcards, kids can learn the basic skills that can follow them as they grow up. Spanish has become a common language taught within schools, so for families to come together and learn the language, kids will have an early start on their abilities and will have pride for knowing the language of another culture. Parents can learn as well and use it as a way to communicate with their kids to help the language stick in their minds.
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3. Making Mexican Paper Flowers
This simple craft can be a great activity for kids to celebrate the holiday. With the only supplies being tissue paper, colored string, and a stapler, kids will be able to create multiple of these blossoming flowers to showcase around the house. Mexican paper flowers are a big part of decorating when it comes to Cinco De Mayo, their bright colors displaying the love and pride for Mexican heritage. They also can be used to wear as flower crowns. By making these crafts, kids can hang them around their houses and turn them into flower crowns to show their appreciation towards the culture.
4. Make Your Own Musical Instruments
Tambourines and maracas are a big part of hispanic music and are a fun craft to make at home! Kids can make maracas out of plastic eggs with rice inside and tambourines can be put together with two paper plates with bells tied at the end. These simple creations can give kids the freedom to make their own sounds and to learn about how different cultures can have different styles of music. They can even perform a concert at home with these instruments for their family members.
All of these activities will open young minds to Mexican culture and hopefully motivate them to find other cultures within our world to appreciate and learn about. With Cinco De Mayo, whether it be through food, crafts, or music, there’s so much that can be used to celebrate this holiday. Three Pockets Full can be just as beneficial, and can be a great addition to a family's picture book collection.
Taylor Depouw is a recent graduate from Central Michigan University where she received her bachelors in English Literature and Language with a specialization in Children's and Young Adult Literature. In her free time, she loves reading and writing, photography, traveling, and attending concerts with friends and family.