Cinco de Mayo may simply mean “fifth of May,” but the commemorative celebration is far from simple. The holiday is bright with color and joyous in the spirit of achieving defeat against the odds. Show admiration and pride with patriotic, artsy, musical and food-related crafts that signify Mexico’s rich history.
Wave Your Green, White and Red
Share in the Cinco de Mayo celebration with flag-colored garland. Cut out an even number of rectangles — at least 3 inches wide by 5 inches long — from green, white and red tissue paper. Tape the rectangular strips along one narrow side to twine or fine rope by alternating colors. String the garland from the ceiling or between trees. The lightweight paper easily waves in an outdoor breeze or with indoor movement.
Tree Bark Art
Create a take on Mexican papel amate or bark paper for vibrant, detailed paintings, using brown paper bags. Crumple, then flatten the paper and tear out rough squares to mimic an old, natural canvas. Create a design featuring a story scene, from farming or village life to a lifestyle that relates to your family. Use a black marker to draw the “story,” and fill in the outline with vivid tempera or acrylic paints, including red, green, blue, orange, aqua, yellow and white.
Shake, Shake, Shake
Music brings life to the Cinco de Mayo celebration. Join the festivities by gathering your children to make colorful maracas. Partly fill small, clean yogurt containers with dried beans. Make a slit in each lid for a Popsicle-stick handle. Wrap each instrument with duct tape to hold everything in place and serve as a neutral base. Decorate the maracas with colorful construction paper or colored foil. White glue and patterned-edge scissors come in handy for this part of the project.
Jars of Delish
Mexican sauces are rich in flavor and make a delightful food craft or gift. Fill small Mason jars with salsa, pico de gallo or red enchilada sauce. Before screwing on each jar’s ring, dress up the lid with an oversized square of multicolored fabric. Festive, vibrant Aztec-, ikat- or chevron-patterned fabrics complement vivid placemats, napkins bound with bright beads on elastic thread, and a table full of tasty Mexican foods.
References & Resources
Apples4theTeacher.com: Cinco de Mayo Activities – Mexico Games, Coloring Pages, Crafts for Kids, Word Searches
Food.com: Mexican Sauce Recipes
Mexonline.com: The History of Cinco de Mayo
History.com: Cinco de Mayo
MexConnect: Demystifying Mole, Mexico’s National Dish
CLNet — University of California: Cinco de Mayo
Festival of Mexico: Papel Picado, Papel Amate, and Popotillo