May 5th, Cinco De Mayo, is often celebrated with a visit to our favorite local Mexican food restaurant. This year, I want to be a bit more intentional then just ordering a plate of fajitas and a margarita. I want my kids to understand why the 5th of May is a holiday.
Many think that Cinco De Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day. Not so (that day is celebrated on September 16th). Cinco De Mayo, a Mexican American holiday celebrated in the United States and parts of Mexico, commemorates the victory of the Mexicans over France at the Battle of Puebla.
Teaching my children the historical background of Cinco De Mayo will be the first step. Having grown up in Texas, I was immersed in Hispanic Culture and I loved it. To make this holiday more significant, I want to bring some of my favorites to my kids on this special day.
Here are a few ideas of activities we will do to celebrate Cinco De Mayo by throwing our own Fiesta this year:
Mexican Food Tasting Party: Get your children involved in the menu planning for dinner! My family tends to not be very adventurous when it comes to their taste buds, so our menu might consist of tacos, quesadillas, chips & salsa, and guacamole. Some more traditional ideas could include chile rellenos, tamales, or chicken mole. And no good Mexican dinner goes without sopapillas, churros, or fried ice cream.
Decorate! Dress in Red, Green, & White (the colors of the Mexican flag). Decorate the house in brightly colored Mexican Flowers made from tissue paper (directions HERE).
Shake that Maraca! These traditional instruments are fun to make and shake! My toddler and I easily put ours together using 2 cups, duct tape, stickers, and dried rice & beans. Ours are a little plain, but this could be an excellent activity for those with kids who love to make crafts & decorate!
Mexican Hat Dance: Who doesn't love a good Mariachi or Tejano band? Find a radio station, cd or download some fun songs and play the Mexican Hat Dance. There are traditional directions to the dance, but we just like to dance around the Sombrero (or any other fun hat might do!). What better way to teach your kids there are better Mexican songs than the Marcarana!
Hit the Pinata! A good fiesta would not be complete without a swing at the piÃ±ata. Family members take turns swatting at the piÃ±ata while blindfolded until someone hits it just right and the candy comes raining down. I know there are some amazing mommas out there who can make a beautiful piÃ±ata, but this one ops to buy one from the store.
Good family fun & a history lesson to boot! Can't beat that!
Does your family do anything special to celebrate Cinco De Mayo?
Some of these Quirky Momma posts might help in planning your Cinco De Mayo activities: