Cinco de Mayo originally celebrates the Mexican militia winning the Battle of Puebla in 1862. The president at the time declared that day a celebration of their victory. When another Mexican ruler came along, he turned that day into a celebration of himself, creating a decline in observances. Today, Cinco de Mayo has transformed into more of a holiday to eat, drink, and just spend time with others having fun. Celebrate it for what it is with your students with these fun crafts and activities.
1. Make SWEET Tacos!
Everyone who knows anything about Cinco de Mayo knows there are always tacos involved! Make these adorable taco shells and let your kids fill them with gummy candies, mint, chocolate, and more to create a yummy dessert!
Learn More: Better Homes and Gardens
2. Add a Good Pinata
Start off the fun activities with a festive pinata! Fill it with goodies for kids to smack and smash and then watch them scramble as the contents pour onto the floor.
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3. Make Maracas
Music is another large part of this Mexican celebration. Help kids make this adorable chili pepper maraca that they can shake and then take! This is the perfect craft because it is made from recycled cardboard tubes, a little paint, and felt making it easy to find the supplies.
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4. Set the Tone With Mariachi
Mariachi music is the foundation for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Use a great playlist so that when your students walk in they know exactly what they are going to be celebrating and learning about for the day!
Learn More: Music With Dr. Hooper
5. Learn Some Spanish
Offer kids a little Spanish lesson about Cinco de Mayo for this popular holiday with a Spanish word search! Have the English language learners in the class help the non-Spanish speakers with translation as they learn some new Spanish!
Learn More: Education.com
6. Explore Some Digital Resources
Help kids take a virtual field trip to the places that started the celebration of Cinco de Mayo. This lesson resource will offer students honest history as well as some authentic culture to help them understand the real foundation of this holiday.
Learn More: Srta Spanish
7. Cinco de Mayo Slime
This will be one of many favorite activities for students. Celebrate Mexican culture by adding the colors of the Mexican flag to your slime recipe. Teach kids what the colors of the flag mean and give them a hands-on STEAM creation to play with when they are done.
Learn More: Steamsational
8. Mexican Flag Craft
This culture-rich craft will help students learn more about the country's flag as they use tissue paper and glue to compose a Mexican flag. Challenge students to not only create the flag but depending on their age, write a short paragraph about why the flag is important to Mexican culture.
Learn More: Artsy Momma
9. Read Aloud
Give older kids the real history of this holiday by using Cinco de Mayo: A Comprehensive Illustrated History as a read-aloud over a couple of weeks leading to the holiday. This will help shed light on the day in a different way, giving them more of an appreciation for what exactly is being celebrated.
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10. Celebrate Tradition With Paper Dolls
Use this adorable book to learn about Mexican culture in the Spanish classroom, or simply as an addition to the lessons you've already set up in your general education classroom surrounding Cinco de Mayo. This serves as a support to learning about the entire culture, not just the holiday.
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11. Huichol Yarn Paintings
Another idea for teaching about the actual culture of Mexico is these beautiful and colorful yarn paintings. Because it doesn't take too many supplies, it's also cost-effective. Kids will enjoy the relaxing process of laying yarn in patterns and getting creative.
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Mexico is known for its colorful artwork and this art extends to many aspects of their lives including the kitchen. Give kids from American culture a bit more insight into Mexican culture by having them create pinch pots complete with vibrant colors and designs. These double for serving salsa during your Cinco de Mayo day!
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13. DIY Decorations
Have students help you create the beautiful decor needed to add to your Cinco de Mayo celebration with these adorable rosettes. Use old magazines or other paper to create these fan-like decorations.
Learn More: Denna's Ideas
14. DIY Paper Bag Pinatas
Have kids work on creating their own pinata using paper lunch bags and tissue paper. This would be a great place for them to collect their pinata candy to take home from their Cinco de Mayo school day celebration.
Learn More: Somewhat Simple
15. Read an Online Article
Have students read and respond to this online article about Cinco de Mayo festivals. Through this article, they can explore how American culture has infiltrated this traditional Mexican festivity and give them another viewpoint from which to explore this holiday.
Learn More: America's Library
16. Cinco de Mayo History Writing
Having older students research and write about the true history of Cinco de Mayo will dispel the stereotypes and misinformation that are often shared in American culture.
Learn More: The Homeschool Mom
17. Mexico Salt Dough Map
Let kids get creative by creating a salt-dough map of Mexico. Have them work together in small groups to practice geography skills and release some creative energy in this activity which should take no more than 20-30 minutes.
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18. Have Short Spanish Lessons
Take 10-15 minutes per day leading up to Cinco de Mayo to teach students some basic Spanish that will help them communicate with their Spanish friends, as well as give them some background knowledge of Spanish culture.
Learn More: Enchanted Learning
19. Create a Whole Cinco de Mayo Unit
Nothing helps education stick better than a thematic unit. This ready-to-share unit has coloring pages, interactive resources, book ideas, and more for your class so they can learn all about Cinco de Mayo over a week or two.
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20. Ojo de Dios
This Cinco de Mayo craftivity symbolizes protection from God, hence the name Ojo de Dios. This charm or ornament is meant to protect anyone it is given to and is a wonderful addition to Cinco de Mayo celebrations and an opportunity to educate learners about Mexican heritage.
Learn More: Today's Creative Ideas
21. Make Salsa
A fun and tasty recipe to make with kids is salsa! The ingredients of this authentic food are easy to find. Have kids combine and smash up the ingredients for a great taste of Mexican culture!
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22. Cinco de Mayo Bingo
Have kids play bingo with this variation as they have to get five Cinco de Mayo symbols in a row to win. This game will be a fun part of the day when kids have the opportunity to take a break from learning and have some fun.
Learn More: Simply Today Life
23. Paper Bag Sarape
A sarape is a traditional garment worn in Mexican culture and dates back hundreds of years. Have students celebrate Cinco de Mayo by creating and appreciating the intricate patterns and bright colors of these garments by creating their own using paper bags.
Learn More: Education.com
24. Create Mexican Paper Flowers
These flowers will make adorable centerpieces, gifts, and decorations for your Cinco de Mayo unit and celebrations. Tissue paper and pipe cleaners are all you need to make these beautiful additions.
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25. Clay Pot Sombreros
Take miniature clay pots and turn them into little sombreros that kids can decorate with ribbon and pom poms to add to the Cinco de Mayo ambiance. This student activity will become a favorite and kids will love taking these home to remember the Mexican holiday.
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26. History Video
An informative video gives all the information kids need to understand and build some background knowledge around this holiday and the celebrations surrounding it.
27. Cinco de Mayo Online Story
The colorful illustrations in this story offer important history to give kids insight into this holiday. It even celebrates the Spanish language by teaching students a few Spanish words for different Mexican foods.
Learn More: Reading in a Virtual World
28. Article Inquiry and Lesson
Teach students the history and celebration of Cinco de Mayo with this lesson plan about the origins, importance, and celebrations of this holiday as they read an article, conduct class discussion, and then take a quick quiz on what they've learned.
Learn More: Study.com
29. Remember in Song
When information is put to music it offers another layer of learning modality that can sometimes help kids remember important information. This song about Cinco de Mayo with simplistic lyrics could be just the thing to help your kiddos remember.
Learn More: SZABO MUSIC
30. Kid-Friendly Taco Bar
What's a Mexican celebration without tacos? Create a kid-friendly taco bar using the idea of "walking tacos" where kids can simply fill their chip bags with taco toppings and have a mess-free way to eat their delicious meals!
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