April 26, 2017

Holy Guacamole! 20+ Festive Cinco de Mayo Activities for Kids

{Guest Contributor - Jordan S.}  It’s time to get the fiesta going! Cinco de Mayo, the celebration of a Mexican victory over the French, has become one of the best, most family-friendly holidays to cross the border, and it is endlessly fun for kids and adults. While your friends without kids may choose to celebrate with endless margaritas, my little ones and I like to celebrate family style with fun crafts, great food and lots of time together.

You don’t have to spend a lot on this holiday; just be sure to have a good time. I’ve compiled a list of crafts for you to try so that you and your kids can spend your spring celebrating. Let’s get crafting!

1. A Faux-embroidered Shirt
You know those beautiful peasant shirts that are so hard to find at a decent price now that they’re hot properties? Guess what, here’s how to make an easy fake that looks surprisingly beautiful. All you need is a few hours and some nice, white t-shirts to paint on.

Photo Credit: CraftyChica.com

If you have daughters that are all about puffy paint, they will flip over this fun craft. Unfortunately, the instructions don’t include a pattern for the design, but you can find some great embroidery layouts here.

2. Mini Piñatas
A big, candy-filled piñata can be hard to find, stressful to manage or even expensive. Never fear, because these adorable, easy-to-make piñatas are here.
Photo Credit: https://www.somewhatsimple.com

Instead of stressing over one giant cardboard structure, just put out lots of small ones. Everyone gets an opportunity to break them open and find the goodies inside.

No stress, no tears and no fighting? To that I say, “Muchas gracias.”

3. Make Some Mocktails
Of course, with kids in the picture, most of us choose not to drink so we can keep things safe. However, kids still love special, colorful tipples of their own, and Cinco de Mayo is a great chance to play around with mocktails. You can even set up a little mini bar (pardon my pun), for your little party goers.
Pinterest Sangria.jpg
Photo credit: pinterest.com

Try a virgin sangria full of fresh fruit floating in black cherry juice and ginger ale. Or go for a virgin mango margarita for a sweet, cold treat that tastes like a sunset. Your kiddos will feel so grown up as they sip these sophisticated concoctions.

4. Help Your Home Explode with Color in Crepe Paper Flowers
If you have ever been to Mexico, you know the heart and soul of the country lives in the colorful landscape. Bring a taste of that to your home with these amazing crepe paper flowers. By simply graduating the size of each section and then layering them together, you get a gorgeous bouquet that brings a burst of sunshine into every corner.


5. Shake It Up! Make Your Own Maracas
If you have teeny-tinies in your home, then you know the importance of toys that make some noise. These amazing maracas are just plastic spoons, leftover plastic eggs from Easter and some rice or beans. Be sure to let your little artist choose the washi tape to wrap around them before they shake them to the beat.

6. Enjoy the Mexican Flag
Take a moment during Cinco de Mayo to look at the green, white and red flag of Mexico, then eat it up! This great little recipe turns the color scheme of the country into a delicious dessert that any kid will love. Who knows, the adults might just have some, too.

7. Bake a Taco Cake
This intelligent lady has found an excellent way to take a cake round, fold it and turn it into a taco shell. It is to die for and surprisingly simple.

Your kids will love decorating this giant taco with green frosting to make the lettuce and crushed Oreos to give it the look of ground beef. A sweet taco sure sounds yummy to me.

8. Eat a Cactus
Have some paleo eaters coming over? Keeping things gluten-free? You can still enjoy a great treat with this fun, edible cactus.

Just use your favorite grain-free cupcake recipe for the base, and then get your little darlings to help frost the fun succulent for the top. Little drips of dark chocolate on top make the spines. These are crunchy, sweet and darling.

9. Put on Your Blindfold for Some Games
You can’t go wrong with a classic, but you really knock it out of the park with a game your kids get to put together. Make them feel extra grown-up by letting them spin the adults around and then giggle while you try to get the tail on this cute little llama.
Just print out the poster, get it set up and have your young party animals help you make the tails. Too fun!

10. Visit a Mayan Pyramid
You don’t have to leave the house to learn all about the rich history of the Mayans and what they created. Just get together some basic ingredients in your kitchen and some old Tupperware to let your builders recreate these amazing structures.

You can always spend some time looking up some Mayan history (warning, it’s bloody), if that’s something that gets them pumped for a holiday. If all they want to do is build a pyramid and then knock it down to build the next one, then that works, too.

11. Sew a Beautiful Skirt
If you’re handy with a sewing machine and have some dancing divas in your home, you can make your Cinco de Mayo party a real fiesta with these lovely skirts. The key to making them look authentic is to start with bright colors and to finish them off with a little extra trim. These are more for the kids to enjoy as opposed to make with you, but be sure to have them decide on the color scheme and choose the accents.
12. Test Your Memory
This craft isn’t free, but I include it because it’s less than a dollar and such a fun game. Preschoolers absolutely love to play memory, and I don’t know about you, but in my house, we play round after round, and the kids never get bored.

You can incorporate a little lesson en español by having your family name the things they see in each picture as they turn them over. Bonus, they get to color in the cards before you play.

13. Let Your Inner Lucha Libre Fly
Have a little one, or several ones, who just cannot sit still? Give them a Lucha Libre mask and teach them a little bit about how to have fun Lucha style.

This is an excellent opportunity to talk about how to stay safe, even when we do things that can be dangerous, or to just review good sportsmanship. Be sure to let them create their own personas and take on new, Spanish names to complete the game.

14. Introduce Your Darlings to Plantains
Plantains are an easy new food for kiddos to try because they don’t have a strong taste, and they come in a variety of flavors. They can be simple and starchy, like potatoes, or soft and sweet.
The former makes for some great chips that you can bake up while your tiny chefs mash avocados into a basic guacamole to share. They’ll love it, and so will you.

15. Shrink Down Your Burritos
Don’t ask me why, but once food is small and finger-friendly, my kids will wolf it down, no questions asked. These tiny burritos are a great example; just cut the tortilla into fourths, put out some ingredients to pile on and help your hungry babies roll them up. Be sure to have a few extra toppings like cheese, sour cream and mild salsa to put on top.


16. Make Traditional Folk Art
Aluminum foil may not be your paper of choice for coloring time, but it looks a lot like the beaten, painted tin of Mexico when kids color on it. You can let them just go for it freehand or show them some examples to get them started. Be sure to hang them up somewhere they can reflect the light and highlight the talent of each little artist.

17. Leave a Spicy Footprint
If you have very small kids at home, you can get them in on the fun with this adorable chili footprint craft. Older kids can do the same and add on their own arms, legs and eyes while the tiny ones can just enjoy the feel of paint on their feet. The best part is that you get a little keepsake for years to come.

18. Paint a Pretend Guitar
This great little guitar craft looks almost real! If you have an aspiring musician in your home, help him or her sing out while strumming this little paper, practice instrument. This is also a great chance to learn some songs in Spanish, like this one.
19. Give These Amazing Birds a New Home
These pajaros come with just one rule - color! Make these cardboard birds as colorful as possible with lots of patterns and different sections.

I especially love these because they can easily translate to any holiday, so if your kids really take to them, you can adapt them to Easter, Christmas or any other family tradition you hold dear. They’re also an excellent way to use up any old boxes you have folded up in the garage.

20. Use Yarn to Uphold a Fun Tradition
A God’s eye is a bit of an obvious craft, but there’s a reason for that; kids lose their minds over these basic crosses covered in yarn. Even if your family isn’t particularly religious, you can still make these to reinforce the idea of accountability, good choices or just patterns and color. They’re cheap, they’re easy and they’re always a hit.

21. Put on a Puppet Show
I am losing my mind over how adorable these little donkey finger puppets are, and they’re not difficult at all. The blog entry includes a basic pattern with suggestions for how to make them more festive.
You can sew them or just use some fabric glue to get the edges together. If you have some dramatic darlings, they will play with these little donkeys for hours.

22. And Finally, Churros
All right, these are a reward for working so hard to keep your kiddos entertained and yourself sane. Don’t worry, these are made in the oven, so you won’t have to deep fry anything.

If you need a healthier version, you can try this recipe instead. Both are sweet, crunchy and well-deserved.


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