What Is Cinco de Mayo?
How To Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Home
By Cara J. Stevens
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Like Saint Patrick’s Day and Chinese New Year, Cinco de Mayo is a wonderful opportunity to expose children to other cultures and traditions. The brightly colored costumes, Cinco de Mayo crafts, street music and festival-inspired foods are easy to re-create at home.
Start a Mariachi Band!
Mariachi bands traditionally consist of trumpets, violins and guitars, but any music-making instrument is welcome in a home-band!
- Trumpet: Decorate paper towel and toilet tissue rolls and toot away!
- Guitar: Decorate a tissue box, wrap 6 rubber bands of different sizes around it and strum at the open end.
- Maracas: Fill plastic Easter eggs, a plastic container or a coffee can with dried beans, rice or crayons and shake. Or try this easy craft.
When you’re a kid, any excuse for a party and decorations is a good one! Break out the most colorful (unbreakable) tableware you have and add these decorations:
With string and a brightly colored plastic tablecloth, you can make festive decorations! Measure out 7’ of string. Cut a triangle 8”x8”x4” out of cardboard. Use this triangle as a template and cut out as many triangles as you can from the plastic tablecloth. Attach the triangles to the string by folding the long edge over the string and stapling it along the string. String your flags from one end of a room to another and hang them from the ceiling, or hang them outside for an outdoor celebration. Visit our flag craft instructions for more ideas or make a flag cake!
Tissue paper flowers make lovely table centerpieces or great hair accessories. To make, gather 4 pieces of any color tissue paper. Take the stack of papers and fold them in half, then fold back and forth to make a fan shape. Wrap a long chenille pipe cleaner around the bottom of the folded edge, about ¼” from the bottom, to form the stem. Gently tug each layer of paper to separate it and form the petals. Make a whole bouquet and display them on your table in a can, jar or decorated water bottle. Our coffee filter flowers are a great craft for this holiday.
Piñatas can be very elaborate or very simple, but they’re always fun. You can buy one or make your own simple one using a cereal box as the base. Cover the box with colorful construction paper and decorate it with a picture of a chili pepper, donkey, cactus or sombrero. Use the open end of the cereal box as the bottom of the piñata. Wrap a coat hanger in yarn or curling ribbon to cover it completely. Attach the hanger to the top (closed end) of the piñata using strong packing tape. Cut strings of the same yarn or ribbon about 10” long each. Make as many strings as you have guests. With masking tape, attach all but one of the strings to the bottom of the box. Tape the final string to the inside of the box so that when it is pulled, it will open the box. Fill the box with candy or prizes, then tape the box closed. Hang the piñata where all guests can reach the strings. Make sure when you pull the strings at the bottom that your piñata doesn’t detach from the hanger. Create a watermelon piñata here!