Happy Cinco de Mayo! If you don’t speak Spanish, that means the fifth of May… and it’s also the name of a festival held in Mexico to celebrate their victory against France in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla. Since it’s such a big day, and since it falls on a weekend this year, why not celebrate it with your kids, even if you’re not Mexican? It’s always fun to observe the holidays of other cultures, and it can help open your kids’ eyes to the huge world around them and the people who inhabit our great melting pot, and might even spark a love of travel or of learning a foreign language. Here are some ideas for celebrating Cinco de Mayo with kids:
Eat Mexican food. Do you know the difference between empanadas, enchiladas and burritos? If not, it’s time to find out! If you’re feeling like being creative in the kitchen, find some Mexican recipes to replicate in your own home. If not, find an authentic Mexican restaurant (Taco Bell doesn’t count today!) and partake in some of the delicacies. If your kids don’t like spicy foods, just let the waiter or waitress know; they’ll be able to bring them something mild and kid-friendly, for sure! You may need reservations; today in particular might be a busy day for them. If you want to stay home and would rather not cooking anything too ambitious, nachos and salsa or tacos would make a good quick lunch or dinner.
Learn some Spanish words. If your kids aren’t taking a foreign language in school, it’s still so helpful to them to learn a second language when they’re young! If you’re not fluent in Spanish it would be difficult for you to teach them the language (unless you learned together), but you could certainly teach them a few words. Sign up for a free LiveMocha account, or just look for Spanish words and websites on the Internet. You could buy or borrow a Spanish picture dictionary. If you know anyone who speaks Spanish at home, maybe he or she wouldn’t mind giving a lesson or two.
Find fun Mexican-themed activities to do. An entire book could be (and probably has been) written on crafts and activities to celebrate Mexican heritage. Make maracas out of paper cups (just throw in a handful of dried beans and tape two together) and Mexican flags out of posterboard and have a parade. Or the kids could paint Mexican pottery designs (search online for ideas) on paper plates to make faux Mexican pottery. Use your imagination!
Having some Cinco de Mayo activities to do this afternoon would be a fun way to spend a Sunday with the family. Do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo in your family? If so, share some ideas with our readers!