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5 Easy Ways to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Children

Cinco de Mayo is often celebrated with parades, carnivals, street fairs, and occasionally fireworks at night. Historically, the day marks a battle between the Mexican army and the French. The Battle of Puebla took place in Puebla City, PUE, Mexico on May 5, 1862. The Mexicans were largely outnumbered by the French. However, led by Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin they managed to hold off and defeat the French. It is believed that the day was first celebrated by Mexicans living in California during the American Civil War. The holiday became more popular in the 1960s and then became widespread in the United States with commercialization in the 1990s.

Below, we’ve listed 5 different ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year with the children in your center while educating them about the history and diversity of Mexican culture.

1) Teach the Children to Count to Cinco

Cinco de Mayo is the perfect day to learn some Spanish. You might want to use a toy like this Spanish Learning Tablet where students can take turns learning numbers, ABC’s, spelling, and more!

2) Decorate Your Classroom(s)

A Cinco de Mayo theme is simple to create in your center with colorful decorations you can make or buy! Order Cinco de Mayo supplies like flags or banners online; include Mexican folk art like papel picado, too! Throw on some mariachi music, hang the piñata and prepare for a fiesta.

3) Dine on a Delicious Mexican Meal 

Mexican fare can be quite kid-friendly, as long as you go easy on the spice! On Cinco de Mayo, swap out your regularly planned lunch or snacks for Mexican-inspired dishes. Kids will love building their own tacos. You can set out shells, meat, cheese and toppings and let them make their own. You can also introduce the children to horchata, a popular Mexican drink that is often described as a sweet rice milk beverage. Horchata is made out of rice, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon and is served in many Mexican restaurants. t originated at least as far back as 13th-century Valencia, where it is known as orxata de xufa.

4) Create Fun DIY Crafts 

Do the children at your center love music? This maraca craft project is a wonderful way to incorporate the fun-filled spirit of Cinco de Mayo while teaching about Mexican culture and heritage. Embellish your handmade instruments with bright paint colors or festive stickers, if you wish!

To add to your fiesta, take it one step further by allowing the children to decorate their very own homemade piñatas!

5) Give a Mexican History Lesson

Most importantly, our future generations should know why we celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Using children’s picture books like Fiesta Time! Celebrating Cinco de MayoCinco de Mouse-O and Marco’s Cinco de Mayo will help teach kids about the history of the celebration. Consider showcasing important historical events, sharing fun facts about the day, and listening to authentic music to educate them about the diversity of Mexican culture!

For more information about Cinco de Mayo, click here.

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