4 ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with your children

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862. In the U.S., the holiday is typically associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture.

Person in traditional cultural dress on the streetWhile the Cinco de Mayo has an expansive history and is ceremonial at its core, parents can still help their children take part and celebrate while building cultural awareness.

Read Cinco de Mayo-themed books

There are many Cinco de Mayo-themed children’s books available for parents to help teach about the holiday and its traditions. Parents can take their children to the library, read books at home or even enjoy free ebooks available online.

Reading Cinco de Mayo-themed books with your children not only builds early literacy skills, but also helps children to learn about the holiday. While reading books, children can explore holiday facts, culture, geography and history.

Learn Spanish

Learning a new language at an early age has many advantages, but even learning just a few words can have a positive impact. While sharing information about Cinco de Mayo, parents can teach simple and useful Spanish words to make cultural connections. Learning multiple languages is a skill that will not only provide a fun way to learn about culture, but also may come in handy throughout life.

Start with simple Spanish translations for greetings and manners such as hello, goodbye, please, thank you, yes, no and more. There are many methods to teach children Spanish in a way that feels like playtime. Pro tip: Reading books in Spanish is an excellent place to start.

Prepare crafts and activities

Sombrero sugar cookieFor the on-the-go caregiver, time may be of the essence. Quick, fun and tasty Cinco de Mayo sombrero cookies are the perfect solution. The sweet treats only call for four ingredients; store-bought sugar cookies, a can of white icing, gumdrops and nonpareils or sprinkles. Read the full recipe to recreate the sugary delight. The cookies are perfect for children to bring into the classroom and share with friends if your child’s school allows.

Another fun way for children to celebrate the holiday is to create homemade maracas. There are plenty of DIY maraca craft tutorials, including some that use leftover Easter eggs and common household items. While maracas are traditionally created form hollowed and dried gourds, modern versions are often made with wood and plastic. The instrument is simple children for create and enjoy, while learning about new music. Parents can play traditional Mexican music for their children to listen to while creating their crafts.

Enjoy a traditional Cinco de Mayo meal

Traditional Cinco de Mayo meals usually include Mexican favorites including, but certainly not limited to, authentic tortillas, guacamole, chips and salsa, quesadillas, tacos, enchiladas and more.

Turn on traditional tunes and invite your child to help you in the kitchen for simple steps they can help you accomplish. Parents can use the time as an opportunity to have conversation about the holiday and where traditional foods originated.

For more tips and free child development support, call the Birth to Five Helpline at 877-705-KIDS (5437)
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All content in this article, including any advice or commentary from Southwest Human Development staff and/or others, should be considered an opinion and is provided for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for medical or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the direct advice of your own trusted professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the child/ren in your care. Southwest Human Development does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, procedures or other information that may be mentioned in this article. You may contact Southwest Human Development’s Birth to Five Helpline at 1-877-705-KIDS (5437) to speak with one of our early childhood professionals for personalized assistance. Birth to Five Helpline specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.