Cinco de Mayo is a way to introduce kids to Mexican culture in a fun, festive way. Below you will find ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with kids including craft ideas and tasty Mexican recipes.
What is Cinco de Mayo?
Cinco de Mayo is a special celebration that is held annually on May 5th to remember the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire in 1862. In the US, Cinco de Mayo has become a day to appreciate Mexican cultural as a whole. Many cities have parades and shows. Restaurants have specials and live mariachi music. Kids often learn about the Battle of Puebla and make crafts to celebrate. Build a new family tradition with some of these ideas that can be celebrated every year!
Cinco de Mayo Recipes
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You might think that Mexican food isn’t kid friendly because it’s often spicy, but there are many dishes that kids will love. Creating an authentic Mexican meal can be easy with a few of these selections:
- Street Tacos – beef on corn tortilla with cilantro and onion toppings
- Guacamole and Chips – mashed avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice and salt
- Cheese quesadillas – grilled cheese in a flour tortilla
- Tortilla Soup – shredded chicken soup with vegetables, tortilla strips and cheese
- Burritos – beef or bean filling wrapped in flour tortilla
- Fajitas – sliced beef or chicken, bell peppers, onions served with tortillas
- Flautas – stewed shredded chicken wrapped in a corn tortilla and fried
Many of these dishes have quick and easy recipes to make with little ones at home. Or you can make dinner a fun night out and eat at an authentic Mexican restaurant.
Finish up your meal with delicious, sweet Mexican desserts. Whether you opt to make these yummy desserts yourself, order at a restaurant or pick up from your local Mexican Panaderia (bakery), you’re sure to please your crowd and their taste buds!
- Tres Leches Cake – sponge cake soaked in 3 kinds of milk
- Flan – caramel topped custard
- Conchas – sweet bread that resembles a shell
- Churros – fried pastry strips dusted with cinnamon and sugar
- Camotes – candied sweet potatoes
- Fried Ice Cream – breaded scoop of ice cream deep fried and topped with cherry and whipped cream
Cinco de Mayo Crafts
Mexican cultural is full of bright, beautiful colors, which makes creating Cinco de Mayo crafts a no brainer. Kids can create beautiful pieces of art that can also double as decorations for a Cinco de Mayo party. The great thing is that many of the crafts involve simple supplies like paper, glue and scissors. Here are some of our favorites:
- Papel Picado – You’ve seen these multi colored, stringed banners hanging in Mexican restaurants. They’re beautiful and easy to make with colored tissue paper, scissors, a hole puncher and string. Similar to making a snowflake, you fold and cut or punch tiny pieces of the tissue out to make unique designs. You can also find papel picado templates online and on Etsy.
- Tissue Box Guitar – Mariachi music is a unique Mexican style of music that is made up of stringed instruments and horns. Put on a show with your own homemade guitar using a tissue box, paper towel roll, and some rubber bands. Decorate your guitar with colored roses and you’re on your way to making beautiful music.
- Pipe Cleaner Cacti – Cacti grows extensively throughout Mexico, specifically the nopal cactus. It’s such an important symbol to Mexico that it is proudly displayed in the middle of the country’s national flag. Use different hues of green pipe cleaners to build a 3D replica of a cactus. Simply twist the ends together to shape and attach the pipe cleaners together. Add a pink or yellow pom pom to the top to represent the flowers that cacti bloom.
- Tissue Paper Flower Bracelets – Layer different colored tissue paper together. Hold stack together and cut out a small circle. Punch two holes in the center and thread a pipe cleaner through. Twist the pipe cleaner at the ends and gently separate the layers of tissue. You now have a colorful DIY corsage.
- Footprint Chili Pepper Craft – Chili peppers originated in Mexico and are widely used in Mexican cuisine to build flavor and add a spiciness/hotness. This crafty chili pepper character is a cute idea for younger kids to make.
- Homemade Maracas – Celebrate with these easy to make plastic egg maracas!
- Flag of Mexico Fingerprint Art – Easy art project that could also be decorated with tissue paper or used as a coloring page.
Let us of know about your Cinco de Mayo traditions to do with kids!