Cinco de Mayo, or the 5th of May, is a Mexican holiday celebrated in both Mexico and many areas of the United States. The holiday celebrates Mexico's victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla. Cinco de Mayo crafts provide a multicultural experience for kids, and you can incorporate them into Cinco de Mayo party activities or as their own stand-alone entertainment.
Paper Plate Sombrero
A paper plate and cup form the foundation of a simple sombrero craft. The paper plate serves as the brim of the sombrero and the cup creates the top part of the Mexican hat. The kids paint both parts with tempera paint, then glue the cup to the center of the paper plate. Make sure they have the naturally-upturned edges facing up, so the craft takes on a classic sombrero look. They can then decorate the sombrero with glued-on sequins, string and pompoms. Provide the kids with pictures of real sombreros to give them a good idea of the final result they're aiming for.
A replica of the Mexican flag is another simple craft project for kids. The flag features three vertical stripes. From left to right the colors of the stripes are green, white and red. A rectangle of poster board creates the base for the flag. Small squares of tissue paper in the corresponding colors cover the flag. For a textured look, place a square of tissue paper over the end of a pencil eraser and twist it slightly. Glue the tissue paper to the correct sections. A wooden dowel or pencil creates a pole for the flag.
A large paper bag creates the base for a homemade poncho craft. Cut a neck hole out of the bottom of the bag. You'll also need to cut both of the short sides out of the bag for the kids' arms. This creates the look of a traditional Mexican poncho. The kids can then decorate the ponchos with materials like yarn, pompoms and paint. The kids can wear their homemade ponchos during the Cinco de Mayo festivities to celebrate the Mexican culture.
Tissue Paper Flowers
Tissue paper flowers are a common sight at Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Kids can make their own colorful flowers to decorate the house for your family's Cinco de Mayo party. You'll need eight sheets of tissue paper for each flower; use all the same color or a mixture, as you prefer. The sheets of tissue paper should measure about 6-by-8 inches. The first step is to fold the tissue paper like a fan. The kids then gather the folded tissue paper in the middle with a pipe cleaner acting as the stem. They must then carefully pull apart the individual sheets of tissue paper to create the flower shape.