Fiestas are a great opportunity to get the kids together and keep them busy with arts and crafts. There are many bright, tasty and noisy crafts for a Mexican fiesta that require inexpensive materials and little aide from adults. These simple crafts recreate classic fiesta elements, and most children 5 years and older can make them with great ease and enjoyment.
A fiesta is, above all else, a party. And every party involves food, music, dancing and fun. To get kids into the mariachi spirit, have them make their own maraca instruments. There are all sorts of methods for making maracas, including paper mache, carved wood and the paper bowl method. Crafts must be easy, quick and accessible for children to make at parties; as such, using inexpensive materials and having a craft that takes under 15 minutes to construct are ideal. For a simple maraca craft, decorate two paper or plastic foam bowls, and fill one side with dried beans. Staple the second bowl on top of the first to make sure no beans can escape. Attach ribbons to the edges or a wooden dowel to act as a handle if desired.
To continue the music theme, paper box guitars make great accompaniments to maracas. Begin with an empty rectangle tissue box, and stretch three large rubber bands across the oval hole in the center (across the longest width of the box). Insert a pencil under the rubber bands at one end of the box to act as the bridge. Attach an empty cardboard tube with tape to act as a handle.
Even though a large pinata is likely to be present at your fiesta, making small paper bag pinatas is a great craft to get kids enthusiastically involved (if candy is present, there will be enthusiasm). Paper bag pinatas require a brown paper lunch bag, colored tissue paper, glue, scissors, a bit of newspaper and some candy. Fill the bag with candy and newspaper, and glue shut. Decorate the outside of the bag with colored tissue paper in strips or fringes. Attach a string to the top. When finished, you can display the pinatas on a clothesline or from the ceiling at the fiesta or let the kids parade around with them.
Mexican paper crepe flowers are a great art project for both decorating the fiesta and for getting kids busy with their hands. Materials include colored tissue paper and pipe cleaners. Cut the tissue paper into long, wide strips, and layer three to six on top of each other. Fold the layered strips accordion style lengthwise (like a fan), and wrap a pipe cleaner around the center and twist it to make a stem. Pull all of the paper sheets apart, and fluff until it looks like a flower. You can use multiple colors in your layers to create exotic looking flowers. Decorate tables or centerpieces with the flowers, or tuck one behind your ear for a beautiful hair accessory.