Cinco de Mayo for Kids

Food and Travel, For Moms, In Season, International Food, Spring
on March 18, 2011
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Mark Boughton/ styling: Teresa Blackburn
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Cinco de Mayo is arguably the United States biggest celebration of Mexican heritage, and a great opportunity to introduce your budding senoras and senoritas to vibrant Hispanic culture. With the following kid-friendly activities and recipes, your family will feel they’ve taken a trip south of the border—and things are bound to get a little loco.
 
Party Piñata: At the pinnacle of your celebration, have an old-fashioned piñata-hitting. Hang the piñata in an open area (we suggest outside) and line kids up from smallest to largest. Blindfold the hitter and allow him or her three strikes with a sturdy stick before moving to the next participant. Make it clear that there will be no grabbing of fallen goods until the hitter’s blindfold has been removed and the stick dropped. We suggest filling a traditional Mexican piñata with Mexican themed party favors, bags of pretzels and bags of nuts instead of sugary candies.
 
Music-Making Maracas: Throughout the day play traditional Mexican music and have kids feel the rhythms by shaking homemade maracas. In the weeks before Cinco de Mayo, set aside toilet paper rolls. Have kids decorate the rolls with red, green and white paint and ribbons. Seal one end with tissue paper and tape. Sprinkle dried beans into the other end of the tube and seal in the same way. Shake away!
 
Taco Bar: Kids will love being put in control of building their own tacos. Create a buffet with bowls containing chopped chicken, ground beef, rice, beans, cheese, guacamole, fresh tomatoes, shredded lettuce and other taco topping favorites. Give the option of hard or soft tacos and let kids go to town with their Cinco de Mayo dinner creations.
 
Craving more Mexican for your party? Check out our list of Cinco de Mayo recipes below.
 
—By Emily Arno
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