Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Arts and Crafts for Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo Streamers
Materials needed:
  • Empty toilet paper rolls
  • Craft glue 
  • Red or green craft sand
  • Red, white, and green ribbon (1/2-wide ribbon works well)
  • Hole punch

Paint toilet paper roll with craft glue and roll in colored sand. Allow to dry thoroughly. Use hole punch to punch six equally-spaced holes about 1/2-inch up from the bottom of the toilet paper roll.

Give each child six one-yard length of ribbon (two of each color). Show children how to tie knots in one end of the ribbon and thread the other end through the hole.

Children may wave their finished streamers around as they dance to Mexican music.

Fiesta Placemats
Fiesta Mat DiagramMaterials needed:
  • Brightly colored construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Gel pens, markers, oil pastels, or glitter glue

Give each child two sheets of 9- by 12-inch sheets construction paper in constrasting colors. Instruct them to pencil in one-inch margins on the narrow sides of one sheet of paper, then cut one-inch slits from margin to margin as show in the diagram on the right. The second sheet of paper should be cut into one-inch strips. (Instruct them to cut from wide edge to wide edge, resulting in twelve 9- by 1-inch strips.)
Basket Weave Pattern
Show students how to weave the strips of paper through the openings in the other sheet of paper to create the checker board pattern shown on the left.

Once students have finished weaving their mats, encourage them to decorate with other art materials. Finished placemats may be laminated for durability if desired.

Jumping Bean Paintings

Materials needed:
  • Assorted dried beans
  • Heavy white paper or cardstock
  • One or more boxes with lid (slightly larger than paper)
  • Assorted bright colors of paint

Give each child a sheet of paper. Let children take turns putting their sheets of paper in the bottom of a paint box. Have them dip a handful of beans into various colors of paint, then drop the beans into the box. Cover the box and shake for at least 30 seconds. Remove finished painting and allow to dry.

Jumping bean paintings may be displayed alone or used as a background for Cinco de Mayo cards, posters, etc.

Mexican Flags

Materials needed:
  • Flag pattern (For printable Mexican flag pattern, click here.)
  • Cardstock or tagboard
  • Red, green and white tissue paper
  • Glue
  • Markers
  • Full-color picture of Mexican flag
  • Red or green yarn
  • Masking tape

Copy flag pattern onto cardstock or tagboard. Give each child a copy of the flag, tissue paper of each color, and glue. Direct students to tear tissue paper into small strips, then crumble into small balls. Use paper balls to cover flag, coloring in each section correctly. Students may use markers to color center medallion either before or after decorating the rest of the flag. Allow glue to dry thoroughly, then use masking tape to attach yarn for hanging to back of each flag.

Materials Needed:
  • Clean yogurt cups with lids
  • Large popsicle sticks (available in craft stores)
  • Low-temp hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Small dried beans
  • 1/8"-wide red and green ribbon
  • Colored paper
  • Masking tape
  • Glue
  • Paint, markers, or crayons

Before distributing cups to students, cut a 1/2-3/4" gash in the bottom center of each cup. (Length of cut depends on width of popsicle sticks purchased. Gash should be about 1/8" longer than stick is wide.) Insert popsicle stick into opening of each cup until about 1/4" of stick is visible inside cup, and hot glue stick securely in place. Be sure to use a LOW TEMP glue gun. At higher temperatures, glue will melt the plastic cups. You may wish to glue the stick both inside and outside cup the cup for added strength. Allow glue to cool completely before distributing cups to students.

With students, pour about 2 Tbsp. dried beans into a yogurt cup, replace lid, and tape shut. Cut a strip of paper about one-half inch wider than the cup's circumference at its widest point and about six inches longer than the cup's height. Wrap paper around cup, leaving three inches of extra paper at both the top and bottom of cup. Tape paper in place. Use red and green ribbon to gather paper around top and bottom of cup and tie closed.  Popsicle stick handle should protude several inches from the paper covering around the bottom of the cup.

Encourage students to use different colors of paper, paint, markers, and/or crayons to decorate their maracas as they choose.


Materials Needed:
  • Large paper bag (grocery size)
  • Approximately half a bag full of candy and/or small treats (balloons, pencils, stickers, small toys, etc.) mixed with colored paper (total weight of contents should not exceed three pounds)
  • Tape
  • Various colors of tissue paper
  • Glue sticks
  • Small paper bags (lunch size)
  • Old newspaper.

Fill large bag with treats, fold down top, and tape closed. As a class, decide on a design for the pinata. (Animals work particularly well.) Use pieces of tissue paper to cover paper bag and decorate. Small bags filled with newspaper and covered with tissue paper can be used to create features like ears, noses, legs, tails, and so forth.

After pinata dries, use heavy yarn or twine to suspend from sealing. Let students take turns hitting it with a long ruler until it breaks and treats fall out.

Celebrating Cinco-de-Mayo in Mexico is always an option. You could fly down and party and be home in time for work the next day. You can find business class tickets online that are are inexpensive. A business class ticket is a relaxing way to fly instead of coach.
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