By Awnali Mills
I miss Arizona and real Mexican food sometimes, but I digress.
To continue our celebration of National Book Week, we had a Cinco de Mayo party. And, because it’s been an overwhelming week and it was only Tuesday, I didn’t take any pictures. Sorry. Instead, I stole pictures from around the Internet.
To start the program, I talked to the kids about the history of Cinco de Mayo and why we celebrate it in America, too. Then Meghan explained the stations and we let the kids go.
Station 1: Maracas
Take an Easter egg, add dry rice inside and close it up tight. Position two spoons on the egg as a handle, and cover it all with masking tape. Color it with crayons. Hint: small pieces of masking tape work better than crazy ridiculously wrapping the whole thing around and around with tape. Just saying.
Oh, and they WILL spill rice. Some of them will even freak out about this and keep pointing it out to you over and over until you pick it all up. The masking tape will help get up some of the individual grains. You’re welcome.
Station 2: Paper Flowers
Cut tissue paper into ~6 to 8 inch squares. I basically cut sheets into 4 pieces. I was not exact, and nobody complained. Stack 4 sheets, and fan fold them with 1” folds. When all the paper is folded, fold the whole thing in half lengthwise. Wrap a pipe cleaner tightly around the fold. Open it back up and GENTLY open up the flower folds. Put it in your hair, or your backpack, etc.
Station 3: Peso Toss
We didn’t have pesos, so we used washers. We scrounged up sombreros from across the library system (who knew so many people were holding onto sombreros?) We set three sombreros into a line and assigned points to each one, 5 for the closest, then 10, then 15. They had to stand behind a line and throw the washers.
Once everyone had a chance to do the stations, we gathered them together and did a drawing for a box of Hot Tamales. Then, we explained the Funky Mexican Hat Dance Relay we were going to do and divided them into teams.
Game: Funky Mexican Hat Dance Relay
We stationed two hats on the floor at one end of the room, several feet from each other. We made starting lines on the other side of the room. What the children had to do was run down to the hat, do a crazy dance around the hat twice without stepping on it (!!! *Stern Face*—hat stepping results in immediate disqualification!!!) and then run back to the starting line and tag the next person who will repeat the process. We ran the relay twice.
At the request of the kids, we finished up with a maraca band/dance party. I’m telling you, the kids were absolutely nuts about those maracas. We’d had Spanish-flavored music from Los Kidz Bop that we’d been playing the whole program, so we turned on a song and the kids went nuts, shaking their maracas and dancing around the room.
The whole party went over really well. We were pleased that many different nationalities showed up to celebrate a holiday all about freedom and independence.