Our collection of easy mexican crafts for kids includes lesson ideas, and materials for elementary art students and their teachers. Drawing, painting, textiles, printmaking and more! So grab your glue, scissors, markers and paper and unleash your creativity with these fun Mexican inspired crafts. Have yourself a fiesta!
Those eagle eyed among you will see that I have shared these collection of activities as Cinco de Mayo Crafts before.. however… after speaking to Teacher Fiore on instagram, I felt it was necessary to reshare these and talk about Mexican Independence Day instead! Mostly as Cinco de Mayo is something celebrated in the US and the town of Pueblo, than anywhere else.
Let’s begin by looking at key dates in the mexican diary.
Mexican Independence Day or El Grito or The Cry of Dolores
Earlier in the year, I did a post about “Cinco de Mayo”. I naively, thought that this was a key date in the mexican diary. Not so…
Often confused with Mexican Independence Day by the rest of the world, Cinco de Mayo actually marks the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla. While the Cinco de Mayo celebrations are big in the United States of America, the largest celebrations in Mexico are typically focused in Puebla, where the actual battle took place. Here you will find a great celebration, replete with parades, battle reenactments and more. [Source]
The much more important day is in September – Mexican Indepence Day – usually celebrated 15-16th September. Mexican Independence Day celebrates the 11 year battle to become independant from Spain. The beginning of independence started on with the El Grito battle cry on the 15th September 1810, with the battle starting on the 16th. Independence wasn’t actually achieved until February 1821, but it is wildly recognised as the beginning of the 11 year battle. Read more here.
The Day of the Dead
Now a well known day around the world – known for it’s beautiful sugar skulls. For many Dia de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead have become synonymous with Halloween. In many ways this is not surprising as they have similar routes – All Saints Day – and fall on similar days. Halloween is celebrated on the 31st October, whilst The Day of the Dead is celebrated on the 1st and 2nd November. It is a actually a celeberation of life and honouring loved ones that have passed. It is a way to keep their memories alive. Graves are visited, gifts of favourite foods and rinks are left and families come together to remember loved ones with feasts and celebrations.
I have a whole collection of Day of Dead Crafts for Kids here:
I won’t add more “Day of the Dead” activities in this article today… as there is SO MUCH MORE to Mexican culture than skulls and flowers. And I want to give these other ideas space today. Plus they are only really relevant to one celebration in November, whilst the activities shared this article today, can be applied throughout the year when learning about and celebrating Mexican culture!
Host a Mexico inspired Day/ Fiesta
A few years ago, we decided to have a “Mexico Day” as part of this we made our Frida Kahlo piñata (they were so easy and fun to make.. and we used recycled tissue paper and toilet paper rolls! Such an inexpensive Mexico inspired craft and then we also did the following
- We made some Papel Picados (basically kirigami paper bunting in bright colours – see further below for a lovely example from Deep Space Sparkle)
- Had a go at this Frida Kahlo printable project
- We listened to Mexican Music all day
- We made delicious Chilaquiles, some chicken burritos and some churros (flan would have been more authentic, but we didn’t have the ingredients)
- Watched some Lucha Libre (Mexican Wrestling) on YouTube, as well as a tourist information video on Mexico
Our Frida Kahlo Pinatas were a hit and of course so so sooo easy to make! Though of course any Frida Kahlo activity is great for mexican celebrations and we have a great collection for you to check out! If you want a bigger piñata for the day, scroll down for another fabulous Cereal Box piñata craft idea!
On to our collection of Easy Mexican Crafts for Kids.. you will see that I tried to avoid the stereo typical sombreros and chili peppers.. as I think there is much more to explore than resorting to these particular stereotypes.
Easy Mexican Crafts for Kids
Traditional God’s Eye Craft
I think everyone has heard of Ojo de Dios or God’s Eye Crafts before – it is a craft originating from Mexico that children the world over delight in. Why? Because it is beautiful and a very mindful and metative craft – combining textures of wool and sticks. God’s Eye are an ancient cultural symbol designed to protect people whilst they pray. Read more about the history of God’s Eye Crafts here.
Once children have learnt the basics, you can teach them how to weave patterns, like these pretty flower god’s eye patterns.
Worry Doll Crafts
Worry Dolls (also named trouble dolls; Spanish Muñeca quitapena) actually originated in the Guatemalan highlands. They are made from wire and wool left overs and in the Mayan style. As the Mayan civilization is a part of southern Mexico, I think including some worry dolls in this crafts for kids collection, is ok! Read the full Legend of the Mayan Worry Dolls here.
The idea behind these is simple. They are meant to help child’s worries – tell the doll your worry and place it under the child’s pillow to take the worries away. Learn how to make these simple Worry Dolls!
Mexico is all about the Music
Music always plays and important part in any Mexican celebration. So it is only fitting that we include some DIY Musical Instruments in this Cinco de Mayo activity round up.
First up, why not make some DIY Maracas? We made ours using real hollow egg shells (or using leftover plastic Easter eggs? but we like the naturalness of blown out eggs), some old chopsticks and dried grain – making this another super thrifty and inexpensive craft for kids. If you find adding the maracas handle too fiddly, you can easily just make “egg shakers”, that are just as fun and effective. But the maracas did make me very happy! And they were easy and fun.
Use some recycled materials to make some simple castanets or “click clack” toys. We made some imaginary creatures.. but you could decorate these in Mexican colours or flower patterns? I think your preschooler will love making and playing with these!
When you think of Mexican parties.. surely guitar music springs to mind? Celebrate with your own recycled Cardboard Guitar? And decorate it in virbrant colours? Have a blast making and playing with this DIY Guitar!
These little Cardboard Cactii where made for Valentine’s Day, but they are so cute, I think you can make them any time of year! Find out more here.
You know I have a whole book with easy kid-friendly crafts, right? In fact, I have TWO craft books.. but this 3d Paper Cactus Craft is from my Easy Paper Projects book. So easy and fun to make. And would be a great Cinco de Mayo decoration. I can send signed copies of this book within the UK. Just drop me an email (info at redtedart dot com).
More fanatic crafts for your Mexican celebrations:
I am trying to avoid cliches such as a poncho craft and sombrero cookies… and look at what today’s Mexicans like to celebrate. So I think the following are great crafts to try out. Cinco the Mayo is an important celebration in Mexican heritage and history.
What better way to decorate than with the traditional Papel Picado. Paper picado is a lovely and simple paper cutting bunting that everyone can help make. Learn more about it from Deep Space Sparkle. The whole family can get together and make these ahead of any celebrations.
La Lucha Libre inspired crafts
If you are doing any study unit around Mexican culture and Cinco de Mayo, you simply HAVE to included something Lucha Libre themed. La Lucha Libre is Mexico’s very own wrestling association (it literally translates as “free fight”) and it is a hugely popular and lots of fun read all about it here.
Let’s start off with these super fun Lucha Libre Masks DIY from First Palette
Dream a Little Bigger had these fantastic Luchador crafts – they are in fact filled with catnip for her cat! But I think you could make them as ornaments, key chaings, backpack charms or garlands. A string of Luchadores for Lucha Libre fans would be fabulous, don’t think you? Such a cool craft!
You saw our Frida Kahlo piñatas earlier, if youw anted something bigger, that the kids can “attack” together, then try Chef Tess Bakeress‘s Cereal Box Pinata! Another easy make (with no need for papier mache planning), that looks the real deal! Love the Paper Plate centre that gives it this real festive feel! Be sure to fill with lots of candy, secure with masking tape and decorate!
I mentioned earlier that Cinco de Mayo is full of music. Well it is also full of dancing. And in order to celebrate this dancing, why not have a go at these gorgeous dancing senioritas from Denna’s Ideas! Aren’t they lovely?!
We have mentioned bright vibrant colours and lots of flowers before.. so bring these two to make some beautiful Mexican paper flowers to decorate with. Honestly WTF has a great tutorial for you.
More ideas for celebrating Mexico:
A big thank you to Teacher Fiore on instagram, for providing additional activity ideas (and also pointing out that in Mexico itself, Cinco de Mayo, isn’t really a big deal.. whilst Mexican Indepence Day is!!)
Mexican Flag Craft ideas
Any activity involving the Mexican Flag or colours of the Mexican Flag (Green, White and Red) – learn about the flag here. For example:
- adapt the colours of this cute paper fan bunting
- any Mexican Flag coloring pages
- draw or paint your own Mexican Flag (young children can focus on the three colours, whilst older children take a closer look at the Mexican Coat of Arms ).
- adapt our Flag Cootie Catcher and write your own quiz questions
Play Mexican Lottery or Mexican Bingo, also known as Loteria
Loteria is a popular game in Mexico. It is essentially the same as “Bingo” with the same rules. But has a unique set of images you are playing with rhymes to go with each image. The original images are in fact trademarked by Marta Maria Sanchez Quiroz. More info here. There are lots of versions “online” available for purchase though.
Play traditional games
Make some food
I do hope you feel inspired this collection of Mexican crafts and Mexico inspired activities for your Mexican Independance Day celebrations and fiestas and that you have a fantastic time wherever you are celebrating.
You may also enjoy this collection of Frida Kahlo projects and activities: