Ah, Cinco de Mayo! What a fun holiday to celebrate with wonderful music, colors, and joy! Many believe Cinco de Mayo to be Mexico’s Independence Day but really the day marks the victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in the year 1862.
We’ve been celebrating in our home this week through art, a little geography and the senses. My son is three years so I want to ease into his learning about this important holiday. Here are four ways we integrated Mexican culture a la movement and music into our week:
Cinco De Mayo Music
Who doesn’t love a little Mariachi music? I created a playlist in iTunes. We played this music all week long. My son would bound downstairs exclaiming, “Let’s play the Mexican music, Mama!” Mexico has beautiful songs and joyous songs that really fed our moods this week.
Mexican Hat Dance
Of course, one of the most well-known melodies, especially for children, is the Mexican Hat Dance. There is a specific way to do the dance, which is worth going over with your child. It is fun and not too difficult. On the other hand, we ended up simply dancing and jumping around a (very small) sombrero. My sons had a blast. We also grabbed our Guiro and Maracas from Melissa & Doug’s Band in a Box to add to the noise and excitement.
This fairly self-explanatory activity really needs no introduction. First, explain define “jumping beans“. The concept is a fun one and actually very interesting to us adults too. What child doesn’t love to hear about caterpillars, especially one that chewed its way into a bean?
For the movement piece of this activity, I asked my son to pretend he was a bean (yes he is wearing a T-Rex costume in this image. He is three. Enough said.). He rolled his sweet little body up and crouched down to the floor. Then I directed him to pretend that he was a bean getting very warm, and, then, well, we quickly got to the jumping part and stayed there for a while.
Balance a Sombrero
This movement activity is Montessori inspired at its essence. The best part is that my son is the one who created and drove the activity. As we were playing with our sensory bin he grabbed one of the mini sombreros, put it on his head and tried to walk a line without the sombrero falling from his head. This activity is akin to “Walking the Line” within the Grace & Courtesy piece of Montessori curriculum. So, I was all for it. Walking the line helps children with personal space and balance (and therefore grace & courtesy). This activity fit perfectly into that topical area.
Additional Cinco de Mayo Musical Resources:
If you are looking for additional musical resources, check the following links out:
- Mexican Children’s Songs from Mama Lisa
- Cinco de Mayo Children’s Songs on The Holiday Zone
- Cinco de Mayo Song by Ron Brown
- Hear, Play and Color a Guiro on Daria Music
Thanks for choosing to read this post. Have fun!