Countdown to Cinco de Mayo! If you’re a Spanish teacher, a private tutor, or a parent teaching Spanish to your child, this is a great time of the year to focus on Mexico’s rich history. Whether you’re looking for printables, games, Cinco de Mayo vocabulary, or traditional recipes to try, we’ve rounded up the best of the best to explore with your kids!
But First, Why Do We Celebrate Cinco de Mayo?
Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that is celebrated in both the U.S. and Mexico. This day, the 5th of May, commemorates the battle between Mexican and French soldiers in 1862. France wanted to conquer Mexico during the Franco-Mexican war, and both armies fought in a battle in Puebla, a city in Mexico.
Though the Mexican militia were outnumbered, they managed to defeat the French army. Today, many people, especially Mexican Americans, celebrate Cinco de Mayo to recognize this victory. Although there’s some debate about the “Americanization” of the holiday, it’s still an important event to recognize in Mexico’s history.
As part of the celebrations, it’s common to see street festivals or parades for the holiday. You may see women and men wearing traditional Mexican dress; men may wear trousers, a shirt, and a sombrero (hat). Women may wear colorful puebla dresses or pico skirts. Puebla dresses are full-length dresses that are decorated with flowers or traditional Mexican symbols. Pico skirts are long flowing skirts that are made of a light fabric.
Participants also engage in plenty of dancing and eating. Common foods during this celebration include tamales, enchiladas, and mole. Sometimes, parades include a reenactment of the battle in Puebla.
Cinco de Mayo Activities
Now, let’s get to the activities! Jump ahead to specific categories, or explore everything we’ve rounded up.
- Cinco de Mayo Vocabulary
- Cinco de Mayo Printables, Word Searches, & Worksheets
- Cinco de Mayo Crafts
- Cinco de Mayo Recipes
- Cinco de Mayo: Words to Celebrate Mexico, via Vocabulary.com
- Cinco de Mayo Vocabulary Flashcards, via Quizlet
- Cinco de Mayo Vocabulary Wall Cards, via A to Z Teacher Stuff
Cinco de Mayo Activities
- Mexico and Cinco de Mayo Word Searches, via DLTK’s Growing Together
- Coloring Pages and Reading Activities, via Apples4TheTeacher
- Cinco de Mayo World Scramble, via Teachnology
- Cinco de Mayo Acrostic Poem, via Teachnology
- Cinco de Mayo Coloring Page, via Education.com
- Piñata Coloring Page, via Crayola
- Spanish Numbers and Colors Printable, via A to Z Teacher Stuff
- Spelling Word Questions, via Enchanted Learning
- Mexican Music: 3 Fun Songs for Children
- Reading Comprehension Worksheet, via ABC Teach
- Paper cup maracas, via KinderArt
- Piñata, via KinderArt
- Sombrero, via First Palette
- Ojo de Dios, via SheKnows.com
- Mini “cactus,” via Jumpstart
- Festive Mexican Paper Flowers, via 100 Layer Cake
- Mexican Wall Art, via Kids Activities Blog
- Straw Mexican Flag, via Having Fun at Home
- Quesadillas, via Cooking Light
- Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips, via Half Hour Meals
- Guacamole, via About Food
- Sopaipillas with Chocolate Sauce, via Food Network Magazine
- Fruit-Filled Dessert Tacos, via Eating Well
- Marshmallow Gatos, via Party Pinching
- Cinco de Mayo Breakfast, via Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons
- Veggie Mexican Flag, via Be Different Act Normal (and Family Fun)
- Easy Sombrero Cookies, via Random Thoughts of a Supermom (and Family Fun)
Did we miss a good resource? What Cinco de Mayo activities have you used with your kids? Leave a comment below and let us know! And for even more fun, check out our live, online Spanish class for kids — view the schedule and register your child here.