Hispanic Heritage Month is in full swing as the country honors the contributions of Latin Americans in shaping our present-day society. Cultures from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central, and South America are at the forefront of this month-long celebration.
You can help your kid appreciate the importance of this event with the right activities. In this blog, we have listed eight activities to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
Introduce Your Kids to Hispanic Countries
Exploring Hispanic countries doesn’t need a plane ticket or any travel expense. You can tour the countries in Central and South America, as well as in the Caribbean, without leaving your house. For this trip, all you need is a few flashcards and printed photos.
In each flashcard, you can place the name of the country and attach a photo of its flag and travel destination. Then, you can discuss with your kids some fun facts about each Latin American country such as its capital city, arts, culture, food, and people. If you can find flashcards that already contain basic country information, you can use that instead to save time.
Visit Latin American Heritage Exhibits and Museums
Going on a museum trip is another great way for your kids to celebrate the Latin American community in the US. You can visit art exhibits featuring the works of Latin and Hispanic artists. You can also find museum exhibits that honor the prominent figures in the Hispanic community. Check the website of museums near you for visiting hours and exciting events for Hispanic Heritage Month.
If you cannot go outdoors, no worries! There are plenty of virtual museums for Hispanic and Latin artifacts on the Internet. You can search using your desktop, laptop, or mobile device for the latest online exhibits. For example, you can visit the Smithsonian Institute’s virtual exhibit to show your kids the history of Mexican-Americans in the country.
Read Books With Your Kids
Books are one of the best ways your kids can connect with Latin American culture. Through engaging stories and colorful illustrations, your young ones can learn to read and write words, sounds, and rhymes in Spanish. They can also discover the wonders of Latin culture through these tales.
Adding stories and poems written by Latin authors can help diversify your home library. For example, A Birthday Basket for Tia gives your kid a glimpse of Mexican American traditions in the eyes of a child. To help build your reading list, we have enumerated the best Spanish children’s books.
Prepare Latin American Dishes
Food has always been an integral part of Latin American culture. Its diverse range of flavors comes from a pool of hearty dishes and delicacies from each Latin American country. To inject the festive spirit into your homes, you can prepare Hispanic and Latin American dishes with your kids.
For Hispanic Heritage Month, savor a big serving of burritos from your local Mexican small businesses. You can also make homemade Venezuelan arepas, Salvadorian pupusas, and Argentinian empanadas using recipes online whenever you’re hungry. For dessert, enjoy creamy and refreshing paletas, also known as Mexican popsicles.
Play Classic Latin Games
Looking for games to play during your family game night? Savor the Hispanic Heritage spirit by playing Latin and Hispanic games for a change!
Instead of playing the same board games, switch them up with the Mexican card game La Loteria. This game is similar to bingo but instead of numbered balls, the players use a colorful deck of cards. To make it educational, you can choose Loteria cards that have Spanish words in them. Give your little ones their own cards and ask them to repeat the words with you.
Sing-Along to Hispanic Children’s Songs
Music is another surefire way to help your kids learn Spanish in a fun way. Sing along to the rhymes and songs both in Spanish and English to achieve the best of both worlds. Simply search for Spanish nursery rhymes on the Internet and play them to your kid, or clap along with the beat while singing aloud. If you can make maracas at home, even better!
You can start with alphabet songs like La Marcha de las Vocales. Its upbeat and catchy tune makes it a perfect song for kids who are starting to learn the alphabet. If your kid likes chickens (or animals, in general), then they may enjoy the song Los Pollitos Dicen. They can flap their arms like chickens while bouncing along to this song.
Get Creative With Art Activities
Arts and crafts activities are exciting ways to acquaint your kids with Latin culture. After all, the Latin community has a huge variety of cultures that are expressed through art.
Try making simple paper fiesta flowers out of colored tissue papers, scissors, and strings. The folding motions for this craft can enhance your kid’s fine motor skills. You can turn them into a garland or add stems so you can place them in a vase.
If your kid likes drawing, they will surely enjoy the Peruvian Nazca Lines craft. To do this, you simply need to mix glue and sand on white cardstock to make a “desert.” Once it’s done, let your kid etch lines and draw figures on the sand using the tip of a watercolor brush or a stick.
Learn the Spanish Language
Last but not the least, make your kid’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration more enriching by teaching them the Spanish language. After all, language is one of the best ways to connect with Hispanic and Latin cultures. Try using flashcards, pictures, books, and online resources to introduce new Spanish words to your kids.
If you’re unsure where to start, you can sign them up for Spanish language classes. Introducing your kids to a foreign language at an early age can help them develop their verbal and cognitive skills. Moreover, it can also cultivate their sense of cultural appreciation.
Consider registering for Spanish immersion classes like Rayito de Sol for a well-rounded Spanish curriculum that holistically prepares them for grade school. This not only helps them academically proficient but also shapes them as culturally sensitive individuals.
Celebrate With Hispanic Heritage Month Activities For Your Kids
Just like with any other skill, it’s best to instill cultural appreciation while your kid is still young. With the activities listed above, your kids can have a fun and meaningful Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.
For more advice and tips on child development, visit the Rayito de Sol blog.