“We Are All Healthy” is this week’s theme at Rayito. We have explored the many ways a family can stay healthy while having fun at home.

If you’ve been following our blog, we have posted a great deal of information on how to stay clean and healthy as human beings throughout the month. This week we have a few new ideas of how to extend these habits to objects around your home, including those bins full of toys.

Running a “Toy Wash” as an in-home activity is soothing and relaxing, and there’s plenty of opportunity for imaginative play while the children wash, scrub and dry the toys. It’s a wonderful activity when we’re cooped up indoors. You can set up a Toy Wash either indoors or outdoors with two bins for soapy and cold water and then proceed just like you were washing dishes by hand.

Project time: Puerto Rican Güiro Craft

This next activity is a little more involved and comes to us from our featured country this week, Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rican güiro is a homemade percussion instrument traditionally fashioned from a hollowed-out gourd (as seen on the picture above). To save you from a trip to the vegetable market, we’ll use a water bottle.

Here’s what you need:
• Empty water bottle
• 3-4 acrylic paint colors
• Paintbrushes
• Wooden dowel
• Plastic cups

Directions:

Color Your Bottle: Making your instrument is very simple. First, you’ll need to remove the label from your water bottle. Using plastic cups to hold each paint color, paint the water bottle in the colors of your choosing, alternating colors to create a striped design. Then allow your bottle to dry completely.

Play the Instrument: Now you are ready to let your kids play. A güiro is played by scraping the side of the bottle (or gourd) with your wooden dowel or scraper – called a “pua” – using long and short strokes. To add to the Latino cultural experience, play some Latin music and have some fun playing your homemade water bottle güiro along to the rhythmic tunes!