Cinco de Mayo Homeschool Fun

May 04, 2020

One of the things I love the most about homeschooling is the ability to learn about and celebrate other cultures in a playful way. Every month, you can find unique holidays to celebrate and explore as part of your homeschool. Creating mini-celebrations can infuse your weeks with joy and create amazing memories for you and your kids.

Today, I've put together some fun ideas for learning and celebrating Cinco de Mayo in your homeschool.

Let's Get Colorful!

Bright, colorful decorations can set the stage for your Cinco de Mayo homeschool celebration!

Here is a video on how to make papel picado banners with tissue paper and string!

I also love these beautiful Papel Picado Banners from Honestly Yum that are so simple to make with crepe paper streamers! What a clever idea. Drape them, criss-cross, over your walls for a beautiful Cinco de Mayo backdrop.

And here is a tutorial about making giant tissue paper flowers (sometimes called fiesta flowers)! SO PRETTY!

I couldn't love these any more. Huge bursts of color, and simple enough for all the kids to help with. Just an hour or two and your room is transformed and ready to learn more about Cinco de Mayo.

What is Cinco de Mayo?

Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not about Mexico’s Independence Day. This day actually commemorates Mexico’s battle victory in the city of Puebla in 1862.

Here's a great PBS Kids video all about Cinco de Mayo.

But why is Cinco de Mayo celebrated in the United States? Here's another video that answers that question (this one does contain some historical pics and drawings of war battles, for those of you watching with little ones):

And here's a fun tour of the pyramids of Chichen Itza from National Geographic Kids:

Nat Geo Kids has more Mexico videos if you want to continue learning... I saw one about animals of Mexico, and another about a tour of a Mexican town. (And can I just say: how lucky are those kids?!?)

Create a Cinco de Mayo Lapbook

I love using lapbooks as sort of a scrapbook of learning and fun. All you need is a file folder (or any folder, really)... or you can just paste things on construction paper and staple them together like a book.

Here's a little explanation about lapbooks if you don't know what they are:

I found some fun Cinco de Mayo printables -- whether you put them into a lapbook, or use them as-is!

Here is a free printable Cinco de Mayo reading activity.

I love these hand drawn Cinco de Mayo coloring pages from Doodle Art Alley! We are fans of coloring with glittery gel pens.

Vocabulary? I've got you covered: Cinco de Mayo word search.

A variety of Cinco de Mayo printables from Enchanted Learning - lots of good stuff here!

Cute Cinco de Mayo I Spy printable from The Housewife Modern.

If you'd like to find some more activities to fill out your lapbooks, here are some search ideas:

  • Mexican culture
  • Mariachi bands
  • City of Puebla 
  • Mexico City
  • Mexican history
The great thing about the homeschool world is that chances are, you can find exactly what you want online - usually from another homeschooler. Make sure and add the terms 'printable' and 'lapbook' to your searches.

Cut out colored pictures, the word search table and list of words, the iSpy, and whatever else you do and paste them in your file folder. Join your kids in decorating the folder... you could use the colors of the Mexican flag (green, red, and white) or decorate however you like!

Cook Up a Fiesta!

Cooking is SUCH great learning in your homeschool. It incorporates math, science, and in this case geography and cultural studies, too! Not to mention fantastic family time.

Celebrations are always about food. Cinco de Mayo is a perfect time to get in the kitchen and explore Mexican food. Here are a few ideas for you. I wanted to search out authentic Mexican cooking!

I love the channel Abuelita's Kitchen on YouTube! Here's a recipe for Sopes.

Charbel at My Latina Table has some amazing, authentic recipes! I definitely want to make her Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos. Nom nom nom.

And her horchata looks yummy too.

And this kids cooking site has a nice little list of basic recipes, including:
  • homemade tortillas
  • salsa
  • guacamole
  • empanadas
  • enchiladas
  • taquitos
  • churros
Now, if cooking doesn't thrill you - that's OK. You be you, mama. Support your favorite local Mexican restaurant and get delivery. Give them a call and let them know you're learning about Cinco de Mayo! Ask for their specialty... is it a family recipe?

Like a Field Trip at Home!

I love this kind of experiential learning. Creating an environment, watching videos (like that abuelita cooking! So good!), cooking, coloring, and reading together.  Cinco de Mayo can come alive - and you can create wonderful memories at the same time. It feels like a party, but it's homeschool. What could be better than that?

All that I have listed here are simply starting points. If you and your kids dive down into a rabbit hole of videos about animals in Mexico; or decide that every dinner next week is going to be Mexican food and start researching recipes; or find other Mexican decorations to make... it's ALL learning. Dive in with them and see what you discover.

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CHIME IN: What are some ways you celebrate other cultures and holidays in your homeschool? Let me know in the comments below - I’d love to hear from you.

Hi! I’m Kim. I love crafting, homeschooling, and being near the ocean. I also love encouraging moms to make the leap into home education, sharing awesome resources and tons of encouragement!