Creative fun for celebrating Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo is Sunday, May 5th so I’d like to share some fun kid-friendly activities to help your child understand the celebration of Mexico overcoming the powerful French army in 1862.


Fun Snacks

If you’re attending a party or just taking the opportunity to expose your children to another culture, these ideas are fun and easy to whip up!

  • Cut up cucumbers, mozzarella cheese and tomatoes for a fun Mexican flag themed snack. Or use green grapes, bananas and strawberries.
  • Make a margarita-like drink by blending limeade with ice until it resembles a frozen margarita. Garnish with a slice of lime for extra fun!

And I love this recipe from for Sombrero Sugar Cookies!

Sombrero Cookies

By looneytunesfan (posted May 04, 2006)

Prep Time: 5 mins

Total Time: 5 mins

Yield: 1 cookie

Ingredients: 1 sugar cookie, white icing, multicolored sugar nonpareils, colored, and 1 white gumdrop


  1. To make one, frost the edge of a sugar cookie with white icing and roll it in colored nonpareils.
  2. Next, coat the bottom and the lower edge of a small white gumdrop with frosting. Roll the edge of the gumdrop in the nonpareils, then set the gumdrop in the center of the cookie.

Sweet n’ Salty Margarita Cupcakes by Betty Crocker


Pretzel Mixture

1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

2 tablespoons sugar


1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® white cake mix

3/4 cup non-alcoholic margarita mix

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons grated lime peel

4 egg whites


1 1/2 cups frozen (thawed) whipped topping

2 containers (6 oz each) Yoplait® Light Fat Free Key lime yogurt

2 teaspoons grated lime peel

1/3 cup coarsely crushed pretzels


1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.

2. In small bowl, mix pretzel mixture ingredients until blended. Spoon about 1 tablespoon mixture in each cup.

3. In large bowl, beat cupcake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide batter evenly among cups (two-thirds full).

4. Bake 18 to 23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely.

5. In medium bowl, fold whipped topping, yogurt and 2 teaspoons lime peel until blended; frost cupcakes. Sprinkle with coarsely crushed pretzels. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

Rockin’ Cupcakes

If you’re not into baking, but still crave something sweet, be sure to pop into Rockin’ Cupcakes for their La Bamba Cupcake. Available this Saturday and Sunday, it’s a chocolate cupcake complete with Mexican chile, tequila and tortilla chips! Visit Rockin’ Cupcakes at 6930 N. Rochester Rd. Or better yet give them a call (248)656-2253 and make sure you get yours before they’re gone!

Art Activities

I love open-ended art activities. This means that you provide the supplies and that’s about it. Since we’re visiting at my mom’s house this week I didn’t have any regular paint so I made some using flour, food coloring, and water.

Jar Painting


Jars of various sizes

Paint (or a homemade version) in white, green and red


Pour the paint onto a plate. Show your child how to dip the mouth of the jar into a color and then make a print onto the paper. While your child is working you can explain what each color on the flag represents. Green represents independence from Spain and hope for the future; white represents the Roman Catholic faith as well as unity; red represents unity among Americans and Europeans as well as the bloodshed of many Mexicans.

You can encourage your child to make a flag by keeping colors together and in the correct places. I didn’t do that because it restricts creativity. The whole point of art is to learn and your child won’t be able to focus on what you’re saying if they’re focused on ‘doing it right’.


What fiesta would be complete without a piñata? And while there are many store bought versions readily available, your kids are sure to love making one of their very own.

How to Make a Piñata

Edited by Jack Herrick, Josh Hannah, James Quirk, Ben Rubenstein and 86 others

According to legend, the colorful papier mache shapes called piñatas actually came from China and were introduced to the West by Marco Polo. In Mexico it is believed that the 7 cones surrounding the piñata represent the capital sins and the children represent the good side of the world defeating the bad side when they use sticks to strike and break the piñata. Follow these simple instructions and you can easily make your own colorful piñata so that you, too, can engage in the fight of good against evil!


1. Decide on what you are going to make your piñata into. Ideas include making an animal, character, shape etc.See “tips” for more suggestions.

2. Inflate your balloon. This will form the body of your piñata, so inflate it to the size you would like your piñata to be. (Alternatively, use a box.) A round balloon is best. You can add additional shapes to make legs, arms, tails, snouts, hats etc, using cardboard, newspaper or construction paper. Tape these shapes on with masking tape or clear tape.

3. Protect your work area. Lay down newspapers. You will also cover your balloon with newspapers for protection against falls.

4. Make your paste. In a pot/pan mix 1 third flour with 2 thirds water. The paste should just begin to thicken. (You can also use starch.) Boil the mixture (keep stirring so it does not stick to walls) then add a pinch of salt. Once it gets to a putty form it’s done. Pinata1

Pinata2 5. Tear some newspaper into strips, 1 inch or 1 1/2 inches wide. Smear these strips with the flour glue to make papier-mâché.


6. Lay the strips down all over the balloon until it is completely covered in a thick layer of papier-mâché. You will need to complete this step 3 or 4 times until the piñata is hard and durable. Let one layer dry until most of it is consistently hard before adding the next layer. I use newspaper for the first layer and then for the second layer colored flyers. The third layer is newspaper again. By differentiating the layers I can tell where I have applied three solid layers. Pinata5

7. Let the pinata dry until it is stiff and no longer wet or sticky when you touch.

Pinata7 8. If the balloon has not popped, pop it and make a small hole on top to add candy.

9. Make sure the hole on top is big enough to stuff the candy into.

10. Paint your piñata a single color to smooth out the paper and to create an even surface. It doesn’t need to be especially well-painted, just enough to cover the paper. However, you might choose a color that matches the crepe paper you’ll be adding on or to match the animal or character that you’re turning your piñata into, as it’ll probably show through.

11. Punch two small holes around the main hole. Tie a string or ribbon to the holes. Pinata8

12. Glue colorful crepe paper onto the outside of the piñata to decorate it. If you want your piñata to look more traditional, cut out long, wide strips of crepe paper, glue them onto the piñata along one long edge, and cut fringe along the opposite edge. You could also add googly eyes or painted eyes, a nose, a mouth, etc. See “Tips” for more suggestions.

13. To put candy in your piñata put crumpled up crepe paper and the candy inside the top of the piñata. To cover the hole, glue down some crepe paper on top of the hole, or use masking tape.

Finished. Pinata11


You can tape a string to the top of the piñata in order to hang it, but this is not very secure; if you want the piñata to stay up longer, punch two holes in the piñata and pass the string through the holes. For extra reinforcement, pass the string through a plastic lid from a coffee can or use a cardboard tube from an aluminum foil roll.

Instead of cutting a flap open, you can leave a hole at the top of the balloon (i.e., don’t cover it with papier-mâché) and fill the piñata through this hole.

Some suggestions for a theme piñata:

  • Decorate a fish with shiny scales cut out of Mylar or tin foil;
  • Create a flower with petals made out of large pieces of crepe paper;
  • Make a fat bunny or Easter egg for Easter and fill it with chocolate eggs;
  • Make a big pink pig; or green turtle

Don’t limit your decorations to crepe paper! Feathers, glitter, and fake flowers all make festive decorations for a piñata.

Fill the piñata with individually wrapped pieces of candy. Bulk candy may be cheaper, but keep in mind that the contents of the piñata will spill all over the floor and kids will eat them no matter where they have fallen. Buy cellophane and individually wrap bulk sweets if you choose this option.

Enjoy celebrating Cinco de Mayo with your family!

About Meghan Zeile

Mom-in-the-know and local writer for Rochester Media. Always looking for tips with kids, family life, and fun local adventures. Contact at

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