Learn all about Cinco de Mayo in this free thematic unit and make your own Cinco de Mayo banner from salt dough with this simple tutorial!
We started our study of Cinco de Mayo by reading this History Channel article on the origin of Cinco de Mayo. While originally the celebration of Cinco de Mayo was a celebration of a victory over the French in the small town of Puebla in 1861, in the United States, Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican culture. The holiday is a remembrance for Mexican Americans to remember their culture and heritage.
Cinco de Mayo is also the perfect time for kids to learn about the history and culture of another country. After we learned about the history of Cinco de Mayo, we created our own Cinco de Mayo banner from salt dough.
Read on to find more Cinco de Mayo learning ideas.
Cinco de Mayo Banner
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If you want to make your own Cinco de Mayo banner, this is what you will need:
- Acrylic paint
- Mexico cookie cutters
- Rolling pin
- Mexican flag picture (we found ours on Wikipedia)
First, mix up a basic salt dough recipe. We used one cup flour and 1/2 cup each of salt and hot water. The more you knead the dough, the smoother your final product will be.
After mixing the dough, roll it out to about 1/4 of an inch thick with a rolling pin. Use your cookie cutters to cut out the shapes that remind you of Mexican culture. We chose to do Mexican flags and Sombrero hats.
Place the cut out shapes on a cookie sheet. Use a straw to punch a hole in one corner of each shape. Warm your oven to 200 degrees. Cook your dough in the oven until it hardens and turns white. We had to cook ours for about 2 hours.
When the dough cools, it is time to paint. Paint your shapes with bright, colorful designs. We made our flags look like the Mexican flag and used a picture of a real Mexican flag to copy the center eagle design.
When the paint is dry, slide your ornaments onto a piece of yarn or string. Hang the banner from your mantle, doorway, or counter to add a bit of flair to your Cinco de Mayo celebration!
Cinco de Mayo Books and Lesson Plans
Find the Letter M is for Mexico from 3 Boys and a Dog
Books about Mexico for Kids from The Jenny Evolution
Fiesta Flowers from Parenting Chaos
Cinco de Mayo Skip Counting Puzzles from Simple Fun for Kids
Homemade Quesadilla from Something 2 Offer
Guacamole Recipe from FrogMom