Preschool Cinco de Mayo Theme

Cinco de Mayo means Fifth of May, and it marks the day when an untrained Mexican army of peasants defeated a highly-skilled French army in the town of Puebla, Mexico in 1862. This day is a celebration of patriotism, much like our Independence Day.

Book List

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Songs & Fingerplays

Come Join the Fun - sung to "Frere Jacques"

Cinco de Mayo, Cinco de Mayo,
Is lots of fun, for everyone.
Many celebrations,
Loved ones get together.
Come join the fun, with everyone.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Here Is Our Pinata - sung to "Sing a Song of Sixpence"

Here is our pinata
What a sight to see,
Filled with treats & goodies
Just for you & me.
When it's time to break it,
We'll circle all around
Then we'll scramble for the treats
That fall down to the ground.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Arts & Crafts

Easy Sombrero


Large Paper Plate
Paper Bowls
Hot Glue
Hole Punch


Paint plate and bowl. Hot glue Bowl to the bottom of the plate. Punch holes on each side. Tie yarn in holes and tie around the child's neck.

Mexican Blankets

I have cut poster board into 4 rectangles/squares, and then let the kids paint them all sorts of colors. Then they glue shapes made out of scrap material and then glue yarn little strings on each end. It looks like a little Mexican blanket.

Hot Pepper Wreaths

I like to make hot pepper wreaths. I cut out red, green and yellow construction paper peppers and let the kids glue to a paper plate with the center cut out. We add a raffia bow on top, best look yet!

Decorated Maracas

I cut out maraca shapes and let the children decorate with glitter, confetti, colored glue. They are really pretty and the kids love them!

Construction Paper Tacos

Our class always makes construction paper tacos. I cut out paper shapes like tomatoes pieces, cheese, lettuce, brown for meat. I then let them glue it to a circle that I cut out of a manila file folder, the kids fold it over and it's all created! Really a lot of fun and the kids think it's great! I even extend it to the kids helping make their own tacos at lunch!

Cinco de Mayo Colors

Give the children bowls of red, blue and yellow finger paint, and sheets of white construction paper. Allow the children to mix the different colors of paint on their papers and talk about what they created. Talk about primary and secondary colors.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Make a Pinata

Make a pinata using mural rolled paper.Cut a square shape like a big pillow. Now staple 3 sides. Leave open one side for stuffing with stickers, raisins, peanuts in the shell, etc... Let the children glue on cut tissue square will work. You glue. It goes red, white & When finished, fill & staple shut. Poke a hole & hang w/rope. make a bird using a brown paper bag.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Paper Bag Poncho

What you Need:

a. Large Paper Grocery Bags
b.. Bright markers
c. Paints
d. Crayons
e. Paint brushes and water

What You Do:

1.. Cut a hole in a paper bag so that your or your child's head can fit through.
2.. Decorate the paper bag poncho with brightly colored markers or paints or crayons.
3.. Try a waterpaint wash technique, whereby you draw on the paper with crayons and paint a light wash of paint overtop.
4.. You can also glue bits of fabric scraps onto the paper bag as well.
5.. Have a look at some real ponchos for inspiration.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Fabric Poncho

What You Need:

a.. 3 ft square of a blanket or heavy fabric or old bed sheets
b.. scissors
c.. waterproof fabric makers

What You Do:

Fold the fabric in half. Cut a V-shaped slit in the middle of the fold. The slit should be large enough to let your head push through it. Cut fringes at the bottom of the poncho. Draw geometric designs on the bottom edge.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Mexican Flags

Use white paper & make flags. If you make small flags you can use index cards & staple them onto a straw.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Mexican Serapes

To get in the spirit of your Mexican celebration, let the children make serapes (Mexican blankets)to wear over their shoulders. Use rolled paper that is about 12 inches wide. Cut a length that is long enough to hang over the front & back of the child. Let the child design the serape & then they can cut fringe on the bottom edges. You could also make these out of old white sheets.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Make Green/White/Red Chains

Cut red, white & green paper strips & let the children make chains to decorate the room.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Make A Ojo De Dios - God's Eye

This is good for older children to make (6 & up). If you have younger kids it is good to do a demo. Ojo de Dios means "eye of God" in Spanish. The Mexican Indians made them for good luck pieces. Cross 2 sticks.Tie the yarn in a knot around the sticks where they cross. Weave the yarn over one stick, then around & under, then over the stick toward the next stick. Do this on each stick. Continue around the square doing the same thing for all the rows. Change colors whenever you'd like to. Start a new color by tying it to the yarn.

Miniature Pinatas

You can make miniature pinata's out of single egg cups. Have the children decorate the egg cup and then they can glue small tissue paper streamers to hang down on their pinata. Use a pipe cleaner for the top top to hang on to. You can also decorate two paper cups and then add some beans or rice to one cup and tape the other cup on top upside down and the children can shake them like maracas. You can make seraph's using paper or strong paper towels the children can decorate it with red and green markers and then wear them over one shoulder.

~Submitted by Gloria in KS

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Where Do We Get Clay?

Purchase a piece of raw clay from a pottery or craft store. Gather a few pictures of Mexican pottery. Show the pictures and clay to the children ask them where they think we get the clay. Explain that clay comes from the earth, in the mud, usually on river banks. Give each child a piece of the clay and ask him to mold the clay into forms if they wish. Make clay pots and paint them.

Terra Cotta Pots Give each child a small piece of clay and let have a chance to play with it a little. Then show them how to make a "pinch pot" by taking the clay, making a ball out of it, and pinching it down in the middle to make a "pot." Let this air dry and they can take them home at the end of the week.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare


Collect empty yogurt cups that still have the lids. Decorate a festive cover which will be taped around the yogurt cup to hide the words (I have seen some classes paint their cups, but the paint sometimes starts to flake off when the kids are using them). Tape a popsicle stick to one side of the cup (masking tape seems to hold better than glue). Put about 15 to 20 small beans inside the cup and tape closed.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Mexican Flowers

Give each child 3-5 different colored squares of tissue paper and have them set the one on top of another. Shoe the children how to fan fold and then wrap a twist tie around the middle of the fan-folded paper. Have each child carefully open his flower by pulling the different colors of paper upwards or downwards to separate each layer.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Mexican Lanterns

Give each child a piece of construction paper and allow them to decorate any way they wish. (crayons and markers) Next, have the children fold the paper in half lengthwise. They should then cut 1'' cuts apart beginning at the fold but leave one 1'' border around the edges except for the fold. Have the children then unfold and roll each long edge of the paper in a circle and staple. Use the hole punch to make two holes in the top, then tie a piece of string to the hole as a hanger.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Make Maracas

Use two small paper plates that have been decorated in the way you like. Fill with beans, corn, beads, pebbles, etc... Now staple the 2 plates together.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Make Mexican Huraches

Outline both of the child's shoes onto brown paper. Cut 4 strips 8 1/2 by 1 inch using the same brown paper. Cut out the shoe outline. Let the child glue the 2 straps to each outline shoe shape & you will have huaraches!

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Mexican Hat

Cut a hat shape out using construction paper. Punch holes all around. Let the child decorate & lace. Use curling ribbon so you won't have to use a needle. This ribbon is inexpensive.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Bean Taco

Take a yellow piece of construction paper & cut out a large circle shape. Older kids can do this. Now fold it in half. You want the fold to be off center so that the bottom section sticks out more than the top. Open up the yellow paper circle & glue on the ingred. on the bottom outer edge about 1 1/2 inches wide. Apply glue to the edge & add items.Then fold down taco shell & glue the top down or staple it closed like a folded taco. Green Easter grass makes great lettuce. Cut small red triangles for tomatoes. Orange strips of paper become cheese Glue on real pinto beans. Also using green paper cut out a whole jalapeno to glue on the top of the taco.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

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