Cinco de Mayo is a holiday celebrated across the US with tacos, crazy sombreros and lots of Mexican themed fun. The Cinco de Mayo holiday is often mistaken for marking Mexican independence, but it really is a celebration of an unlikely Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla.
We put on our sombreros and eat enchiladas on the 5th of May because Mexican-American communities started the holiday to raise their proverbial glasses to the admirable causes of freedom and democracy in their young country after that particular battle. Over the years, this American-made holiday has spread across the nation as a huge celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.
This spring, I put together a little Cinco de Mayo party for Yum Food and Fun for Kids Magazine that gives a nod to all the fun of the Mexican culture and also teaches a little bit about why its so cool. You can check out the magazine to get all the recipes and tutorials for the things in this party!
Cinco de Mayo decorations
Paper picado banners (click here for a papel picado tutorial) to put up over our food table and added a few multicolor paper lanterns to make it really festive! Paper flowers in empty tomato cans served as colorful centerpieces.
Cinco de Mayo Party Food
We made seven layer dip in single serve containers, tacos with homemade seasoning, Party pinching inspired cactus cupcakes, and limeade. We served up chips for appetizers on sombrero hats made from paper plates, cups and pom poms.
One of the activities we did with the kids was make some traditional Mexican Amate folk art paintings. Amate art is pretty easy to replicate — this kind of art is distinguished by bold lines and bright colors. These are called “amate” due to the kind of paper they were made on, but your kids don’t have to make paper out of fig tree bark, they can just use some crumbled up paper bags, markers and temper paints to create their own works of art.
And of course, a party isn’t a party without a little bit of silliness! The kids loved putting on mustaches and sombreros and doing a few crazy pictures. Hope you all have a wonderful Cinco de Mayo!
Shopping for Cinco de Mayo? Here are a few party must-haves! (affiliate links)