Cinco de Mayo

5 05 2010

Today we  celebrate Cinco de Mayo, a holiday that honors Mexican culture.  Mexican culture includes music and dancing, so to be a part of the festivities, make these maracas!


2 Toilet paper tubes
2 sheets of any kind of paper that can bend easily
1/2 cup rice, beans, or rice cereal

1. First we want to cover the bottom of each tube with paper so the rice inside won’t fall out. Cut out enough so the sides of the paper can be taped to the sides of the paper tubes.

I had to double up on my paper because it was tissue paper.

2. Attach a piece a paper with tape to one end of each tube. Then put half of the rice in one tube, and the other half in the other.

3. Cover the tops with the rest of the cut out paper. Then figure out how much paper you need to go around the tube and cut it out.

4. Put glue on the tube and attach the paper. You can cut off the extra, just make sure you don’t make a whole in the top or bottom paper pieces. Add more decoration if you’d like. Now your maracas are done and you can find your rhythm! Happy Cinco de Mayo.


Celebrating el Dia de los Muertos!

31 10 2009

Happy Halloween from the Museum! I hope you are all dressed up and ready to go trick-or-treating!

Halloween is a pretty famous holiday in America, but did you know there’s another big holiday just about to happen?

A lot of Mexican Americans also celebrate Dia de los Muertos, which means “Day of the Dead” in Spanish. Dia de los Muertos isn’t a spooky or sad holiday though—it’s a joyous way to celebrate loved ones who have passed away. People make sugar skulls, Pan de Muerto (a yummy sweet bread made only for this occasion), and the favorite foods of those who have died.

Dia de los Muertos altar

Dia de los Muertos originated a long time ago in Mexico, possibly 3,000 years ago! It’s a very spiritual, festive holiday for people to honor and remember the deceased. Families build altars with marigolds and photographs of their loved ones. The bright colors of the marigold flowers represent a way for the spirits of the dead to find their way back home.

The celebration occurs on the first two days of November. The first day celebrates kids and the second day celebrates grown-ups. On the kids’ day, families usually leave toys and candy on the altars.

Dia de los Muertos is also a celebration about life!

celebrating Dia de Los Muertos

Las Muñecas Quitapenas

30 04 2009

“Worry Dolls” originated in Guatemala, but have since migrated to Mexico and other parts of the world. They are tiny, colorful, handmade dolls that are made out of thin thread and wire. They are adored by children everywhere.

The tale: When a child is worried about something, they are encouraged to tell the doll, and then place it under their pillow when they go to sleep. The doll absorbs the child’s worries, so when they wake up they are worry-free.

It is fun to make colorful muñecas quitapenas. I made some out of clay (I didn’t have any string). What are some other materials you can use to make these beautiful dolls?

Worry DollsClay worry dolls


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