Celebrating Cinco De Mayo at Home
Updated: May 7
Sure, Cinco de Mayo may look a bit different this year. No one could have predicted that we would be going through a Global pandemic, but as we continue to practice social distancing I think we can find the joy in this holiday by celebrating Cinco de Mayo.
Take a look at some fun activities that can help you celebrate Cinco De Mayo with your family.
Pinata Sugar Cookies
These adorable cookies were a hit last year at my office Cinco De Mayo celebrations. They are such a blast to make and even more with your little ones helping you.
-1 cup sugar
-1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
-1 cup butter
-1 cup vegetable oil
-1 teaspoon cream of tartar
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon almond extract
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-5 cups flour
-1 tablespoon vanilla
-Mini M&M candies
-2 teaspoons milk
-Gel Food Colouring
Step by Step
1. Cream sugars with butter. Beat in eggs. Add oil. Combine dry ingredients together, and then gradually add them to the mixture. Mix in vanilla and almond extract.
2. Split dough into balls, depending on how many different colours you want. Add gel food coloring to each of the dough balls until desired color is achieved.
3. Use a container the same approximate width of your cookie cutter, and line it with plastic food wrap. Split all of your colored dough balls in half and begin layering the dough in the container. Alternate the colors so that you end up with two layers of each color by the time you're done.
4. Cover the layered dough and freeze for four hours or overnight.
5. Remove the dough from the container and unwrap from the plastic. Cut slices, approximately 1/4-inch wide. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake them at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes.
6. Immediately after you take them out of the oven, use your cookie cutter to cut the cookie shapes. Working in sets of three, be sure to cut two cookies in one direction and one cookie in the opposite direction. (Just flip your cookie cutter over.) That way, when you go to assemble them, the finished cookie will look "pretty" on both sides -- because the baked, bottom sides will be hidden.
7. For the middle cookies in each set, cut out the center (and any unnecessary extremities) where the M&Ms will go. Try to work quickly, because as the cookies cool, they are more likely to crumble or break. Let them cool on the baking sheet before you move them and remove the excess, outer cookie.
8. To assemble, take the first piñata cookie and lay it upside down so that the baked bottom is facing up. Outline the center of the piñata body with a "frosting glue" mixture of milk and powdered sugar.
9. Put the middle cookie on top of the frosting glue and add the M&Ms to the open center.
10. Put another outline of frosting glue on the middle cookie and place the opposite-cut piñata cookie on top (so that the pretty side is facing out). Let these sit and harden for at least 30 minutes before you stand them upright. You’re done!
Mexican Papel Picado
“Papel Picado”, or “cut paper”, is a colorful decoration found at most Mexican celebrations. The “secret” of success for making your own papel picado is to sandwich the thin tissue paper inside a folded, heavier weight paper before cutting it. This makes it easier to work with, less likely to tear, and gives you a surface for drawing a design you can follow as you cut!
-12”x18” white construction paper (1 per design)-20”x30” colored tissue paper (1 per design – yields 2 finished pieces)
-pencil and eraser
Step by Step
1. First, fold your 12”x18” white construction paper in half, to 9”x12”.
2. Choose a sheet of colored tissue paper and fold it in half to 20”x15”, then fold it in half again the other direction to 10”x15”.
3. Next, slip your folded tissue paper (centered) into the folded construction paper, so that the 15” folded edge of the tissue paper lines up with the 12” folded edge of the construction paper.
4. Trim away the little bit of tissue paper that extends beyond the three open edges of the construction paper.
5. Fold your ‘sandwich’ of 12” loose edges over about an inch. This helps to hold it all in place.
6. Now, make folds into your sandwich of papers, drawing designs on the folds and then cutting them away. Unfold and repeat, but don’t take your papers apart until you have cut away all the designs you can! Make vertical, horizontal and even diagonal folds and cuts for the most interesting finished designs. Don’t forget to cut a design into the loose edges, too!
Paper bag Party Pinata!
This project is perfect for celebrations of all kinds, and you can probably make it with things that you have around your home. A DIY paper bag piñata is fun, festive and totally simple to make. You can customize both the outside and the inside to fit your theme.
-Paper lunch bag (or large paper grocery bag)
-Tissue paper in various colors
-Candy and treats
-Twine or thin rope
Step by Step
1. Fill the Bag! Start by putting your candy or treats in the bottom of the bag. Only fill it about halfway or the bag will be too heavy. Over the top of the treats, crumple up some extra tissue paper to give the top half of the bag some shape.
2. Neatly crease the top of the bag over itself once and then once again. Staple the creases shut. Use more staples if you're using a larger grocery bag.
3. Cut a piece of tissue paper that's about two inches wider on all sides than the base of the bag. Spread glue stick all over the tissue paper to adhere it to the bag.
4. Once the tissue paper is covered in glue, use the paper to wrap the bottom of the bag and cover it, using a similar technique to the way that you would wrap a gift box.
5. Stack a few pieces of tissue paper on one another so that all of the edges are aligned. Fold them in half, then half again in the same direction, and then a third time. Then cut this into strips of paper that are about 2 inches wide. You should end up with lots of 2-inch strips of paper folded over each other.
6. Use your scissors to create fringe along one edge of each folded clump of paper. Fringe approximately 1 inch of paper and leave 1 inch uncut.
7. Unfold all of your fringed tissue paper. Spread glue stick along the un-fringed area of one strip of paper.
8. Starting at the base of the bag, wrap your length of fringe around the bag and adhere it to the base. If your fringe isn't long enough to wrap around, glue another piece on to continue the line so that it meets itself back around the bag where it started.
9. Continue in the same manner, overlapping layers of fringe so that the uncut portion of each strip is hidden. Wrap the bag in this way until you reach the top.
10. For a paper lunch bag, punch two holes in the top of your bag. If you're using a larger grocery bag, punch a few extra holes for added security.
11. Cut a length of twine or thin rope and weave it through the holes. Use the twine to tie up the piñata wherever you'd like.
12. Time to party! This piñata breaks open a little differently than a traditional one, but it's just as fun! Once the goodies come flying out be prepared to fight for your share!
I hope you all enjoy these creative DIY’s to celebrate your Cinco De Mayo. Please share your pictures and videos, if you try any of these activities out with your family.