Hispanic Heritage with Kids: Crafts and Treats

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month and at Spanish Schoolhouse our classes are in extra fiesta mode with activities galore!  Want to celebrate at home?  We’ve got you covered with a simple musical craft for kids. After you’ve danced to the beat with your maracas, treat yourselves to a healthy Mexican sweet treat!  It’s easy to celebrate Hispanic Heritage with your kids, with just a little effort.

 Shake it Up!

Rattles are a baby’s first musical instrument and boy, do they love making noise!  It’s not just a fun experience. Using shaking instruments boosts skills like listening, concentrating, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination. It also encourages creativity and self-expression!

Maraca-like instruments have been around for thousands of years.  You can see them in ancient drawings from Africa, Polynesia, and the Americas.  Many Latin countries proudly claim maracas as their own invention! Some say they originated with the Taino Indians of Puerto Rico. Others say they came from Venezuela, Brazil, or Chile.  Wherever they’re from, maracas are still adding fun rhythms to all kinds of music today!

 To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with your kids, you can make easy maracas at home!  Here are two simple versions that use objects found around the house. You might even tie in a little “reuse/recycle” lesson in the process!    

Water Bottle Maracas

  1.  Gather your materials:
    • *1 small plastic water bottle with label removed
    • *Small objects like buttons, beads, or beans
    • *Glue gun
    • *Paper tubes from inside toilet paper or from paper towel rolls, cut to size
    • *Colored tissue paper, paints, stickers, or washi tape (often sold with scrapbook supplies)
  2. Partially fill the bottle with the buttons/beads, etc.  
  3. Put the lid back on and hot glue it into place for a permanent seal.  
  4. Cut a toilet paper roll lengthwise down one side and uncurl it.  
  5. Apply hot glue around the outside of the bottle cap, attach the roll, tighten it to form a handle, and press to set.  Use more glue to put the seam back together.  
  6. Decorate the handle with paint, tissue paper, gift wrap, or colorful washi tape.  
  7. Let the rhythm line begin! 

Here’s another method just the right size for tiny hands!  

Spoons & Easter Egg Maracas

Materials:  Rice, plastic spoons, a plastic easter egg, colorful tape


  1. Pour some rice into an empty plastic egg and close the egg.
  2. Wrap the seam of the egg with tape to seal it shut.
  3. Face two plastic spoons together and put the egg between the tops of the spoons.
  4. Wrap tape around the egg and spoons to keep the egg in place.
  5. Tape the handles of the two spoons to hold them together.
  6. Play some lively Latin tunes and shake to the beat!

Sweet Treats to Beat the Heat!

If you’ve worked up a sweat making music, now you can treat yourselves to a traditional fruit popsicle – la paleta!  

Palo in Spanish means stick and paleta can mean shovel or a lollipop!  But most importantly, paletas are the Mexican version of popsicles.  They aren’t filled with artificial flavors and colors like most American popsicles. Mexican paletas are traditionally made with fresh fruit and juice, with many flavorful twists! 

The popularity of paletas spread widely when La Michoacana ice cream parlor, in Tocumbo, Mexico, added fruit pops to their offerings. For decades, these treats have been favorites throughout Mexico and Latin America, sold in shops and from street vendors (known as paleteros).  You can now find them internationally with artisan popsicle shops popping up around the world, inspired by the original Mexican recipes.

Traditional Mexican flavors include strawberry, mango, pineapple or coconut.  Some paletas have chunks of fruit, and others are pureed.  The base can be water, milk, or creamy sweetened condensed milk.  You can find a paleta with almost any fruit you’re a fan of!  Passionfruit, kiwi, watermelon, banana, lime… and some interesting textures like jicama, cucumber, and arroz con leche (rice pudding pops!).  You’ll often find a flavor burst of Mexican spices like chili powder or cinnamon. 

Photo by Jarritos Mexican Soda on Unsplash

Hungry yet?!  

Have your kids grab their aprons and try one of these simple recipes.  You can use these as a base and get creative with flavors and textures!  Here’s a kid-friendly version from Multicultural Kid Blogs and more inspiration from The Spruce Eats! To make that adorable Mexican flag paleta, try this recipe from Laylita.

Looking for more craft ideas? Check out our recent blog post on papercrafts! Whether you get crafty, listen to Latin music, sample new foods, or have other Latino cultural experiences at home, let us know how you celebrate Hispanic Heritage with your kids!

So, what do you think?