How to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Kids
There are many reasons I celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with kids, but largely for identity reasons. Being Latina in America is a funny thing. I am 100% Cuban born to immigrant parents, but feel like any other American does. I took English Honors in high school (although was almost forced to enroll in ESL when my parents told the school that Spanish was my first language). I graduated from college with a degree in Political Science. I am proud to be American and have decent political efficacy.
However, after a lot of years of struggle, I am equally proud of my Cuban heritage. This month is dedicated to celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month as the Bicultural Latina that I am, as well as the little mixed Latinos that I’m raising. After so much self doubt and fear of not being “Latino enough”, I am choosing to celebrate from exactly my current point of identity – my exact mix of Hispanic American.
How to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
Celebrate using crafts for kids! Kids love to craft and when they infuse lessons (whether motor skills or cultural appreciate), we’re all happy. We’ve done a lot of crafts for kids to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in the past, like this Mexican Day of the Dead Faux Papel Picado or this easy Paper Flower Tutorial, but sometimes I run out of ideas. We love this book, a Kid’s Guide to Latino History, for the history it teaches and the varying small motor skills it works on. It’s also broken down into Hispanic countries, giving readers an understanding of the incredible variations of cultures and traditions within the Hispanic experience. From crafts to kid recipes and stories of historical Latino figures, this book is a wealth of information for Hispanic Heritage Month. You can check out A Kid’s Guide to Latino History on Amazon. We totally reccomend it as a resource for celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with kids.
Celebrate in the kitchen! You all know how much I love Cuban food (have you seen my yummy Cuban Arroz Con Pollo recipe?). My kids are usually in the kitchen with me, but on the days I’m cooking a typical Latino meal, I make sure they are. We talk about the various spices, making sure to smell each one and understand the flavor it brings to the recipe. Much of this might go over their sweet, little heads, but at least I’m reinforcing many of the culinary values Latino families hold dear.
Discussions on bicultural Latino identity. If you’re Latino in America, you’re bicultural. Navigating those two worlds is a unique experience that deserves acknowledgement and conversation (in age appropriate manners). Hispanic Heritage Month offers parents the opportunity to discuss issues such as language fluency identity, skin color and growing up Latino. The population of mixed Latinos is growing and this is a great opportunity to casually chat with your kids about how they identify themselves and for parents to share with their thoughts, too.
This year, I’m excited to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with my two mixed Latinos. I am also proud of my own personal identity as a Latina. Even with my less than stellar fluency, I can be proud of my heritage.
I want to invite you to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with your kids, and to honor the beautiful language and the history of so many Americans. Whether bicultural or not, the Latino experience is an important part of the fabric of this country. I am excited to teach my children about our Latino family legacy.