Hispanic Heritage Month

Detail from “Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park” by Diego Rivera

Today marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. Even though Day of the Dead isn’t until Nov. 1, it seems that its iconic imagery has become linked to the celebration of Hispanic culture overall. This is exciting because there are so many great craft projects associated with Day of the Dead that would be a fun way to introduce kids to Hispanic culture and traditions, and it gives you plenty of time to prepare for Day of the Dead. Whether you’re a teacher or a parent or a counselor looking for activities to do with children, here are a few of my favorites. These are from the craft supplies section of mexicansugarskull.com (click on images to go to their pages):

Sugar skull molds and supplies

Sugar skull rubber stamps

Balsa foam to make “woodcuts without the knife”

Animal Alebrijes – carved wood animals you paint in the traditional style of Oaxaca

Confetti skull beads

Blank paper mache skulls

If you live in Chicagoland, the National Museum of Mexican Art showcases “the largest annual Day of the Dead exhibition in the United States.” I also recommend perusing Wikipedia’s List of Latin Americans, a comprehensive list of notable Latin Americans. Want to know who the first Puerto Rican astronaut was (answer: Joseph M. Acaba)? Wonder which Peruvian chess player held an honorary International Grandmaster title in 1977  (answer: Esteban Canal)? Forgot which Mexican poet won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990 (answer: Octavio Paz)? The List is a great resource, but make sure you set aside some time before you head there – once you start clicking it’s kind of hard to stop!

Additional Links:

Smithsonian Education Hispanic Heritage links

The Library of Congress hosts a Hispanic Heritage Month website

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