October 6, 2023

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Hispanic & Latino Month Activities for Kids of All Ages

When kids and teens learn about culture, they broaden their view of the world and deepen their understanding of others.

Hispanic and Latino heritage is rich with history, culture and exciting contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans past and present. Hispanic & Latino Heritage Month offers families, teachers and afterschool providers an opportunity to explore these vibrant cultures.

When is Hispanic Heritage Month?

Hispanic Heritage Month is unique in that it crosses over two months, celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. This time period was chosen because it includes Independence Day celebrations for Belize, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua.

The Importance of Hispanic & Latino Heritage Month

Latino, Hispanic and Latinx Americans have wonderful traditions to honor during this month and year-round.

They’re also a vital part of the American population. The Hispanic population in the United States accounts for 19% or 1 in 5 Americans, according to the 2020 Census.

At Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley, about a 75% of our members identify as Latino or Hispanic. Clubs encourage kids to embrace their identities and cultures – building pride and self-esteem.

Even if your family isn’t from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central or South America, you can still celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Kids build respect and curiosity when they learn about other cultures.

8 Ideas for Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with Kids

From tasty eats to virtual tours, here are some Hispanic Heritage Month activities to engage the young people in your life:

1. Dish up some delicious flavors.

Mexican food is ubiquitous in the United States and often a kid favorite. Before cooking or going out to eat, talk about the specific ingredients and spices that make these dishes special. Taste and smell cumin and paprika. Discuss kids’ favorite dishes and whether they include common Mexican ingredients, such as corn, chili peppers, shredded beef and chicken, beans and tomatoes. Bring some new cultures to the table by trying the following Hispanic and Latino dishes:

2. Take a Virtual Tour

Virtual tours provide an accessible way to explore contributions of Latino communities and individuals.

La Casa Azul is Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s former home. The name literally translates to the Blue House. Now, it’s a museum dedicated to her work and life.

The Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Latino shines a light on the legacy of U.S. Latinos and Latinas.

3. Learn about Hispanic and Latino celebrations and traditions.

Celebrations create connection and fun everyone can enjoy. Plus, experiencing how a culture celebrates is a great way to learn.

Take some time to explore Hispanic and Latino traditions around celebrations. Piñatas are often a hit with younger kids. Meanwhile, older kids can learn the fascinating background of Día de los Muertos (which falls early in November). Latin American teenage girls celebrate their 15th birthdays with elaborate quinceañeras.

Whether you’re attending a cultural celebration or watching one on TV, prompt a conversation with your child with these questions:

  • What is the purpose and history of this celebration?
  • What are the values and beliefs being celebrated?
  • What music is being played and how is it contributing to the event? If there are dancers, are they wearing special costumes or accessories?
  • What are the symbols and meanings of the objects and activities associated with this celebration?
  • What foods and drinks are served?
  • How does this celebration help to keep the culture alive?
  • How can I be respectful of this culture and its traditions?

4. Explore Latinx heritage through art.

Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali, Diego Velazquez and Francisco Goya – Hispanic artists are some of the most famous of all time.

View their masterpieces and discuss what makes them stand out. Then, ask kids to try to recreate some of these famous art styles at home or in the classroom. As part of their fine arts program, Variety Boys & Girls Club dedicates a whole week to Frida Kahlo as members recreate her many self-portraits.

Making Hispanic-inspired crafts is also a great way to experience hands-on learning through art.

5. Give your game night a Hispanic Heritage Month twist.

If your kid enjoys a game of chance, then odds are they’ll enjoy the card game Lotería. Lotería is Mexico’s version of Bingo. Players will match words called out (such as el arbol – the tree, or el camaron – the shrimp) to their game board. When they’ve got a row, the winner shouts “¡Buena!” to end the game.

The Smithsonian also has a collection of games and activities for purchase from their “Nuestra America” series. Play their bilingual memory card game or piece together their puzzle to learn about famous Hispanic Americans.

6. Read books by Hispanic and Latino authors

Whatever the age of your reader, there are plenty of books to explore by Hispanic and Latino authors.

These days, you can also find recorded “story times” available on YouTube in English and in Spanish. For young readers, check out “Where Are You From?” by Yamile Saied Méndez, a story about a little girl who always gets asked where she’s from and her

7. Make it a Movie Night

Kid-friendly movies that explore Hispanic and Latino culture are perfect for movie night.

  • The hit 2021 movie “Encanto” takes place in Colombia. While your kids enjoy the magical family Madrigal, they’ll also see Colombian fashion, architecture, animals and food. Expect to learn a few Spanish words along the way.
  • Inspired by the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead, the 2017 animated film “Coco” explores family and tradition.
  • Set to the musical stylings of Lin-Manual Miranda, 2021’s “Vivo” on Netflix celebrates the culture of Cuba as a rain forest creature seeks to deliver a message on behalf of his owner.
  • If you’re looking for more movie picks throughout the month, check out these other kid-friendly movie options.

8. Hit the Dance Floor

If your child considers every room a dance floor, it’s time to introduce them to the vibrancy of Latino dance styles. There are plenty of new moves to learn:

Exploring culture is a great way to learn about other people while deepening respect for diversity and inclusion. With these Hispanic Heritage Month ideas, you can celebrate Sept. 15 – Oct. 15 with the young people in your life!

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