Kid Activities
1000's of Ideas for Childcare Professionals & Teachers!

Mexican Theme

June 10, 2011 17:32 by Barbara Shelby

GREAT FOR CINCO DE MAYO or FIESTA! Art, Crafts, Games, Snacks/Recipes, Simple Greetings/Phrases, and more!

Updated May, 2013

ARTS & CRAFTS

MAKE A PIÑATA!

2 cups flour
3 cups water
1 balloon
Newspaper strips
Paint, crayons, or markers
Tissue paper (optional)
Colored crepe paper & String
GENERAL GUIDLINES
Materials:
1.  Blow up a large balloon and tie the end securely.
2.  Mix flour and water together until it makes a smooth paste.
3.  Cut newspaper into long 1 inch thick strips and dip into the flour and water mixture, creating paper Mache strips.
 
4.  Carefully place the strips of newspaper on the balloon in a single layer, patting the paper smooth until the balloon is covered, leaving only a hole at the top large enough for candy. Set aside and allow the balloon to dry completely overnight.
5. Place another layer of newspaper strips dipped in the mixture over the balloon and let that dry. Repeat with yet one more layer, making sure you leave the hole at the top. When completely dry, pop the balloon, and remove any balloon bits that remain.
 
6. Use wadded paper, lightweight wire shapes or smaller paper Maché covered balloons to create noses, ears, arms, legs or other details to make your piñata into the shape you want.
7.  Paint your piñata, or cover it with layers of bright tissue paper in colors to match your party theme.
 
8.  If desired, hang colored crepe paper from the sides and bottom.
 
9.  Punch 2 small holes in the top near the opening and string a large piece of string through the two holes.
10.  Fill your piñata (through the hole you left at the top) with candy, toys, or any other fun surprises. Mix the treats with strips of newspaper or small wads of tissue paper to keep the treats spread throughout the piñata.
11.  Tie your completed piñata in the air with the string and have fun!
TIP: Those who know how to make a piñata have learned not to make the paper Mache layers too thick or the piñata will be nearly impossible to break!
  • You can be creative with this project – your piñata can be almost any color or shape you can imagine. Don’t worry about your artistic skills, or craft experience. Anyone can learn how to make a piñata. It’s a great group project and a wonderful way for to have fun preparing for a party together.
    Source: catalogs.com
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Paper Bag Piñata
This is a very simple version of a Piñata making it a suitable craft to do with large groups of children. It's much less messy than the Paper Maché version.

Materials:
Paper lunch bag
Newspaper
Candy or other treats
Different colors of tissue paper
Scissors
Glue, Hole punch & String 

Instructions: 
  • Put candy or treats into the paper bag...
  • Scrunch up a piece of newspaper and put it in the bag. Repeat until the bag is full, with the newspaper- about 1 inch below the top of the bag (you need the inch so you can close the bag later)
  • Cut strips of tissue paper 3 to 6 inches wide and long enough to wrap around the bag (the wider you cut the strips, the quicker the craft will go)
  • Fringe the strips by using your scissors to cut about 1/2 way up each strip, 1 to 4 inches apart
  • Glue the strips around the bag, starting at the BOTTOM -- only glue the uncut part, don't get any glue on the fringes.
  • When you glue on the second strip, overlap it so it comes about to where you cut the fringe.
  • Repeat until you've covered the entire bag --again leaving about 1 inch free at the top.
  • Punch holes all the way around the top of the bag.
  • Lace a piece of string or yarn around the holes and pull tight (You may need to pull out a bit of the newspaper or add a bit extra at this point). Tie in a loop so you can hang it.
  • Cut 4 or 5 long strips of tissue paper and glue them to the bottom of the bag as streamers.
  • When all the children have made their piñatas, you can hang them up for decorations OR you can let them whack their bag with a stick until their candy falls out.
TIPS: Be very careful that children don't hit each other... You can use skipping ropes, to rope off a small circle inside a large circle. The stick (and whoever is using it) stays inside the small circle. When the person's done using it, they have to put the stick down inside the small circle before they go back to the audience. The audience stays outside the large circle. Adapted from: dltk-kids.com
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For other Piñata and Maché recipes click here...
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MAKE MEXICAN  FLOWERS
Need: Tissue paper in a variety of colors, scissors, and floral wire or colored pipe cleaners.
  1.  To make the flowers, layer five or six rectangular sheets of the same size tissue paper (the colors can be mixed or not). The smaller the tissue paper sheets, the smaller the flower.
  2.  Starting at one of the short ends of the paper, fold the paper into one-inch accordion folds - as if making a fan. 
  3.  Next, wrap floral wire or a pipe cleaner tightly around the CENTER of folded tissue paper. Straighten one of the wires for the stem.
  4.  Gently pull the layers of tissue paper apart, out and up… and fluff them to create a lush burst of colorful flower petals.
Colorful, Fun, and Pretty!

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 CACTUS ART... Just let the kids create!!!
Put out construction paper, water color paints, torn tissue paper and tooth picks or pasta pieces. (That is the materials used for the cactus on the right)
The first sample is made by a fourth grade student of Shannon Stewart and the first by a first grader. (See Kids Gallery Category-Grades 1 to 3)

 
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MAKE PLASTIC WATER BOTTLE MARACAS
Supplies:
Empty plastic water bottles with their caps
Masking tape (plain or bright colors)
Paint and/or markers (of not using colored tape) 
Dried beans or popcorn kernels
1. Going horizontally, wrap the water bottle from top to bottom with masking tape. If using colored masking tape, alternate the colors to make a bright design.
2. If using plain masing tape, decorate the maraca by drawing or painting designs on the masking tape.
3. Fill the water bottle half-way with popcorn or dried beans. Replace bottle cap and shake!
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MINI MARACAS
Easy to make from empty film canisters and craft sticks...
You need:
Empty Film Canisters
Craft Sticks
Colored Vinyl Tape
Black Marker or Paint
Rice, Beans, or Beads
Scissors
Instructions:
1.  Paint the craft sticks black.
2.  Decorate the sticks and the containers using colored vinyl tape.
3.  Cut a slit in the tops to hold the craft sticks securely. Fill containers half full with rice, beans or beads. Replace the tops.
4. Push in the crafts sticks.
Source: Dawn of Morganton-North Carolina.
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PAPER PLATE MARACAS
1. Have kids paint their paper plates (eating-side down) any color and design they choose. The brighter the better!
2. Once  paint is dry, fill one paper plate with dried beans, popcorn kernels,  or anything that will make noise.
3. Glue the paper plates together...and shake!
Optional: glue or staple long crepe paper streamers if desired.
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MEXICAN 'JUMPING BEAN' ART
Supplies: Variety of dried beans, heavy construction paper or card stock, thick tempra paints, shallow dishes, spoons, shallow boxes/containers
1.  Give children construction paper/card stock and several colors of thick tempera paint in shallow dishes.
2.  Place the paper in a shallow box- then dip the beans in the chosen paint color and use a spoon to scoop it out. Place beans on the paper.
3. Hold the box tilting it back and forth as the beans move across. When there is no more paint, dip the beans again or get a scoop of beans in a different color.
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TIN WORK...
Known in Mexico as hojalata, this goes back to the 16th Century. It's used widely by artisans and craftsmen to form both useful and ornamental objects ranging from purely fun to elegant and delicate. Only hindered by imagination, tin artists produce candelabras, frames, ornaments, jewelry boxes, figures, lanterns, and bowls. Introduce tin art to your kids...

 
TIN CAN LANTERNS & LUMINARIES
1. Look for cans that have plain sides without any ridges. These make the nicest lanterns. Remove the label from the can. Scrape and clean any glue that is still on the can.
2. Draw a pattern of dots on the outside of the can with a permanent marker. Be careful NOT to smudge the dots before the ink is dry. Challenge kids to come up with patterns such as stars, flowers, circles, etc.
3. Fill the can with water and put in freezer for at least 24 hours-until frozen solid.
4. Place the can on its side on a folded towel. Use assorted nails (also screw driver tips make a nice look) to pierce through the pattern of dots that have been drawn. Hammer the nails in just far enough to pierce the metal. If the ice is melting too quickly, return the can to the freezer for a few hours.
5. When done, melt the ice in the can. Dry the lantern. Caution the children to take care and not cut or scratch themselves on in edges inside of the can.
The lantern is now ready to place a votive candle in it. Several together make a lovely night-time light! (Lantern Images: Star- Seven Impossible Things Blog; Luminary from Svanes on flickr) 
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TIN ART HANGING ORNAMENTS (Using juice lids)
Pierce a pattern of holes in the metal top of a frozen juice can. (The lids that are held in place with a plastic strip have the smoothest edges.) Place the lid on a work surface that can sustain the pounding of nails. Besides the design, pound a hole in near the top of the lid to string fishline or yarn from which to hang.
 Several lids hung together make a nice mobile.
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PAPER PLATE SUN
IMAGES OF THE SUN are themes that appears frequently in Mexican art...
This is a simple craft made from a paper plate and a child's hand print cutouts. These would surely add to the 'Fiesta' spirit when hung about the room!
Supplies:
A paper plate
Yellow construction paper
Scissors
Glue (or a stapler)
Crayons, paint or markers
Googly eyes (optional)
1. Paint the front side of a paper plate yellow.
2. Trace child's hand on yellow construction paper about 7 times.
3. Cut out the tracings.
4. Glue or staple the hand print tracings to the backside of the plate - the fingers are the sun's rays.
5. Color in the sun, drawing a mouth and a nose. Either draw the eyes or glue on googly eyes.
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PAINT SMALL TERRA COTTA POTS with acrylic paints. Have kids decorate them with popular Mexican symbols such as a sun, Mexican flags, sombreros, cactus, maracas, etc.
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MAKE A SERAPE
Materials:
Large brown grocery bag
Masking tape
Scissors
Paint
1. Place the bag-seam side up.
Starting at the bottom cut straight up the seam ...cutting into a "V" and then a hole in the bottom of the bag (this is the neck hole).
2. Cut about a 5-inch wide strip from each side of the bag. This makes the open sides of the serape.
3. Make a fringe around the bottom by either cutting slits all around the edges, or by punching holes along the bottom and threading pieces of yarn through.
4. Turn the serape inside out, so that the print is inside, and the side that is showing is plain brown. You may need to secure the shoulder area (the bottom of the bag) with masking tape.
5. Lay the serape out flat, and paint with bright colors!
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 MAKE CONFETTI (CASCARON) EGGS (Craft and Game in one!)

 "Cascaron" is the Spanish word for eggshell. They are used in many celebrations including Easter, Christmas, Birthdays and Cinco de Mayo.  In San Antonio, the “confetti-filled eggs,” are sold in stores and is a basic part of Fiesta.
Materials
Uncooked chicken eggs--large or jumbo size
Food color, dyes and/or markers
Scotch tape OR Glue and Tissue paper
Paper confetti (Two cups per dozen eggs)

1. Make about a half inch hole--or the size of a dime-- in the bottom or top of an egg. Remove the egg contents. (Either prop over a bowl and let the eggs drain---or See directions for blowing out eggs on Egg Decorating Page)
2. Rinse out the inside of the egg. When it is completely dry-- decorate it using your favorite method.
3. Fully fill the dry egg with paper confetti.
4. Once finished, place a small piece of scotch tape over the opening of the egg...or glue on a small piece of tissue paper that matches the egg.

What to do with them?
Surprise a ' someone by 'cracking' and egg over their head
Hide cascarones as part of an Easter-egg hunt. When a cascarón is found, it can be cracked over someone's head. Make a wish when you crack the cascarón. According to tradition, a confetti shower brings good luck to both the one who breaks the cascarón and the one above whose head it is broken.

ORIGIN...
According to latinworksco.com, many people believe Cascarones were first brought from Asia to Italy by the explorer Marco Polo. He would give the eggs — often filled with perfumed powder — as gifts.
The custom traveled from Italy to Spain and was brought to Mexico in the mid-1800s by the wife of Emperor Maximilian. In Mexico, the powder was replaced with confetti, and cascarones became a part of holiday celebrations, including Easter, New Year's Eve and birthday parties.

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MUSIC AND GAMES...
DO THE MEXICAN HAT DANCE!
Place a sombrero in the center of floor where children will be dancing.OR...If there is no sombrero...
Cut a large circle from construction paper and use a marker to draw the features of a Mexican sombrero.
To perform the Mexican Hat Dance, stand with feet together and arms down by your sides. Kick your heel out three times, alternating feel each time; clap twice. Repeat until the chorus begins... 
At chorus, link elbows with a partner and skip around in a circle. Circle once, and then circle the opposite direction. Repeat with a different partners throughout chorus. Or...the entire circle can circle one way-and then the other.
Variation: You can call childrens' names one by one.
When a child's name is called he/she will come to the center of the circle and do a dance.
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REMEMBER THE MACARENA? IT'S STILL AN EASY AND FUN DANCE FOR KIDS!
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HAVE A CHILI PEPPER RELAY
 
1. Divide students into two or more teams and have each team form a line.
2. Give each team a long red balloon (their "chili pepper).
3. Kids  pass their chili pepper down the line as quickly as possible. The first player passes it between his legs, the second over her head, the third between his legs, and so on.
4. When the pepper reaches the last child, they race to the front of the team's line and start the chili pepper down again.
5. The relay ends when the first player from one of the teams reaches the back of his team's line, gets the chili pepper, and returns it to the front of the line.
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PLAY 'PIN THE TAIL ON THE BURRO'! (Donkey) Or....PUT THE FLOWER ON THE CACTUS!
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MEXICAN KICKBALL
... a traditional game played in Mexican villages; it's a great fiesta outdoor game for teams and large groups of kids.
 
Divide the kids into teams.
Each team member takes turns kicking a ball (no hands!) around an obstacle course. The first team that has all players complete the course is the winner.
Set the obstacle course to reflect the age of kids. Example: around tables and chairs, a tire, logs, or tree. Kick over and under things--whatever is available to make a course.
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WORD FIND
Take a Mexican, Fiesta or Cinco de Mayo related word such as guacamole or festival. Challenge the children to find as many little words as they can.
Example: Guacamole
Words: came, come, me, am, game, gem, cue, male, meal, mole, mule, ace, camel, coal, lag, camel, go, goal, coal, etc.
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JUMP LIKE JUMPING BEANS
 

This is played much like the game "Freeze or Statues".
Play Mexican music. While the music is playing, the children jump around like "jumping beans". When the music stops--all must stop moving. Anyone caught moving is out-the last remaining 'jumping bean' is the winner!
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ESTIMATION: HOW MANY BEANS IN THE JAR?
Need:
Large glass jar filled with a variety of beans
Small pieces of paper
Sombrero (if available)
Pencil
1. Have children write their name and guess on a small piece of paper.
2. Have them place the number of beans guess in a container or sombrero.
3. The correct of closest guess is the winner!
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Play 'HIDE AND SEEK' IN SPANISH!
Count in Spanish instead of English. (See below Spanish 1-10 numbers)  "Here I come!" can also be said in Spanish "Ya me voy!"
'Hide and Seek' played in Mexico is called 'ESCONDIDA' ...
It's best played with lots of places to hide. The person who is the counter (or seeker) stands next to a designated tree and close their eyes while counting to ______.  The rest of the players run and hide.  When the seeker is done counting, they call out “Ready or Not, Here I come!” and begin searching for everyone else.  The goal for those hiding is to get back and touch the tree before being tagged.  Those who are tagged before touching the tree are also “It” and join the seeker.  The last one to reach the tree or be tagged is the seeker for the next game.
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OTHER 'COMMON GAMES' played in Mexico are...
• BEBE LECHE...the traditional Hopscotch Game and BRINCAR LA CUERDA (Jump Rope) Jump Rope rhymes and games here)
FUTBOL (Soccer) is a popular sport in Mexico. Get a good game of FUTBOL (soccer) going!
MARBLES: Still an all time classic and popular in Mexico.  Get a variety of marbles in different sizes and colors -- have kids play this traditional game.
JACKS: Another nostalgic game that is a classic and one of the oldest games in the world.  In the early days the game was played with whatever was on hand such as stones, crumpled-up paper, sticks, etc. 'Jack game sets' are still easy to find. 
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JACKS--A GAME PLAYED IN MEXICO...
Materials:
Set of jacks and ball. Smooth surface to
play on.
Object of Game: Be the first to go from 'Onesie'” to 'Tensies'
 1. Begin by throwing your jacks onto the ground in front of you.  Try and make the jacks land not too far apart or too close together. 
2. Next throw the ball into the air and pick up one jack. Catch the ball after it bounces one time. Continue picking up
the jacks one at a time.
3. When you have collected all the jacks, throw
them again and start picking the jacks up two at a time (twosies). When you get to threesies you have to pick up the three sets of three first, then pick up the left over jack. Continue on until you are at tensies. You can then declare the winner as the first one to tens, or go back down again to onesies.
Your turn continues until you either--miss the ball, fail to pick up the jacks, move a jack, or drop a jack that you have picked up. Your turn is then over and the next person goes.
Variations for Jacks: 
• NO BOUNCIES
Go from one to tens without letting the ball bounce before you pick up
the jacks.
DOUBLE BOUNCIES
Pick up the jacks and then catch the ball after it bounces twice.
LEFT HANDED
Switch the hand you normally throw the ball with.
CHERRIES IN A BASKET
Cup your hand and throw the ball with the opposite hand. You have to
then place the jacks in your cupped hand - one through tens.
AROUND THE WORLD
After you throw the ball you have to make a circle in the air around
the ball before it bounces - one to tens.
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SPANISH WORD GAME
Give each child an identical list of Spanish words. 
Each child guesses the meaning of each word. Who ever guesses the most correctly is the winner.
Tip: Try not to make the words too difficult or have them link to English words.
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FOR FUN...
TEACH THE KIDS TO COUNT FROM ONE TO TEN IN SPANISH!
Spanish - English
uno -- one
dos -- two
tres -- three
cuatro -- four
cinco -- five
seis -- six
siete -- seven
ocho -- eight
nueve -- nine
diez -- ten
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GREETINGS
•Hello / Hi!
¡Hola!
 
Good day
Buenos diás
 
Good evening
Buenos tardes
 
Good night
Buenos noches
 
Good bye
Adiós
 
See you soon
Hasta luego
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ETIQUETTE
 
Please
Por favor
 
Thank you (very much)
(Muchas)Gracias
 
Excuse me
¡Perdone!
 
I'm sorry
Lo siento
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FIESTA DECORATIONS...
• Red, white and green balloons and streamers
A Mexican blanket on the wall or use one as a tablecloth
Mexican flags
Sombreros
Hang a pair of maracas or a sombrero on your front or program door to welcome fiesta spirit!
Map of Mexico
Piñatas
Plastic or real cactus
Use brightly colored paper plates and cups or terracotta pottery and straw mats; place bowls of tortllla chips and snacks in sombreros
Be sure to play Mexican, Tex/Mex and Latin music as guests arrive and throughout the party
FOR CENTERPIECES...Use COLORFUL VEGETABLES such as: yellow peppers, red peppers, red chilis, green chilis, avocados, and tomatoes.
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SNACKS-FOOD
TORTILLAS
Made with either corn or wheat flour, these flat rounds are a staple of the Mexican diet. Combine 2 cups masa harina (corn flour) and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Gradually add 1 ½ cups warm water and mix with your hands until mixture forms soft dough. Form into 15 equal balls. Flatten each ball into a thin 6-inch circle. Fry tortillas in a dry pan over medium-high heat for about three minutes, turning once. Serve warm. Makes 15 tortillas.
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TORTILLA & CHEESE ROLL-UPS
Ingredients:
Small flour tortillas
Colby-jack STICK cheese
Salsa, if desired
Place one stick of Colby-jack cheese (or use mozzarella string cheese) near the edge of the flour tortilla.
Roll the tortilla around the cheese; secure it with a toothpick (remove it later before children snack).
Microwave until cheese is soft.
Dip in salsa.
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FRIED FLOUR TORTILLA TREATS 

Flour Tortillas 
• 
Oil 
• 
Powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar mixture 
Warm the tortillas slightly in the microwave so you can fold them. Next fold the tortilla into half, then half again. Cut out designs...or cut in wedge shapes.

Put a small amount of oil into a skillet. Fry the tortilla in hot oil until crisp. (About 30 seconds on each side) Absorb extra oil on paper towel. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. (Note from Barb: I just made the three in the image. My husband 'R' loved them! They would also be great sprinkled with cinnamon sugar or drizzled with chocolate syrup over the powdered sugar. Children would not be able to fry them- but they could fold and cut them. They could also sprinkle on the sweeteners. 'R' has asked me to make them again!)

 

 

BAKED SWEET TORTILLA TREATS

  Using small fun shaped cookie cutters (These are from Valentine's Day-- but can be shaped for ANY time of the year) cut shapes out of a flour tortilla. They can also be cut by hand in strips. 
Place on non stick cookie sheet and lightly brush with a little melted butter.
Lightly sprinkle (you only need a little) with a mixture of 1 part cinnamon and 3 parts brown sugar.
Bake in a moderately hot oven for 10 minutes for a sweet and crispy treat.

NOTE: These are light and crispy and really good! The treats can be made any time of the year, with any shape.  Be sure your cookie cutters are sharp enough to easily cut through the tortillas. KA will definately be making these again and again!!! (Image by KidActivities.net)

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APPLE AND CHEESE TORTILLA
Ingredients
1 flour tortilla (6 inch diameter)
4 tbsp medium cheddar cheese, grated
1/3 cup thinly sliced apple

Place the tortilla on a plate and sprinkle 2 tbsp cheddar cheese on 1 half of the tortilla. Place the apple pieces over the cheese. Then sprinkle 2 tbsp cheese over the apple pieces. Fold the tortilla over the filling. Microwave on high, for about 1 minute. Cut the tortilla in half and serve.

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VELVEETA CHEESE DIP (Made on Stove or microwave and good anytime!
Ingredients:
1 pound Velveeta Pasteurized Process Cheese Spread, cubed
1 jar (8 ounces) salsa (I use Pace)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
TOP OF STOVE:
1. In saucepan, stir Velveeta and salsa over low heat until Velveeta is melted. Stir in cilantro.
2. Serve hot with tortilla chips and veggie dippers.
MICROWAVE:
Microwave Velveeta and salsa in 1 1/2 quart microwave safe bowl on HIGH 5 minutes or until Velveeta is melted. Stir after 3 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Serve as directed.
Makes 3 cups
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CHILI CHEESE DIP
Ingredients:
1 lb. (16 oz.) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 can (15 oz.) chili with or without beans
MIX VELVEETA and chili in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 5 min. or until VELVEETA is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 3 min.
SERVE hot with tortilla chips, RITZ Toasted Chips or assorted cut-up vegetables.
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LAYERED MEXICAN DIP
Ingrediants:
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, softened
1 Tbsp.'TACO BELL' Taco Seasoning Mix
1 cup TACO BELL Thick 'N Chunky Salsa
1 cup  rinsed canned black beans
4 green onions, chopped
1 cup  KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 cup shredded lettuce
2 Tbsp.  sliced black olives
 3 pkg. (13 oz. each) baked tortilla chips
BEAT Neufchatel with mixer until creamy. Add seasoning mix; mix well. Spread onto bottom of serving plate or 9-inch pie plate.
TOP with all remaining ingredients except chips.
REFRIGERATE 1 hour. Serve with chips. Source: Kraft Recipes
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LAYERED BLACK BEAN DIP
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese-softened, 1 cup  canned black beans-rinsed, 1 can (10 oz.) Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies-drained, 1 cup  KRAFT Mexican Style Finely Shredded Four Cheese.
SPREAD cream cheese onto bottom of shallow dish.
LAYER with beans and tomatoes; top with cheese. SERVE with tortilla chips. 32 servings, 2 Tbsp. each
Variation: Serve the dip mixed. Beat cream cheese with mixer until creamy. Add remaining ingredients; mix until well blended. 
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GUACAMOLE
Ingrediants:
2 avocados, 1/2 lemon or lime, juiced, 1 tablespoons chopped onion and/or 1/2 seeded tomato (opional), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons olive oil
Cut the avocados into halves. Remove the seeds, and scoop out the pulp into a small bowl. Use a fork to mash the avocado(leave it a little chunky). Stir in lemon juice, onion, tomato, salt, and olive oil. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
Serve  dip with corn chips, tortilla chips or a variety of fresh vegetables. 
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GUACAMOLE #2
Ingrediants:
2 medium avocados, peeled, pitted and mashed
 1/4 cup  PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese Spread
1/4 cup finely chopped tomato
2 Tbsp.  finely chopped onion
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 clove  garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. salt
Dash  of black pepper
MIX all ingredients until well blended.
SERVE with tortilla chips. Makes 1-1/2 cups or 12 servings, 2 Tbsp each
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FRUIT BURRITOES
What you need to make 4 fruit burritos:
4 6-inch tortillas
4 TBS peanut butter
1 banana, sliced
4 strawberries, sliced
1 peach, peeled & sliced (remove pit)
1/4 cup blueberries
4 TBS vanilla yogurt
1.  Spread about 1 TBS peanut butter over each tortilla.
2.   Place fruit slices down center of each burrito.
3.  Drizzle about 1 TBS vanilla yogurt over fruit.
4.  Kids love to design & roll their own burrito. Roll up the tortilla, burrito-style (Fold up one side, tuck under fruit, fold up bottom, then roll the other side).
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MOLLETES
Ingredients:
French bread baguette
2 cups (475 mL) refried beans
12 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
Pico de gallo
With the help of an adult, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
Slice the baguette in half, lengthwise. Then, cut it into thick pieces.
Spread with the beans and top with cheese.
Place on a baking sheet and bake for about five minutes, or until the cheese melts and the beans are hot. Top with pico de gallo.
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SET UP A 'TACO BAR'!

Put out bowls of cheese, shredded lettuce, salsa, chopped tomatoes, taco meat/chili, grilled chicken, refried beans, sour cream, guacamole,  avocados and chives.
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TASTY APPLE DIP AND FLOUR TORTILLA CHIPS
(Reviews are really good on this one!)
1 1/3 cups peeled, cored, and diced apple
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons apricot preserves
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon... 

Ingredients for chips:
5 (6-inch) flour tortillas
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1. Combine all the dip ingredients in a bowl, then cover and refrigerate the mixture until chilled.
2. TO MAKE TORTILLAS: Brush the tortillas with butter, and then cut them into wedges.
3. Arrange the wedges on a greased baking sheet, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and bake at 350° F until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let them cool before serving. Serves 4 to 6.
From: familyfun

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TACO MUNCH
This delicious snack can be addictive!
Ingredients:
6 cups popped, unsalted popcorn
3 cups toasted corn cereal squares
1 cup mini-pretzels
2 tbsp. butter, melted
2 to 3 tsp. dry taco seasoning
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
4 oz. cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • Combine popcorn, cereal and pretzels in a large bowl.
  • Combine butter and taco seasoning and drizzle this over popcorn mixture.
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and toss to coat.
  • Store in an airtight container.
  • Toss with cheddar cheese just before serving. Makes 10 servings.
    Source: Familyfun.com
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You can also make nachos, burritos, chili or chili soup! Add a great big TROPICAL FRUIT SALAD!
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FESTIVE FIESTA DRINKS!

Here are a few festive drinks from the
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FRUIT FIZZY SLUSH
Don't plan your party without this refreshing drink. Pour one can of Sprite (it doesn't have caffeine) into a blender, along with small ice cubes. Add several large strawberries, a handful of blueberries, or other favorite fruit to the mix. Blend the mixture until it has the texture of slush. Pour into a glass and garnish with a cherry on top.
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PINEAPPLE and COCONUT 'PINA COLADA' SLUSH
The tropical flavors of pineapple and coconut are perfect together blended with ice.
Ingredients:
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup crushed pineapple
1/2 cup coconut milk (canned or fresh)
Juice from one lime
Ice to top of blender
Blend ingredients until ice is slushy. Pour into frosted glasses and enjoy immediately.
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ORANGE PINAPPLE SMOOTHIE
1 cup orange juice
2 cups pineapple chunks packed in their own juice, drained
1 banana
1/4 cup skim milk
2 Tbsp. honey
4-5 ice cubes
Place all ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth.
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ORANGE PINAPPLE COCONUT SMOOTHIE
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 tbsp coconut milk
1/2 banana
1/4 tsp grated fresh ginger root (optional) 
1/2 cup crushed ice or 2 small ice cubes
Add all ingredients to blender and process until smooth.
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PINA COLADA SMOOTHIE
1 cup frozen pineapple pieces
1 frozen banana, peel banana before freezing
3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup frozen vanilla or strawberry yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoon coconut extract
Directions
Combine all ingredients together and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
Garnish with blueberry skewers spiraled with thin strips of orange peel, if desired. Yields 2 portions.
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SANGRIA FOR KIDS
In a large pitcher mix 4 parts purple grape juice...
2 parts seltzer...
1 1/2 parts orange juice...
Garnish with orange slices and cherries! 
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HOLIDAYS AND CELEBRATIONS
 
• CINCO de MAYO Celebration-May 5
Cinco de Mayo is a day for Mexicans to celebrate the victory over the French at the battle of Pueblo on May 5, 1862.   Many people in the United States of America commonly mistake Cinco de Mayo with the Mexican Independence Day.  For many Americans of Mexican ancestry, this day has become a day to celebrate their Mexican heritage, pride and culture.
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INDEPENDENCE DAY (Grito de Dolores) September 15-16
The Grito de Dolores (means 'Cry from Dolores') was the battle cry uttered by a Roman Catholic priest from a small town of Dolores, during the Mexican War of Independence on September 16, 1810.  Each year, on the night of September 15, the President of Mexico re-enacts the event by ringing the bells of the National Place in Mexico City and repeats the cry of patriotism. The following day, September 16 is the official Independence Day in Mexico and is considered a patriotic holiday.
 
DIA DEL LOS MUERTOS (Day of the Dead) November 2
The celebration occurs on the 2nd of November in connection with the Catholic holiday of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day to commemorate family and friends who have died.  The traditions is to build private alters in people's homes using sugar skulls, marigolds, flowers, fruits, pictures and the favorite foods of the deceased.  Visits to the graves with a few gifts and decorations are also a must on this day.
 
SEMANA SANTA (Holy Week)
It commemorates the last week of life of Jesus Christ on Earth, and occurs the last week of Lent and the week before Easter.  Most people take the entire week off and go on vacation.
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THE HISTORY OF CINCO de MAYO...
The 5th of May is not Mexican Independence Day, but it should be!  And Cinco de Mayo is not an American holiday, but it should be.
 
Mexico declared its independence from mother Spain on midnight, the 15th of September, 1810.  And it took 11 years before the first Spanish soldiers were forced to leave Mexico.
 
So, why Cinco de Mayo?  And why should Americans savor this day as well?  Because 4,000 Mexican soldiers smashed the French and traitor Mexican army of 8,000 at Puebla, Mexico, 100 miles east of Mexico City on the morning of May 5, 1862.
The French had landed in Mexico (along with Spanish and English troops) five months earlier on the pretext of collecting Mexican debts from the newly elected government of democratic President (and Indian) Benito Juarez.  The English and Spanish quickly made deals and left.  The French, however, had different ideas.
Under Emperor Napoleon III, who detested the United States, the French came to stay.  They brought a Hapsburg prince with them to rule the new Mexican empire.  His name was Maximilian; his wife, Carolota.  Napoleon's French Army had not been defeated in 50 years, and it invaded Mexico with the finest modern equipment and with a newly reconstituted Foreign Legion.  The French were not afraid of anyone, especially since the United States was embroiled in its own Civil War.
The French Army left the port of Vera Cruz to attack Mexico City to the west, as the French assumed that the Mexicans would give up should their capital fall to the enemy -- as European countries traditionally did.
Under the command of Texas-born General Zaragosa, (and the cavalry under the command of Colonel Porfirio Diaz, later to be Mexico's president and dictator), the Mexicans awaited.  Brightly dressed French Dragoons led the enemy columns.  The Mexican Army was less stylish.
 
General Zaragosa ordered Colonel Diaz to take his cavalry, the best in the world, out to the French flanks.  In response, the French did a most stupid thing; they sent their cavalry off to chase Diaz and his men, who proceeded to butcher them.  The remaining French infantrymen charged the Mexican defenders through sloppy mud from a thunderstorm and through hundreds of head of stampeding cattle stirred up by Indians armed only with machetes.
 
When the battle was over, many French were killed or wounded and their cavalry was being chased by Diaz' superb horsemen miles away.  The Mexicans had won a great victory that kept Napoleon III from supplying the confederate rebels for another year, allowing the United States to build the greatest army the world had ever seen.  This grand army smashed the Confederates at Gettysburg just 14 months after the battle of Puebla, essentially ending the Civil War.
Union forces were then rushed to the Texas/Mexican border under General Phil Sheridan, who made sure that the Mexicans got all the weapons and ammunition they needed to expel the French.  American soldiers were discharged with their uniforms and rifles if they promised to join the Mexican Army to fight the French.  The American Legion of Honor marched in the Victory Parade in Mexico, City.
It might be a historical stretch to credit the survival of the United States to those brave 4,000 Mexicans who faced an army twice as large in 1862.  But who knows?
In gratitude, thousands of Mexicans crossed the border after Pearl Harbor to join the U.S. Armed Forces.  As recently as the Persian Gulf War, Mexicans flooded American consulates with phone calls, trying to join up and fight another war for America.
Mexicans, you see, never forget who their friends are, and neither do Americans.  That's why Cinco de Mayo is such a party -- A party that celebrates freedom and liberty. 
 
There are two ideals which Mexicans and Americans have fought shoulder to shoulder to protect, ever since the 5th of May, 1862.  VIVA! el CINCO DE MAYO!! (Reproduced from Viva Cinco de Mayo webpage)
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'Traveling Around the World' is a great theme for multicultural experiences as well as popular for classroom, day camp and childcare programs! Category resources available at this time are:
•CHINA   •FRANCE  •MEXICO  •USA-PATRIOTIC  •USA-COLONIAL  •All Multicultural Diversity Categories
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Smoothies, Coolers, and Yummy Drinks Category...be sure to check it out!