One of the most important ways to honor Hispanic Heritage Month is to spend time teaching the next generation about the traditions and various cultural aspects that make up our Latinx heritage.It’s also important to help them learn about the many brilliant, inventive and inspiring Latinx people that have made significant contributions to society, and are continuing to do so today.
There is so very much to cover when it comes to teaching kids about Hispanic Heritage Month, and while they may learn some things in school, most of that responsibility will land on all of us. The thoughtful, proactive and intentional parents that want our kids to know how beautiful their culture is so that they can celebrate who they are every single day. So we’re sharing 10 ideas for how you can honor Hispanic Heritage Month with your kids that will keep them engaged, interested and having fun.
Read to Them About Our History and Leaders
Reading to your kids is one of the easiest and most natural ways to teach them just about anything. You can choose non-fiction children’s books about notable Latinx figures in history or books about countries in Latin America, or you simply choose fun picture books that highlight Latinx culture. Try reading a different Latinx kids book to your children each day of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Play Educational Games
Teach your littles to play some traditional Latinx games like dominoes or lotería. We’re particularly fond of the lotería set from Lil’ Libros, which features adorable graphics that kids will love. It will also help them learn some Spanish-language vocabulary while they learn a game that Latinx people have played for generations. It’s perfect for family bonding time!
Cook a Latin-American Inspired Feast
Set aside at least one day during Hispanic Heritage Month to cook up a massive feast of Latin American food. You can choose all your favorite foods from your own culture, or perhaps even pick various dishes from throughout Latin America to make for your children. Think, tostones, tacos, pupusas, pernil, tres leches empanadas, tortas, etc. It’s a great way to get your kiddos acquainted with flavors from their culture and introduce them to different cultures through their signature dishes.
Go to a Latinx Art Show
During Hispanic Heritage Month, many museums and art galleries host special exhibitions. Make a family affair out of it by rounding up your crew and taking them to see an exhibit (following safety protocols of course) that showcases works by Latinx artists. Several museums often chronicle Latinx history and the contributions of Latinx individuals and communities to society.
Find a Latinx Community Event
Hispanic Heritage Month is also the perfect time to take advantage of free and low-cost community events, at libraries, community centers, or even local colleges/universities. It’s usually an entertaining and affordable way to enjoy things like Latinx food, music and dancing with the whole family. While live events are a little bit different still due to the pandemic, many are also adding virtual events as well so make sure to check their websites and social platforms for more info.
Start Learning Spanish Together
Now is as good a time as any to start learning or brushing up on your Spanish with your chiquitoas. There are tons of free resources out there that are appropriate for all levels, which makes them great for families. We love the Eat Your Spanish podcast, the Duolingo app, the Babble app and the Spanish Playground channel on YouTube. We also recently chatted with the women behind Spanish Sin Pena who provide lessons for adults that you can totally take advantage of to help your own children.
Enjoy a Few Latinx Themed Movie Nights
Most kids don’t need any excuse to sit down and watch a movie, so you likely won’t get any push back on this one. In fact, your kids might think you’re the best mom ever. Plan a few family movie nights throughout Hispanic Heritage Month to enjoy movies that showcase Latinx culture. Some ideas depending on the age of your children would be, Coco, The Book of Life or even Selena.
Stream a Concert
Maybe you listen to classic cumbias and salsa in your house all the time, or maybe not. But there’s something special about being intentional about it. This Hispanic Heritage Month, we encourage you to find a Latin music concert to stream for the whole family. It can be anything from Hector Lavoe and Marc Anthony to Selena and Jenny Rivera. Your pick! Honestly, you could even just pick an awesome playlist to jam to as a family.
Teach Them to Dance
Since most of us don’t do it every day, traditional dances are one of those cultural things that tends to die off at an increasing rate with each generation. But it doesn’t have to. Even if you take just a little bit of time our of your week to teach your little one how to dance bachata or salsa, they’ll remember and it will come back to them later in life.
Whether you get really into it and spend some time teaching your kids how to make beautiful papel picado or you take the hands-off route and print some coloring sheets featuring notable Latinx figures or even countries throughout Latin America, crafting is a an enjoyable and educational way to teach your kids about Latinx culture and important people in Latinx history.