8 Awesome Ways to Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month
From September 15 to October 15, the U.S. celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month.
This month-long celebration is a great time to teach kids about the histories and traditions behind these cultures. Here are a few ways to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by trying Hispanic traditions while also reflecting on the important role they play in our nation today. Ideas provided by Connecticut Children’s Hospital:
1. Explore the geography of Central and South America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Spain.
The terms “Hispanic” and “Latinx” include all of the above – so get out the globe, and challenge your child to count up all the countries. (There are more than 30!) For a closer look, go online. You can use Google Maps to take a 3D tour of many locations, and Google Earth to “visit” historic sites.
2. Take a deeper dive with Latinx and Hispanic heritage sites.
Check out the National Park Service’s Hispanic Heritage website, which links to lots of other resources. For example, you and your child can learn about U.S. parks, memorials, and historic sites that honor groundbreaking Latinx and Hispanic Americans.
3. Read a children’s book featuring characters, written by authors or illustrated by artists who are Hispanic or Latinx.
Try your local library, where the librarians always have great recommendations. Or check out one of these online booklists:
- PBS.org: 11 Picture Books Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and Books About Latinos Who Made a Difference
- The School Library Journal: 23 Latinx YA Picks and 37 Kidlit and YA Titles in Honor of Hispanic Heritage Month
- Social Justice Books: Favorite Latinx books for all ages, plus separate booklists for Central America, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexican American, and more
4. Enjoy Hispanic and Latinx music.
- Use your favorite music streaming service, like Pandora or Spotify, to search for kids’ songs and playlists by Hispanic and Latinx artists.
- Download a free app like TuneIn Radio or World Radio FM to listen to radio stations from around the world.
- Dance! Search for a YouTube tutorial on traditional Latin dances, like the bachata, merengue, cha-cha, salsa, samba… and so much more.
5. Check out Latinx and Hispanic art museums, exhibits and events.
Scan your community listings for a museum, exhibit or cultural event near you. For an online alternative, try the Latino Cultures in the U.S. section of Google Arts & Culture, which includes “25 Latino Artists You Should Know,” an “Art of the Americas” online exhibit, and a virtual tour of The Mexican Museum.
6. Pick a country or region, and try out some new recipes.
This is an excellent way to get your child involved in the kitchen. Together, work on researching, planning, and preparing a local dish – from empanadas to arepas to simple guacamole.
7. Make kid-friendly art based on Hispanic and Latinx traditions.
There are so many possibilities! Make a paper-bag piñata, decorate a paper plate Carnival mask, or paint a Peruvian bird gourd.
8. For something extra special, plan a virtual vacation.
Pick a city, country or region to “visit,” then check out this how-to post by Connecticut Children’s developmental pediatrician Robert Keder, MD. Your family will get to take an unforgettable journey and celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month… all from the comfort of home.