children's gamesHaving little ones running around the Cinco de Mayo party may seem like a killjoy, but kids uniquely represent the heart of the meaning behind Cinco de Mayo celebrations – freedom and heritage. When planning your Cinco de Mayo party this year, include some fun-filled games for children and invite guests to bring the family along for a true celebration of life.

Benito Juarez
Benito Juarez is a classic Mexican game that starts with story time. A parent tells the story of Juarez, an Indian man who lived in great poverty. With dedication and hard work, Juarez managed to climb out of poverty to be named the Mexican president and later lead his country to defeat the French. The game, played just like Simon Says in the United States, follows the story. The leader starts phrases with “Benito Juarez says” – before adding an action like “to jump” or “to walk in circles.” When the leader makes a statement that is not started with “Benito Juarez says” the players who follow the instruction are out of the game.

Little Jumping-Beans
With some festive music and a room full of children and adults, this game is fun for all ages. When the music starts, all players start jumping like the Mexican jumping bean (which is actually the larva of a caterpillar that moves when it gets warm). When the music stops, all players must halt in their tracks. Anyone moving or jumping after the music ends is out of the game.

Cinco de Mayo Puzzle Game
Print off a picture representation of Cinco de Mayo. Glue the picture to a piece of cardboard and cut the picture into puzzle-sized pieces. Repeat as many times as necessary for the number of players in each round. Scramble the puzzle pieces on a table and start a timer when the leader says go. Stop the timer after the first player finishes the puzzle. Repeat the games until all players have competed. The top three times move on to a final round where the winner of the round is awarded a prize.

Kids Mariachi Band
Gather craft supplies to make instruments like maracas and rubber band guitars. When all the instruments are ready, play some mariachi music and have all the children stand up in front of the crowd to play their instruments along. Have a few parents play real or crafted instruments as well.

Cinco de Mayo can be a fun-filled adventure or party for guests of all ages. This year, instead of holding an adults-only party, include kid-friendly party games and celebrate in true Cinco de Mayo fashion.

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