National Hispanic Heritage Month Begins Saturday

Did you know that National Hispanic Heritage Month begins Saturday? It runs from September 15 to October 15th. President Lyndon Johnson put into place National Hispanic Heritage Week and President Ronald Reagan expanded it to a month. (Source) My friend, Daria, reminded me and asked if I would like to make some of her musical instruments in honor of the month. I, of course, jumped on it. If you have not already checked out Daria's webpage you should, but especially check out her Monthly Song Page so you can enter her great giveaways for a pair of handmade maracas and/or a basket of castanets. Everything we made today came from her tutorials which you can find links to on her Monthly Song Page. Everything was made with recycled ingredients for the most part or at least things we had hanging around the house.
Hazel had a great time making the instruments, decorating them and playing with them! The pictures above are of her making and decorating them. We will start with the most well known instrument we made--maracas! Daria does a great job of explaining maracas including a bit of history. We used a small water bottle (we only had one in our recycling bin), two empty bubble containers (with the wands inside still), toilet paper rolls, beads, and electrical tape (red) and then Hazel decorated them with paint. Hazel loved putting the beads into the different containers. I taped the toilet paper rolls to the containers and then she decorated away. We actually have some maracas from the store so I included a picture of them as well so you could see the similarities and differences!

Next we made the guiro. This is actually easy to make and is somewhat similar to the maracas. We used an empty water bottle with ridges. We put some beads in it as well. Hazel also painted it a bit, but I don't recommend this since the paint flaked off immediately when we played it. Again, Daria does a good job explaining the guiro and a bit of it history. I think this is my favorite one we made!

The last instrument me made today is a cajita. Cajita means little box. It literally is a small box with an attached lid. To play it you hit it with a wooden stick on the inside, outside, wherever. I had picked up a couple of wooden boxes on clearance at the Christmas Tree Shop when we visited my parents last week. (Daria suggests a cigar box.) I pulled out the smallest one and gave it to Hazel. She added some paint so she could add her own touch (or at least that is the reason she told me she wanted to paint it). Then she played it with a pencil as well. Again, Daria does a great job explaining about a cajita, so please check out what she says.

After playing it a couple of times she decided she wanted to use the box for Ducky's diaper cream. She thought it was the perfect size for it. Oh, well. 

Since the cajita is from Peru, I thought I would share a children's book for you about life in Peru, Tonight Is Carnaval by Arthur Dorros. All of the illustrations are pictures of arpilleras sewn by the Club de Madras Virgen del Carmen of Lima, Peru. They are beautiful!!
The story is told by a young boy about his family getting ready for the Carnaval, which is three days away. First the work must be done. He goes into details about the work including farming, taking care of the llamas, sheering the alpacas and turning it into yarn and then taking their potatoes to the market in the village. After the market the Carnaval will begin. If you do not know, Carnaval is a celebration just before Lent. In the Andes it is celebrated for three days and nights with music (from a local band which the story teller gets to play in this year), dancing and feasting. 

Stay tune for more Hispanic Heritage Sharing the next month!! Next week Monday will not be multicultural due to the Virtual Book Club for Kids, but I will share something with you later in the week.


  1. Sounds like a fun time and a great way to celebrate Hispanic heritage. I love the maracas.

    Thanks for linking to The Sunday Showcase.

  2. How fun is this ? Thanks for stopping by and celebrating Multicultural Children's Book Day with us.


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