Celebrate Hispanic heritage from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 with Hispanic & Latino Heritage Month. Through learning and cultural activities, kids build their respect and understanding for diverse cultures and identities.
When kids and teens learn about culture, they broaden their view of the world and deepen their understanding of others.
Hispanic and Latino heritage is rich with history, culture and exciting contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans past and present. Hispanic & Latino Heritage Month offers families, teachers and afterschool providers an opportunity to explore these vibrant cultures.
Hispanic Heritage Month is unique in that it crosses over two months, celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. This time period was chosen because it includes Independence Day celebrations for Belize, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua.
Latino, Hispanic and Latinx Americans have wonderful traditions to honor during this month and year-round.
They’re also a vital part of the American population. The Hispanic population in the United States accounts for 19% or 1 in 5 Americans, according to the 2020 Census.
At Boys & Girls Clubs, about a quarter of our members identify as Latino or Hispanic. Clubs encourage kids to embrace their identities and cultures – building pride and self-esteem.
"We bring in celebrations of culture through the arts, athletics, music, cooking and reading programs," says Sonia Espinosa, Regional Director at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor.
From tasty eats to virtual tours, here are some Hispanic Heritage Month activities to engage the young people in your life:
Mexican food is ubiquitous in the United States and often a kid favorite. Before cooking or going out to eat, talk about the specific ingredients and spices that make these dishes special. Taste and smell cumin and paprika. Discuss kids’ favorite dishes and whether they include common Mexican ingredients, such as corn, chili peppers, shredded beef and chicken, beans and tomatoes.
Bring some new cultures to the table by trying the following Hispanic and Latino dishes:
Virtual tours provide an accessible way to explore contributions of Latino communities and individuals.
Celebrations create connection and fun everyone can enjoy. Plus, experiencing how a culture celebrates is a great way to learn.
Take some time to explore Hispanic and Latino traditions around celebrations. Piñatas are often a hit with younger kids. Meanwhile, older kids can learn the fascinating background of Día de los Muertos (which falls early in November). Latin American teenage girls celebrate their 15th birthdays with elaborate quinceañeras.
Whether you’re attending a cultural celebration or watching one on TV, prompt a conversation with your child with these questions:
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor is well-known for their Día de los Muertos block party, where Club kids assist in making food, music and decorations.
If your kid enjoys a game of chance, then odds are they’ll enjoy the card game Lotería. Lotería is Mexico's version of Bingo. Players will match words called out (such as el arbol – the tree, or el camaron – the shrimp) to their game board. When they’ve got a row, the winner shouts “¡Buena!” to end the game.
The Smithsonian also has a collection of games and activities for purchase from their "Nuestra America" series. Play their bilingual memory card game or piece together their puzzle to learn about famous Hispanic Americans.
Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali, Diego Velazquez and Francisco Goya – Hispanic artists are some of the most famous of all time.
View their masterpieces and discuss what makes them stand out. Then, ask kids to try to recreate some of these famous art styles at home or in the classroom. As part of their fine arts program, Variety Boys & Girls Club dedicates a whole week to Frida Kahlo as members recreate her many self-portraits.
Making Hispanic-inspired crafts is also a great way to experience hands-on learning through art.
Whatever the age of your reader, there are plenty of books to explore by Hispanic and Latino authors.
These days, you can also find recorded "story times" available on YouTube in English and in Spanish. For young readers, check out "Where Are You From?” by Yamile Saied Méndez, a story about a little girl who always gets asked where she's from and her grandfather, who helps her understand her identity.
Kid-friendly movies that explore Hispanic and Latino culture are perfect for movie night.
If your child considers every room a dance floor, it’s time to introduce them to the vibrancy of Latino dance styles. There are plenty of new moves to learn:
Exploring culture is a great way to learn about other people while deepening respect for diversity and inclusion.
With these Hispanic Heritage Month ideas, you can celebrate Sept. 15 - Oct. 15 with the young people in your life!
Boys & Girls Clubs of America provides safe places, caring mentors and life-enhancing programs to millions of kids and teens annually. Join us on our mission of helping all young people reach their full potential: