Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on May 5 every year and is a time when people honor the Mexican-American culture and heritage. In 1862, Mexico defeated the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla. Since then, this holiday has been celebrated in both the United States and Mexico to commemorate Mexico’s triumph. How are you and your loved ones planning to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year? If you are visiting your loved ones in a retirement community, here are some fun ways you and your loved ones can celebrate Cinco de Mayo in assisted living communities.
Host an Arts and Craft Challenge
Get your loved ones and their friends to create Mexican-themed decorations such as colorful tissue paper flowers and piñatas. To make a DIY paper maché piñata, simply prepare water, flour, salt, newspapers, as well as balloons. Then walk your loved ones through the steps to craft a piñata, before allowing them the freedom to exercise their creativity. Besides Mexican-themed decorations, you can also use other craft ideas to keep the residents engaged.
Organize a Piñata-Hitting Party
Having a piñata-hitting party is sure to be a hit with the grandkids. Since your loved ones have put so much effort into making their piñatas, you might as well make use of their products. Choose the best piñata to fill with candy. Then, split the residents and grandkids into teams. Provide them with a plastic bat to hit the piñata. The first team that cracks the piñata open is the winner and will get to distribute the candy.
Conduct a Salsa Dancing Class
Salsa is a quintessential Mexican dance. You can hire a Salsa dance teacher to teach your loved ones and residents to dance like a real Mexican, or simply let everyone watch an online dance tutorial before trying out some Salsa dance moves. Then, put on some Mexican music and have a Salsa dance party! For those with limited mobility, you can provide them with maracas to shake to the beat of the music.
Play Pass the Sombrero
A variation of musical chairs, this game requires the host to pass a sombrero around a circle for everyone to wear while playing Mexican music. When the music stops, whoever is wearing the hat is out of the game. The last player who remains is the winner!
Conduct a Cooking Class
It isn’t Cinco de Mayo if there is no Mexican food involved! Teach your loved ones and their friends to make their own Tacos, Burritos, or Chilaquiles. Do include foods that are great for improving brain health. After a day of activity, what better way to end the day than eating and chatting together?
Host a Painting Challenge
From a sombrero to maracas, there is no lack of things to draw for Cinco de Mayo. Allow the residents to demonstrate their artistic flair! Perhaps they will discover that there is a Picasso among them! Simply prepare paint brushes, palettes, pencils, and canvases, and get the residents to start painting! You can share ideas for what they can work on, or simply allow them to paint anything they want.
Conduct a History Lesson
Going for a history lesson may seem like a less exciting Cinco de Mayo activity. However, while Cinco de Mayo is widely celebrated in the United States, few know about the history of the holiday in depth. Watching a documentary about how the Mexicans triumphed over the better-equipped and larger French force will be sure to get the residents excited. You can even conduct a quiz afterward and give out prizes to the winners. If there are Mexican residents in the retirement community, you can also get them to do a sharing on Mexican history and culture.
Remember, the most important thing about Cinco de Mayo is that everyone has fun and enjoys the spirit of the holiday.