Viva Mexico! When I think of Mexico, I think of fiestas. And what do you see at every fiesta/party? Yes, pinatas. Unfortunately for the children, I have neither time nor patience to get into the mess that is creating pinatas. What else do you see at fiestas? Those beautiful paper banners with all the intricate cuts in them. Now that I can do.
They are actually called papel picado, and are usually made out of tissue paper. To save on the frustration of working with tissue, we used brightly colored paper. I pre-folded the top inch along the length of the paper to make a casing. For the younger children, I folded the paper in half and then folded the edges of the paper in about an inch or so. Since many of the children in this group are just learning to use scissors, I drew simple triangle shapes on the paper for them to cut out along the folds. Curves just would have been too hard. You could also use this template. Megan, who helped me all week, took this group.
For the older kids, I folded the paper in the same way, gave them instructions, and let them make their own design. I had markers on the table so that they could draw their design first and then cut it out. Making your own design work the way you want it to takes a bit of thought and sometimes several tries are needed, so I had lots of extra paper on hand.
When the children were finished cutting, they inserted a string in the casing (not shown in my pictures), and stapled the casing closed.
Again, these are my samples. It's just too hard to teach the process, patrol the scissors, and get pictures at the same time. I really had a fun time preparing this project. The more I did it, the more creative I got. Some of the children were asking me how I did the whale. Tricky - that whale! He's part symmetrical (body, fluke, and spout) and part just regular cutting (tail). I also never got a picture of my banner hanging. It looked great - just use your imagination!
Color the Mexican Flag.