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  LAS POSADAS

ABOUT LAS POSADAS  (Social Studies)
The traditional Mexican celebration of Las Posadas, (“lodgings”) begins on December 16 and lasts for nine days, until Christmas Eve. Each night, the children and their families walk from house to house asking for “shelter at the inn.” When the designated host for the evening answers the door and invites the procession in, the families are treated to a party where the highlight is a brightly colored piñata. The older children take turns being blindfolded and trying to hit the piñata with a stick until the piñata breaks and the small gifts and sweets inside fall to the ground. Then it’s time for all the children to scramble around and gather up the goodies.
 

HANDMADE PIÑATA  (Art)
Select a shopping bag with a handle for the base of your piñata. If there is lettering on the front of the bag, cover it by gluing on a large piece of colorful gift-wrap paper. On top of the gift-wrap paper glue a large star shape cut from construction paper. (The star is a favorite form for children’s piñatas in Mexico.) Then give your child short streamers cut from colorful tissue paper to glue all over your piñata to complete.

 

PIÑATA GAME FOR LITTLE KIDS  (Movement)
Fill small zipper bags, one for each player, with goodies, such as dried fruits pieces, candies, and such small gifts as stickers or cutout paper shapes. Place the bags in your piñata along with shredded paper for bulk. One at a time, let your child and the other players act out hitting the piñata with a pretend stick. When everyone has had a turn, cut open the piñata and hand out the goodie bags to the players.
 

COUNTING TO NINE  (Math/Language)
Las Posadas lasts for nine days. Count to nine in English with your child. Then try counting to nine in Spanish: “Uno, Dos, Tres, Quatro, Cinco, Seis, Siete, Ocho, Nueve.” Now try doing different activities, such as clapping nine times, stomping nine times, or waving nine times. Can your child think of more activities to do?

 
POINSETTIA FUN  (Colors/Math/Science/Art)
Explain to your child that poinsettias are traditionally a part of the Mexican Christmas, and that its name in Spanish means “The Christmas Eve Flower.” Then try the activities below.
Take your child to the supermarket to view the poinsettias on display. How many colors of poinsettias can she name?
Together, count the number of poinsettias on display in one area of the store.
Explain that what we think of as the petals of the poinsettia are really leaves and that the petals are contained in the yellow center of the flower.
Help your child cut pictures of poinsettias from old Christmas cards and gift-wrap paper to glue on paper for a collage.
 

COME AND SEE OUR STAR PIÑATA  (Music)
Tune: “Have You Ever Seen a Lassie?”

Come and see our star piñata,
Pinata, piñata,
Come and see our star piñata,
We made it today.
We glued on some streamers
And filled it with goodies.
Come and see our star piñata,
And join in the play.

Come and see our star piñata,
Pinata, piñata,
Come and see our star piñata,
We’ll break it tonight.
There’ll be lots of goodies
For all of the children.
Come and see our star piñata,
Oh my, what a sight!
                            Liz Ryerson 

 
GUACAMOLE
  (Food Preparation)

Let your child use a fork to help you mash together in a bowl the following ingredients: 1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded, and cubed; 1 ripe tomato, peeled and finely chopped; 1 teaspoon finely grated onion; 1 tablespoon plain yogurt; 1 tablespoon lemon juice; salt, optional. (Hint: to keep the bowl from slipping, place it on top of a damp tea towel.) Serve the guacamole with tortilla chips.