A Mexican sombrero is an iconic cultural symbol that is often used in traditional celebrations and folkloric festivities. It typically has a very wide brim that provides protection from the sun and has a high pointed crown. It can be made of straw or felt, and comes in different colors, patterns and embellishments.
By using dried beans and corn, foods that are prevalent in Mexican cuisine, your child will create a three-dimensional model of a sombrero. Manipulating and gluing these small items on to paper is a great workout for youngsters’ fine motor skills. It also works on expanding your child’s attention span and focus.
What You Need:
- Paper plate
- Small paper bowl
- Assorted dried beans
- Dried corn
What You Do:
- Help your child glue a paper bowl upside down onto the paper plate and let it dry.
- Show your child how to pour a dot of glue onto a bean and position it onto the bowl. Press down for a few seconds to let the glue set. Don’t use too much glue, otherwise the beans will tend to slide around on the bowl.
- Have your child cover the entire bowl, working in small sections at a time. ;Once that part is complete, your child can glue other types of beans onto the “rim” of the hat and incorporate some corn kernels, as well. Encourage him to be creative and make fun patterns using the dried beans and corn.
- At this stage, the hat is almost finished, but there is a little more work to do. Right now, the hat has a flat crown; to make it look more like a Mexican sombrero, ask your child to add additional layers of beads all the way around the crown. Make sure that each layer gets progressively narrower, creating a pointy shape.
- Que bueno! Use the new sombrero to add a little flare around the house for Cinco de Mayo.
Suggestion: For a simpler and quicker alternative to this project, simply help your child draw a picture of a sombrero on a paper plate and have him decorate it by gluing on assorted beans and corn! It will still give your younger child’s fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, patience and creativity a good workout!