In Mexico, many festival days, holidays, and saint day celebrations involve the making and smashing of cascarones. Introduce your child to this fantastic custom by creating your own!
Cascarones begin with an everyday egg shelll that is filled with confetti. The true art of cascarones, however, is the smashing technique! Most people crush them in their hands over someone's head, allowing the confetti to cascade downward upon their victims. In an all-out cascarones fight, people throw them hard on the ground near someone's feet in hopes that the burst of confetti showers upon their victims.
What You Do:
- Carefully break a hole about the size of a penny, or slightly smaller, into both ends of an egg.
- Have your child gently blow the contents of the egg into a bowl. If you wish, you can keep the egg yolk and egg white to use for cooking later.
- Ask your child to gently hold the empty eggshell firmly but gently between his fingers, and rinse it out with warm water. Mix in a small amount of dish soap to remove any traces of the egg's contents.
- Set the eggshell aside to dry thoroughly. If your child is preparing several cascarones, you can set the empty shells in the egg carton to dry. After the top of the eggshell is dry, flip the eggshell to allow the other side to dry.
- Have your child use a hole punch to make confetti out of scrap paper in various colors. To brighten the confetti, he can also punch holes in foil paper!
- Have your child stuff the confetti into the eggshell, very gently. He should fill it all the way to the top, shaking the eggshell so that the confetti settles.
- Place small dots of white glue around the holes in the eggshell.
- Set a small square of tissue paper over the holes to seal the egg.
While making cascarones, you can discuss some of the festival days in Mexico with your child, such as Independence Day, and Three Kings Day. You can also practice Spanish vocabulary by describing the different colors of paper by their Spanish names.
This activity will inspire your child to consider the different ways that various cultures recognize and celebrate holidays. Ask him to share stories and observations about his own unique holiday rituals and traditions!
Serena Makofsky has a multiple subjects teaching credential with an emphasis in cross-cultural instruction. She taught in inner city classrooms for many years. She also writes curriculum for English language learners.