13 Ways to Help Kids Celebrate Their Latin Heritage

Looking for new ways to pass down your Latin heritage? These fun and easy activities will have kids beaming with pride in no time.

Latina Mom Baking with Son Thayer Allyson Gowdy
1. Play DJ

For your next family fiesta, download the TuneIn Radio app and listen to stations from Central and South America and the Caribbean. It’s a great way to expose kids to bachata, cumbia, merengue, and other Latin rhythms, and get tiny hips shaking. Ages 18 months+

2. Wave Your Colors

Maya & Miguel’s parrot, Paco, wants to fill his passport with stamps in this online game. Kids help by matching Latin-American flags. Each time they pick two of a kind, they are rewarded with a fun fact about the country. Ages 3–7 

3. Spare Some Change

Do you have leftover foreign currency sitting in the bottom of a drawer? Coins are a great tool for talking about geography, history, and even art. Scrub them clean by soaking them in a solution of 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt for 5 minutes. After you rinse and dry your pesos, bolivares, or nuevo sols, let your children paste the dinero onto a flat-surfaced picture frame in a pattern of their choosing. Ages 4+

4. Map It Out

Give kids a tour of another country without buying an airplane ticket. Smart Play Toys' map puzzles allow small hands to discover landmarks and monuments in English and español as they sort shapes. Available for Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Ages 3+

5. Check the Mail

When you subscribe to Little Passports: World Edition, globe-trotting characters Sam and Sofia will send your child fun souvenirs from the different countries they visit—including Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, and Guatemala—via snail mail each month. Your kid will be excited for a visit back “home” when the time comes. Ages 6–10 

6. Know Your Roots

Roll a piece of butcher paper onto a table and draw a long line that starts with Abuela’s birthday and ends with the current year. Grab some crayons and help your kids write down milestones in your family’s history: births, weddings, immigration dates of oldest relatives, and your children’s first visit to Latin America. Have them illustrate these big events with country outlines, portraits of family members, and anything else they can think of. Ages 6+ 

7. Cook With Friends

Turn their next playdate into an empanada-making party. Lay out thawed disks and a variety of fillings: Try everything from pork picadillo, to spinach and cheese, to bananas and peanut butter. Help them fill, fold, and seal each pastry by crimping the edges with a fork. Baked or fried, Latin America’s favorite hand pie hits the spot for just about everyone. Ages 4+

8. Share Stories

Have your child interview Grandma about the olden days. Ditch the boring questions and go with conversational topics kids can relate to: What did you do for fun? Where did you go to school? Who were your best friends? Record the session using the StoryCorps app and it will be automatically archived at the Library of Congress with an option to share on your social-media network. Ages 6+

9. Host Game Night

Think of it as Mexican bingo: Lotería cards from Amols' feature colorful images of popular cultural figures (La Chalupa, El Musico, La Calavera) that kids match using dry frijoles as markers. The first person to get four in a row yells ¡lotería! Ages 10+ 

10. Watch Vintage Flicks

Children are fascinated by family stories. Imagine their reaction when they see you in action as a kid! Legacybox modernizes your best memories by turning old home movies (whether recorded on VHS, Betamax, or Super 8) into DVDs. Throw a viewing party, and don’t forget a box of tissues for you and the popcorn for them. Ages 3+

11. Get Mobile

Keep them entertained with these cultural apps.

  • Amazon Rainforest Discovery Young animal lovers uncover native creatures, such as piranhas, pacus, and jaguars, as they learn in English and Spanish about the Amazon’s many ecosystems. Ages 4–8
  • Britannica Kids: Aztec Empire Introduce kids to Montezuma II and the Aztecs with games and puzzles guaranteed to pique their curiosity about the ancient civilization. Ages 8+
  • Mundo Lanugo: Juega y Aprende Mini music aficionados play classic Latin-American kids’ tunes using the marimba, timbales, and other traditional instruments. Ages 2–5

12. Get in the Kitchen

A fun way to pass down culinary traditions: “We love to re-create Cuban dishes. I play salsa music while I tell my sons childhood stories about my grandmother’s food. My oldest chops vegetables and the youngest sings and dances,” says Miami mom Tanya Garzon. Ages 3+ 

13. Preserve the Past

Dust off that keepsakes box and photocopy old family mementos, such as immigration papers, expired passports, and airline tickets. Your little one can cut and glue the copies into a collage that can hang in his bedroom and inspire bedtime stories. Ages 3+