Yuyi Morales' recent bilingual book Viva Frida has inspired me to share some ideas for programs that celebrate Latino art and artists. This programs can be done bilingually or monolingually, as needed to best meet the needs of the group and with the resources your library or school has to offer. Remember, you do not need to be bilingual to use bilingual materials or to be inclusive of Latino cultures in your programming! And you don't have to wait for Hispanic Heritage Month!
Toddler / Preschool Storytime
Book: Colores de la vida: Mexican Folk Art Colors in English and Spanish by Cynthia Weill
Song: Mister G: Colores - A simple, bilingual song that introduces the colors with a fun beat.
Add color scarves or egg shakers to this song. Kids can even look for the various color items as they are introduced in this song, depending on the size of the group.
Book: Green is a Chile Pepper by Roseanne Greenfield Thong
Flannelboard Activity: Practice the colors in English and Spanish and the Spanish vocabulary introduced in the book by adding the items one at a time to the flannelboard. This could also be done digitally for those using iPads and other technology tools in their storytime programs.
Book: Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales
Final Activity/Craft Ideas:
- Color Sort: Have parents/caregivers work together with children to sort objects of various colors into groups. This helps children not only to learn their colors, but also to develop the Kindergarten Readiness skill of recognizing similar attributes.
- Self-Portraits: Use paints, markers or any other art supplies suitable to your group and have children create their own-self portraits. You may want to first show them self-portraits done by artists such as Frida Kahlo for inspiration.
Early Elementary School Age
Book: Diego Rivera: His World and Ours by Duncan Tonatiuh
Activities: There are several art activities you could do with children based on this book.
- Talk about murals and have them work together in small groups using butcher paper to create their own murals.
- Show students works of art by Diego Rivera and have them create their own individual art that explores similar themes or uses a similar style.
- Introduce students to the Mixtec Codices, which inspire Duncan Tonatiuh's stylized illustrations, and have them create their own symbol based language.
Mixed-Age Family Program
Book: De Colores = Bright with Colors by David Diaz
Board Books for Young Children: I always recommend having board books available for mixed-age programs. It's something that babies can have in their hands and parents can softly read one on one, while older children are engaged with other activities. Any of the books in the Arte Kids series, such as Colores Everywhere! would be great for this program.
Song: "De Colores" with color balls and a parachute. I like the version by José-Luis Orozco.
Book: Colors! ¡Colores! by Jorge Luján
- Painting!: Kids love to paint, whether its with brushes, sponges, or their fingers, but the materials may be too expensive and the cleanup to extensive for this to be a family-friendly activity to share at home. Help families share in the joy of creating a masterpiece with their child by doing it together at the library or program center. Cover tables with newspaper and have old t-shirts or smocks for the kids to put on to reduce the mess. Provide supplies and some fun music to set the tone and let the creativity flow!
- Pattern Play: Using dot paint markers or something similar, have adults work with their children to practice identifying and extending pattern, an important school readiness skill. Parents can make patterns, beginning with very simple ones and then perhaps working up to something more challenging, and ask their children to predict what comes next. Then children can work on creating their own patterns for their parents to complete!
If you try out any of these ideas, leave us a comment and let us know how it goes! Happy programming!