El Día de los Niños Celebrating Young Americans is a gift from the Latino community to all children.

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1 What is El Día de los Niños? El Día de los Niños Celebrating Young Americans is a gift from the Latino community to all children. Many nations throughout the world - and especially within the Western hemisphere - celebrate Día de los Niños on April 30th to honor and celebrate children, who represent the hope and dreams of every community. In the United States, a growing number of cities, schools, PBS affiliates, libraries, museums, churches and other community organizations are embracing this celebration by planning activities and events that: Are fun and exciting Focus on children's interests Develop skills Instill confidence Capture children's dreams and hopes Involve families and community Reflect cultural diversity Inspire and empower new generations of achievers Create advocacy for children's issues Engage civic leaders, media, sponsors and volunteers Many PBS stations across the country are partnering with citywide committees (available in over 130 cities) and also may register with the National Latino Children's Institute (NLCI) - a national partner of Maya & Miguel - for this special day. Through NLCI, organizations may receive additional materials to support their events and efforts. Most celebrations include a parade and activities for children. To have a parade, a resolution can be passed by the governing entity (city council, county commissioners, state legislature, etc.) to declare an official celebration. The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a bi-partisan resolution to acknowledge this event every year since Organizing committees are made up of educators, PBS stations, representatives of the media and community-based organizations, youth, businesses. These committees are brought together to develop the events.

2 Different cities have planned events that have a variety of looks - based on location, communitybased partners, space and even weather. Feel free to pick and choose from the following ideas to best fit the needs of your event. Some events may be limited to small booths, and others may require a larger area to create activities and crafts, or even feature book readings. If there's sufficient space at your event site for an activity area, you might try one of the following ideas: Idea #1-Musical Instruments Materials: Empty spools of thread, pipe cleaners, small bells, plastic Easter eggs, colored electrical tape, rice, disposable plates or bowls, beans, empty coffee cans or cartons, empty cereal boxes, brown paper, and markers or crayons. Music is a universal pleasure that can be used to explore cultures, traditions and ethnicities. Maya and Miguel's father, Santiago, plays the guitar and is a big part of the Santos family's family time. Bring instruments to show - or play - as examples, or help your participants make homemade instruments for an impromptu session of musical expression. Play the Maya & Miguel theme song, and the children can play their new instruments with the music! Here are a few ideas for homemade instruments that children can make at your booth: Run a pipe cleaner through an empty thread spool. Put a small bell on each end. Twist ends together for a finger-sized jingle bell. Fill plastic Easter eggs with rice; tape the seam with brightly colored electrical tape, and you'll have a maraca. Place a handful of uncooked beans on a plastic, disposal plate or bowl. Place another plate or bowl on top and tape the edges with brightly colored electric tape. Kids will love this homemade tambourine. Place beans, nuts, acorns, pennies, etc., into an empty coffee can or carton. Close the opening securely. Then, let the kids shake, rattle, and roll! Use an empty cereal box to make a guitar. Cover the box with wrapping or brown paper, then cut a hole four inches in diameter on one side of the box. Fasten five rubber bands of varying thickness lengthwise across the box hole. This guitar may not be tuned, but it will make music! After the children make instruments, allow them time to try them out and dance!

3 Idea #2-Masks Materials: Colored construction paper, scissors, glue, string, markers or crayons. Optional: feathers, fabric scraps, glitter and small buttons Masks are used during many kinds of celebrations. Each country has its own traditions and related celebrations, which typically include masks, dances and parades. Invite children to make a colorful mask at your booth area. Choose a piece of colored construction paper and explain to the children that they are going to cut out holes for the eyes and mouth and then decorate the mask. (You might want to have the eyes and shape of the face pre-cut for faster construction.) Participants can draw their designs on the paper and then fold it in half to make cutting easier. After they are done cutting, invite them to decorate the mask with the markers, paper scraps and other materials. (You might want to add feathers, and other types of paper.)

4 Idea #3-Paper Cutting Materials: Child-safe scissors, colored tissue paper, pieces of string, and crayons or markers. In Mexico, papel picado refers to the traditional art of cutting paper banners. Up to 50 layers of colored tissue paper are cut all at once with sharp fierritos (small chisels). Designs include flowers, animals, human figures, lettering or special occasion art such as birthday cakes or wedding motifs. We suggest you read, Making Magic Windows: Creating Cut Paper Projects with Carmen Lomas Garza, which includes a great explanation of the art of papel picado. Encourage creativity by displaying the book on a table near the activity. Traditionally, a pattern is first drawn as a guide. The 50 layers of tissue paper are placed on top of a lead sheet and the pattern is placed on top. The design is then cut out by using the differently sized chisels and a hammer. Provide each participant with one or two sheets of colored tissue paper, pencils and child-safe scissors. Explain how papel picado is traditionally made. The children will fold their paper in half, then once again in half. Using the pencils, they can draw half of a design on the paper. After they have drawn their design, they cut their papel picado. Remind them not to cut all the way to the edges of the paper, as it will fall apart. Be sure to have child-safe scissors available - particularly if younger kids participate. (Another option is to have the papel picado pre-cut and to encourage the children to decorate these works of art.) After they have finished cutting, your participants can gently open the paper and see their beautiful designs. Finally, carefully glue the paper onto a piece of string. Fold over one edge of the papel picado and then staple it onto the string to create small banners. Repeat with other pieces of cut paper. If the participants choose, all the pieces can be stapled onto one string to create a long banner.

5 Idea #4-Arts and Crafts Materials: Variety of colored paper, markers or crayons, and other festive items to glue on a card. Set up an arts-and-crafts workstation for children to make hand-made cards and posters about what the day means to them. Provide a variety of colored paper (possible pre-cut to the shape of cards), markers or crayons, and other items that might be glued onto the cards to make them festive. Encourage them to create posters by providing large sheets of colored paper. You may even hang up a few examples of cards or posters that you have made to give the children ideas.

6 Idea #5-Milagritos (Little Miracles) Materials: Popsicle sticks, colored paper, markers or crayons, child-safe scissors. Milagritos have been made for centuries by family and friends to ask for quick recovery of a sick person, for the safe return of a traveler, or by parents simply asking for the best for their children. Invite the young people in your community to create their own milagros out of paper, popsicle sticks and other materials. Children can glue a photograph of themselves on the milagro or draw a picture. Then, ask them to write on their milagro a wish, dream, goal, or desire for the future - either for them or their community. Hang the milagros as an exhibit in a public place (your booth) and encourage the community to read them. You could even draw from the exhibit to gather ideas for new projects in the community.

7 Idea #6-Paper Hats Materials: Hat templates, markers, and other festive items to glue on the hats. Invite children to design fun paper hats to wear for the day. Provide examples of templates, items that may be glued on the hats to make them festive, and markers to decorate them.

8 Idea #7-Personalized Cards and Posters Materials: Colorful construction paper, markers or crayons, and other fun colorful items. This activity is especially wonderful if paired with book readings for children. Share part of a Maya & Miguel book! Provide construction paper already cut for children and encourage them to create books about what Día de los Niños means to them - or let the children create books on topics of their own choosing. Children can then use the markers, crayons, and other items to make their books colorful and fun. It might be helpful to display some of the Maya & Miguel books on the table to provide inspiration to the children.

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