Cinco de Mayo Activity for Kids: Mexican Pyramids

You can use this Moon Sand Activity for any of the pyramids or ruins found in Latin America if you’re wanting to branch out of the Mexican pyramids. There are so many to be found all over Latin America and beyond. For example, you can find pyramids in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Peru, Egypt, China, Indonesia… In this article I’ll share about the Mexican Pyramids.

We are trying to move beyond the sombreros and donkey kid activities for Cinco de Mayo so we came up with this Mexican Pyramid activity! During this time of the year we are inundated with short men with long mustaches and tall sombrero images. Though I don’t find them offensive I wanted to explore some activities that truly portray the beauty and depth of our Mexican culture.

Let’s take a peak into the world of the Mayan Pyramids. Your children may be familiar with the Egyptian pyramids because they studied it in school as my child did.  When my oldest walked in the door and saw our pyramid he said, “Cool mom, I like that pyramid!” I quickly jumped at the chance to share with great pride about our Mexican pyramids. He said, “We studied Egyptian pyramids but I didn’t know about Mexican pyramids.”

Today Teotihuacan is one of the noted archaelogical attractions of Mexico well known for it’s Mesoamerican pyramids built in pre- Columbian Americas.

This activity can be tailored for children as young as 2 and on up as you can adapt the historical information and pyramid building to their age and development.

History:

The Pyramid of the Sun is the largest structure at Teotihuacan.

The Maya:

The Mayans were an ancient civilization dating back to 2600 B.C. The Mayan people were very skilled mathematicians and astronomers, creating their own calendars and pyramid temples by using these skills.

The Pyramids:

The materials used to create the Mayan pyramids consisted of adobe mud and stone and mica, an insulator, imported over 2,000 miles away from Brazil. The largest temple is the Pyramid of the Sun which stands 210 feet tall, the temple is made of wood. Many elaborate designs are found inside the pyramids including murals and hieroglyphics.

Sources for information above: E-how and Wikipedia and you can find more information here for kids. pyramid image via GoMexico.

How to make your own pyramid

If you have moon sand or any other type of mouldable craft material would work. You can even use playdough. We used moon sand since I have been itching to make it after I wrote the article on 25 Homemade Sensory Play Recipes. Which is really challenging me to step out and make fun happen in our home.  Moon sand is really easy to make, there are some recipes that use flour instead of sand. I have heard of buying craft sand but we just used beach sand for ours.

Moon Sand recipe:

  • 3 cups of sand
  • 1.5 cups corn starch
  • 1/2 cp of vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cp of water

Mix all of the ingredients above. You may need to add a bit more oil to make it moldable if it’s still too soft.  You don’t want it to be too wet or too dry otherwise you won’t be able to build with it.

You can use 3 or 4 different sizes of tupperware to build each layer.  My youngest loved building it and knocking it down and then building it again.

 

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    • Paula, Yes, it was so easy! I loved that both my kids 10 and 3 got something out of it!