Toys

10 Toys That Honor Hispanic Heritage Month

by Rachel Sokol


10 Toys That Honor Hispanic Heritage Month
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You don’t have to raise your child in a bilingual home to broaden their horizons and expose them to other nationalities. I am forever reminding my own daughters that their Grandmother (abuela—my mother) is Puerto Rican; which is why I enjoy bringing them to Mexican and Cuban restaurants and teaching them some Spanish. (And yes, TV shows such as Sesame Street and Elena of Avalor and movies like Coco also educate kids about the Hispanic culture.) 

 

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from mid-September through mid-October, here are some colorful and fun gifts for your niños that embrace and celebrate the cultural beauty and diversity of Spanish culture.

 

1 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Mini Wooden Fiesta Maracas

Price:$17.00

Not just for Cinco de Mayo parties, basic maracas are a simple and thankfully not TOO noisy of a toy. (I appreciate that they make noise, but aren’t headache-inducing.) Filled with beads, these colorful noisemakers are synonymous with Mexican culture, and kids will enjoy shaking them solo or in pairs to the beats of their favorite songs. Ole!

2 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Aztec Imports Ice Cream Cone Piñata

Price:$18.00

I have been obsessed with piñatas since I was a kid, and today, they’re still amazingly popular. It’s definitely the element of surprise (wondering what’s inside, and who will finally break the piñata) that makes them so appealing. This one’s made of cardboard and tissue paper, is shaped like an ice cream sundae, and adds a personalized touch to any October celebration--just find a safe place to hang it and warn kids to stand back when it’s being smacked by a sturdy stick or a bat. I’ve also seen piñata pink donuts, teapots, monster faces, tacos (my second favorite) and more. This one comes with a hanging hook, but you purchase the candies that go inside separately. Piñatas are works of art, so display them in your kid’s room after use.

3 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

First 100 Words Bilingual: Primeras 100 palabras

Price:$7.00

Just like Sophie le Giraffe, which was all the rage years ago as a must-own baby toy to add on to your registry, baby board books from Roger Priddy are all the rage in the parenting world. My younger daughter adores his picture books because the colors are so vibrant and the sturdy pages are easy to turn. This picture book is wonderful for emerging Spanish speakers and depicts a variety of photos of everyday items kids can point to, with the correlating word written underneath the picture en Español and in English. (Example: picture of a Teddy Bear; above the words Oso and Bear) This book is made of sturdy cardboard than can handle baby’s wear-and-tear, easy to clean, and perfect for little hands to clutch.

4 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

'She's Got This' by Laurie Hernandez

Price:$11.00

Decorated Latina Olympian Laurie Hernandez recently authored an adorable picture book for kids 4+ about confidence and following your dreams; this is a book older kids will forever cherish. Kids learn the lesson behind: if you “fall,” like everyone does in differing ways both emotionally and physically, you can get right back up and try, try, again. (How many times have we told our kids this, and ourselves? The reminder never hurts.) Beautifully illustrated by artist Laura Mata, this book reiterates that one should never give up, be brave, and don’t harp on the mistakes.

5 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Heart For Hearts Girls Consuelo from Mexico Doll

Price:$40.00

Heart for Hearts has a collection of dolls that represent different cultures and ethnicities; it’s the mission of the brand to celebrate diversity and empower young kids, especially girls, to empower their communities. Adorable Consuelo, whose ‘backstory’ explains she is 10-years-old and Mexican, aims to help feed hungry kids in her neighborhood, and young readers can learn more about Consuelo’s mission via the book that comes with the doll—similar to how American Girl Dolls each have a personal story and come with a storybook and accessories. Consuelo is a vinyl 14” easy-to-pose doll with smooth dark hair, a snazzy green outfit and pink headband; she also comes with a brush and a friendship bracelet. For every Heart for Hearts doll purchased the company donates $1.00 to World Vision charity.

6 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Melissa & Doug Fill & Fold Taco & Tortilla Set

Price:$30.00

There’s no better—and shall we admit, tastier?—way to experience another culture than chowing down on their trademark culinary delights! This pretend food set from industry powerhouse Melissa & Doug celebrates the pallet power of—what else?—yummy tacos. This good-enough-to-eat (but don’t!) wooden play set includes a durable (wooden) taco shell and felt tortilla, accompanying food pieces include play chicken, beef, shrimp, tomato, avocado, pepper, onion, a wooden knife, a hot sauce bottle, and yellow rice. This kit even has a realistic-looking play skillet!

7 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

LeapFrog Scout and Violet 100 Words Book

Price:$18.00

I love that so many ‘talking’ toys are available in both English and Spanish. Spanish-language toys teach kids who don’t reside in a home where Spanish is the primary language some new vocabulary words in a foreign language. This interactive book from Leapfrog—best for kids 4 and under—features the brand’s animated characters, dogs named Scout and Violet, who teach basic vocabulary words and counting in a musical way that’s catchy and educational. Just click the switch to “English” or “Spanish” to cull the language you want; you can certainly toggle back and forth between the two. Every page in this interactive book features a theme, such as food, mealtime, colors, and so forth, and as the child views/turns the pages, Scout and Violet tell them the words on each page

8 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Magic Scratch Art Mexican Fiesta Ornaments

Price:$10.00

This collection of magic scratch paper ornaments is a simple art project that provides hours of fun. The kit comes with 13 different die-cut “Fiesta” designs--(26 pieces total) including Sugar Skulls, Tacos, and Lemon Cutouts--that are initially plain black until you decorate them using special stencils that are included in the kit. Just use a small, pointy wooden stencil to scratch out a pattern on each plain ornament. Rainbow colors will poke through your scratches and the result is rainbow, unique pattern adorned on a variety of paper ornaments.

9 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Ingenio Spellable Bilingual Spelling Game

Price:$13.00

Recommended for kids ages 3 to 7 who are learning Spanish, this Amazon’s Choice card game teaches kids how to spell 24 different words in Spanish. Kids build their Spanish vocabulary by putting together puzzles; and each piece has real photos that makes the game feel more relatable to kiddos. When each mini puzzle is completed, a word is spelled out in both English and Spanish on the card, and the shape of the puzzles makes them easy for young hands to grip and connect to each other. Each mini puzzle/word only has 3-4 pieces and connect nicely to each other when a match is made.

10 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Everyday Words in Spanish Flash Cards

Price:$8.00

A practical and fun way to teach your kids another language is through the use of flash cards. This 26 flash card collection has whimsical, cartoony pictures depicting the word being shown; the English word and a picture on one side; its Spanish translation (and the same picture) on the other. A solid, plastic keyring holds all the cards together. These cards are made of thick cardboard and can be wiped down easily. They’re a convenient and enjoyable way to teach youngsters a new language as they associate the image with the word in both Spanish and English. As kids age, remove the cards from the key ring and use them in a game of memory.