Hispanic Heritage Month is in full swing and we are trying to go around Latin America to learn something new from each country. Living in Miami it is quite easy to learn about Cuba. Yet, we felt we had to brush up about the country and its culture or at least the Miami exile culture. With our basics in hand, we set out on a walk to Little Havana better recognized by 8th street or Calle Ocho, and that served as the inspiration for our Paper Bag Cuban Puppet DIY to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
This fun Cuban puppet project is not only fun and great craft to do with the kids, it is also the perfect way discover the meaning of Guayabera or talk about the big Cuban cigars the kids saw all around Calle Ocho.
Materials: you can be as creative as you want with the materials to use. Here is what we played with
- 1 sandwich paper bag
- different color contruction paper
- googly eyes or any other material for the puppet’s eyes
- pick a nose for your puppet
- glue stick, glue & double sided tape
- two toilet paper rolls
- black pipe cleaner
How to do it:
- Lay your paper bag flat. Cut pink, white and black pieces to make face, shirt and pants for the puppet. Once you have the desired shapes cut glue them to the paper bag
- What is the bottom of the bag is folded. We used that as the puppet’s mouth. We glued two strips of black and over the bottom one of them a heart to make the tongue.
- For the Guayabera or Cuban shirt, we cut out 6 thin strips of white construction paper and glued 3 on each side of the shirt. Over a set of 3 strips we created a pocket by cutting out flaps to the shape so we could put cigars in it. Don’t forget to glue buttons on your Guayabera!
- The cigars are rolled up sandwich paper bag bits with rings made out of aluminum foil
- Hair and mustache are black pipe cleaners glued on
- For the arms we wrapped the toilet paper rolls with with for the sleeves of the Guayabera and pink for the forearm skin. We painted black lines at the lower end to resemble fingers.
- For the hat, we used a circle and the cut out from the center the shape of a mountain, creased it and glued it on
We reviewed the country’s basis’s with the kids and the 80 year old dominoes playing Cuban men at the dominoes club in Little Havana:
Outline of Cuba:
- It is an island in the Caribbean
- Capital city: Havana
- with and exile crowd at hand we learned that Cuba was divided into 6 provinces although now there are over 30 of them
- Official language: Spanish
- The star in the Cuban flag represent independence from Spain
- José Martí is the most important historical patriot of the island
- Some products grown in Cuba that the island is known for are sugar, coffee and tobacco.
- Dominoes and Baseball are important pastimes for Cubans
- The patron saint of the island is Our Lady of Charity and Santería(an African voodoo type religion) is widely practiced both in the island and within the Cuban communities living abroad.
- Guayabera is a linen shirt that men use for special occasions. The shirts usually have pleats on them and are never tucked in.
Once you set foot in Little Havana, you really don’t hear a word in English. The Spanish spoken in Calle Ocho is very tropical and a few notches louder. While you might think a pair of Cubans conversing are having a discussion, they are really exchanging about the weather or inviting each other to a cup of coladita or cafecito. Read here to get you Miami Coffee 101 Guide
Now that we have the basics of Cuba in line we are going to eat some ham croquetas as we have a show with our Paper Bag Cuban Puppet to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. How are you planning on celebrating it?