The holiday season is a lovely time of year when peers and families come together to celebrate traditions from all around the world. As teachers and parents, we understand the importance of introducing our children to global festivities. This year, let’s take a creative journey with a poinsettia craft that not only ignites the spirit of the season but also imparts valuable knowledge about celebrations in different corners of the globe.
In Mexico, the vibrant and joyous celebration of Christmas takes center stage, adorned with brilliant colors and traditions unique to the country. One such symbol that shines brightly during the Mexican holiday season is the poinsettia, or “La Flor de Nochebuena,” as it is known locally. This iconic red and green plant graces homes, churches, and festive displays, symbolizing the warmth and love of the Christmas spirit.
I’m excited to introduce you to a delightful and educational craft project – creating your poinsettia paper craft. Not only is this project a fun and engaging way for kids to express their creativity, but it also provides an opportunity to learn about the traditions of Christmas in Mexico.
Fun Facts About Mexico and the Poinsettia
Teaching kids about traditions in other countries is a ton of fun! It requires some research though, so I thought I would help out. Here are some fascinating facts about Christmas in Mexico to share with young and avid learners.
- Las Posadas: Mexicans celebrate Las Posadas, a nine-day reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging before the birth of Jesus. It’s a time of prayer, processions, and nightly gatherings with friends and family.
- Piñatas: Children eagerly anticipate the breaking of colorful piñatas filled with candies and treats during holiday festivities.
- Feast of the Three Kings: The holiday season extends beyond Christmas, with the Feast of the Three Kings (Día de los Reyes) on January 6th, when children receive gifts from the Three Wise Men.
What Does the Poinsettia Mean?
You may see this beautiful flower in churches and streets decorating sidewalks before Christmas. The poinsettia is considered a symbol of the Nativity and represents several meaningful aspects of the holiday traditions in Mexico:
- Star of Bethlehem: The poinsettia is often associated with the Star of Bethlehem, which is said to have guided the Three Wise Men to the birthplace of Jesus. Its vibrant red or green leaves are believed to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem’s radiant light.
- The Birth of Christ: The poinsettia’s traditional Christmas colors, with its bright red bracts and deep green leaves, are seen as a representation of the blood shed by Christ and the hope of eternal life that He brought into the world.
- La Nochebuena: In Mexico, the poinsettia is in full bloom during the Christmas season, and it is also known as “La Flor de Nochebuena” (The Flower of the Holy Night) or simply “Nochebuena.” This name reflects its association with Christmas Eve and the festivities on that night.
- Offerings to the Manger: Poinsettias are often used as offerings to the nativity scene, or “Nacimiento,” a central element of Christmas decorations in Mexican households. They are placed around the manger as a way of adorning and honoring the birth of Jesus.
- Celebration of Mary: The poinsettia’s shape resembles the star-shaped flower that the young girl, Pepita, is said to have picked as a gift for the Baby Jesus in a Mexican legend about the origins of the poinsettia’s association with Christmas.
By crafting poinsettias and learning about Mexican Christmas traditions, children can gain a deeper appreciation for the rich diversity of global celebrations. This project is not only an excellent way to foster creativity but also to promote and understanding of different cultures!
How to Make the Poinsettia Craft
Creating this poinsettia craft is super simple! All you need is red, yellow, and green construction paper. Print the template onto your paper, cut the pieces out, and glue them on one another.
If you don’t want to print the pieces on colored paper, try printing them onto plain white cardstock and let kids color their own. Show them what the poinsettia craft should look like when finished so they can copy it correctly. Adding the coloring aspect gives an element of fine motor practice they will love.
Learn how to make the craft using these step-by-step instructions!
More Holidays Around the World Activities
This poinsettia craft is part of a Holidays Around the World Craft Bundle. In this bundle, you will find 11 different crafts to learn about holidays in every corner of the world. Here is a list of what you will find:
- Advent Wreath craft
- Christmas Cracker craft
- Christmas Tree craft
- La Befana craft
- Matryoshka Doll craft
- Menorah craft
- Poinsettia craft
- Tomten craft
- White Boomer craft
- Wooden Shoe craft
- Yule Log craft
Each craft corresponds with a different tradition, so use the month of December to celebrate the holidays and dive into learning! Your kids will love all the fun crafts and the knowledge they will gain.