Family Culture Night – Dinner in Mexico
Author: Whitney Hollingshead
If you are looking for a way to liven up dinner with your family, consider traveling to a foreign country for the night. Instead of actually boarding an airplane, take the whole family on a pretend trip. For your first family dinner adventure, why not travel to Mexico? Our nation shares a border with Mexico so this is a great country to explore as a family.
In planning a fun pretend vacation to Mexico, you have two great options:
1. If you know someone from Mexico, tell them about your plans and ask them if they would be willing to help teach your family about Mexico. Hearing personal stories and tasting authentic food will make a lasting impression on your children.
2. Make your own plans and include various aspects of Mexican culture into the evening.
Many foods we consider to be “Mexican” in the United States, are actually different than the versions made in Mexico. While you may be tempted to grab food from Taco Bell or Del Taco, try making some simple traditional Mexican foods for your family to sample instead. Here are some traditional foods commonly eaten throughout Mexico:
Corn or wheat tortillas (use instead of rolls or bread)
Beans (black beans are common in the south, pinto beans are common in the north)
Chili peppers (sweet peppers are actually more common than hot peppers)
Chorizo (pork sausage)
Carne Asada (thinly sliced grilled beef)
If you are really adventurous, you could search for a recipe online that will best fit your family for one of these traditional Mexican dishes:
Traditional Mexican Barbacoa
Tacos al Pastor
You can decorate the room with the colors of the Mexican flag: red, green, and white. To really add some atmosphere, download some mariachi music to play during dinner.
Grab some index cards and write some fun facts about Mexico, with one fact on each card. Here are 20 fun facts you can include:
Mexico is home to the greatest number of Spanish speakers in any one country.
Mexico has no official language.
63 languages are spoken in Mexico.
Mexican families love hosting parties for their family members and friends.
Independence Day in Mexico is on September 16th.
Cinco de Mayo is more widely celebrated in the United States than it is in Mexico.
There are 31 states in Mexico.
The capital city is Mexico City.
Mexico City is the oldest city in North America.
Soccer is the most popular sport in Mexico.
Americans use dollars for money. Mexicans use pesos.
Mexico introduced chocolate to the world.
Did you know the jaguar lives in southern Mexico?
The oldest university in North America is in Mexico.
Mexico’s land mass is almost three times larger than the size of Texas.
The current president of Mexico is Enrique Pena Nieto.
Most children in Mexico wear uniforms to school.
Many children live with their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
The official name of Mexico is United Mexican States.
The zoo in Mexico City is the second most visited zoo in the world.
Once you have written all of the facts on index cards, you can tape them around the dining room. Make some of them obvious, and make others more difficult to find. You may want to count all of your cards so that you know how many facts your family needs to find. Also, grab a dice and copy down the key below on a piece of notepaper:
1 = Sing
2 = Act it Out
3 = Clap Twice Before Reading
4 = Read Two Cards
5 = Dance While Reading
6 = Any Way You Want
You can start this activity during dinner. Have each family member take a turn rolling the dice and finding a card in the room. The number they roll explains how they will explain the card to the family. If you have children who cannot read, you can help them with their cards. Keep taking turns until all of the facts have been found and shared.
Get ready for this family culture night in Mexico to be a huge hit with your family! At the end of the evening, you can even assign a family member to choose the country you will visit next month. Making culture nights a new tradition in your family will provide a great opportunity for your family to learn more about the world together.
Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and reality optimist. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, and I hope while you’re here you’ll find something that makes your #momlife easier!