Happy May 5th or Cinco de Mayo! What exactly is Cinco de Mayo, you ask? Well, it's not Mexico's Independence Day (September 16 or Grito de Dolores) as some might think. In fact, it's not really even celebrated that much in Mexico. But Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican civic holiday that marks the occasion when the Mexican army pulled off an unlikely win over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

From Wikipedia: "While Cinco de Mayo sees limited significance in Mexico itself, the date is observed nationwide mostly in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride."

Now that you know the history and significance, it's time to celebrate! Here are some great crafts to celebrate the day with your kids.

Bark paintings. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo by making a version of the traditional Mexican craft — papel amate — or bark paper. In the authentic version, folk art is created on a canvas of bark that has been softened by boiling and then pounded flat. Recreate the look — without the pounding — by using a brown paper bag.

Mexican pottery. By varying the choice of design, this craft can be simplified for younger kids, or made intricateor older teens and tweens. The directions include some great patterns and images you can use or let your kids get creative and design their own.

Maracas. Fill two paper cups part-way with rice or beans, tape together, and decorate. Voilà! (Or autra chose!) Mexican maracas to shake up your Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

Bean bracelets. Empty toilet paper roll? Check. Construction paper? Check. Dried beans? Check. You've probably already got everything you need to make these cute bean bracelets. Want to jazz it up? Add a little paint to each bead — turquoise and amber are a good fit for the occasion.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo: Easy ways to celebrate this fun holiday of Mexican heritage and pride. It's not Mexico's Independence Day as some might think — it's not really