Crafts And STEAM

Hispanic Heritage Month: Zapotec Rug Craft

Hispanic Heritage month began September 15 this year and runs through October 15. If you’re a homeschooling family who loves incorporating other cultures in your lessons, this is the perfect time to teach your littles about Hispanic culture.

There are loads of Pinterest crafts already floating around relating to this subject, but I decided to take a stab at sharing an original idea. This is the first time I’ve had an idea I haven’t seen on Pinterest before so I’m not gonna lie…I’m pretty stoked y’all.

Let’s dive in!

Materials Needed To Create Your Zapotec Rug

Hispanic heritage month zapotec rug craft

To complete your Zapotec rug craft, you will need the following materials:

A single hole puncher

8 ½ x 11” printer paper

16 – 3” strips of yarn

Construction paper cut into various shapes

Crayola markers

Glue stick

Even though I want to be that cool mom with every crafting material under the sun, I’m trying to live a more minimal life so we worked with what we had. You can get as minimal or extra as you want with this craft.

We only had black yarn on hand so that’s what we used. Feel free to use any color or even multiple colors. This could be a fun area to teach your preschooler about AB patterns or first grader about ABCC patterns.

The same thing can be said for the construction paper. Use as many different colors as your heart desires. It could even be fun to include different textured paper if you have some on hand.

Optional Prep Work

hispanic heritage month zapotec rug craft

Before you pass your kids the reins, there is a little bit of prep work required to make this Zapotec rug craft.

The first step is to punch 8 holes along each of the 8 ½” sides of the printer paper. If you have an older child, this is a great opportunity to teach them how to use a hole punch. You could also teach them how to evenly space out their punches.

The next bit of prep work is cutting the construction paper into various shapes. To make our rugs a little more “authentic” looking, I cut out our shapes using zigzag scissors.

Again, an older child can perform this step or you can use this as scissor training for younger children. Simply draw the shapes onto the construction paper and let them do the cutting (with your supervision of course).

Assembling Your Zapotec Rugs

Hispanic heritage month zapotec rug craft

Once all the holes are punched and shapes are cut out, you are ready to begin assembly. We decided to lay out our shapes first before we glued them down. This gave us a great opportunity to discuss mathematical topics such as symmetry and patterns.

Once everything is glued down, you can let your kids add details with markers or simply thread the yarn through all of the pre-punched holes and BAM! You have yourselves a Zapotec rug! Easy peasy!

If you want to go the extra mile and turn this into the craft that keeps on giving, you can run your Zapotec rug craft through a laminator before tying the yarn on. This would give you the opportunity to continue using it as threading and/or tying practice in the future.

Talking/Learning Points During The Zapotec Rug Craft

hispanic heritage month zapotec rug craft

Just because we are crafting here doesn’t mean it’s not an excellent learning opportunity. We were able to include a well-rounded lesson for both the pre-K and first grade level.

At the preschool level, we worked on fine motor skills by having Zayne thread all of the yarn and glue every piece by himself. We even had a short lesson on tying knots, but he wasn’t very interested so we didn’t force it.

Other preschool talking points include identifying shapes and colors. Once the rugs are assembled, you can count the number of each shape and each color on the rug.  To go a little deeper, you can ask if shapes are the same or different, both in shape and size.

At the first grade level, we were pretty much able to cover every subject with a focus on Hispanic heritage month. Before assembling our craft, we identified Mexico on a map then watched this short YouTube video about the traditional making of Zapotec rugs.

We also took a moment to read the book “La Princesa and The Pea” by Susan Middleton Elya. We learned a few new Spanish words (such as buena and muy grande) while reading that we used to describe our rugs as we were assembling.

As I mentioned before, we discussed symmetry vs. asymmetry by folding the paper in half to see if it matched. To take math a little further, I asked simple addition and subtraction problems about the shapes we were adding to the rug.

After the craft was over, I had Ava journal about the coolest new thing she learned about Hispanic heritage. I also asked her to write her favorite new Spanish word correctly in a sentence in this journal entry.

Bonus Hispanic Heritage Month Content

We spent an entire week focusing on Hispanic heritage. During that time, the most enjoyable activity (apart from making this Zapotec rug craft) was visiting our local library for story time. The librarians read the kids books and helped them assemble another adorable craft.

We also really enjoyed using the Scholastic website for Hispanic heritage themed games and activities. The games helped my daughter learn a few new Spanish words and learn more deeply about Mexican culture.

I would love to hear in the comments below what your family has done to incorporate Hispanic Heritage month into your monthly lesson plan. If you decide to take a stab at this adorable Zapotec rug craft, share your photos on Instagram and tag me @_our_happy_place_. 

I hope you found not only a fun craft here, but also a great learning opportunity for your children. Now it’s time to create other cute and unique crafts to tie into our October lesson plan and share with you. Until next time Happy Homeschoolers!

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