Today is not your eldest child’s birthday. It isn’t your anniversary, or Grandma's retirement, and it certainly isn’t a holiday. Today is just a day like any other, and that is reason enough to celebrate. You don’t need an excuse to have a great time with your family, and there doesn’t have to be an elaborate setup for it to be guaranteed fun. All you need is a simple party theme, tasty food, and for everyone to get involved. One perfect way to achieve this? A taco party!
Now we know you love spending time with your kids, but you’re probably wondering just exactly how they can be a part of the entire process. After all, little hands near hot stoves are not conducive to a calm parental mind. But there are odd jobs all over the kitchen that they can handle, as well as a few steps in cooking preparations and decorating.
Together, you can decide on everything from the menu to the music. This will help you accomplish more before your party and also give you some quality time with the kids. Plus, involving the kids will empower them by giving them decision-making responsibilities. But if you’re still a little unsure of how to start this collaborative cooking and planning process, start with a simple party theme: in this case, a taco fiesta.
The nice thing about tacos is that they are customizable. Everyone can choose their favorite toppings (shredded cheese, salsa, lettuce, a squeeze of lime), fillings (grilled or stewed chicken, pulled pork, shrimp, fish, steak, beans, roasted vegetables, etc.) and types of tortillas (hard or soft, corn or flour) depending on what you want to offer. Have the kids think about the types of tacos they want to eat and challenge them to come up with creative and tasty toppings. Your kids will have more fun at the celebration if they are a part of the preparation process, and you’ll love getting in that special time with them!
Step 1: Go Shopping TogetherKids always feel like a big help when they have a hand in the choices that need to be made. Let them choose the types of tacos and toppings that will be featured on the menu. Have them find all of the ingredients while you’re at the market, and talk about what goes into each type of taco!
Step 2: Decorate A taco party has to look as bright and fun as it tastes! Grab all the colorful linens and plates you can and put the kids to work setting up a brilliant taco bar display. You can even try a DIY piñata with the kids that they’ll be super proud of making.
Step 3: Make Labels
Ask any taco party enthusiast and they’ll tell you there is nothing worse than wondering what’s in each pot. Have the kids make their own labels with chalkboard paint and colored chalk so guests will know if a sauce is spicy, mild, or mole!
Step 4: Make a Playlist
What’s a fiesta without a little music? Sit down with your kids and go through modern and traditional Mexican music and discuss which songs belong on your party playlist.
Step 5: Assign Cooking Jobs
Now that it is finally time to make the tacos, it is time to start assigning some food jobs to willing little hands. Ask older kids to mix together seasonings, read recipe instructions out loud, or grate cheese.
Step 6: Set Up the Taco Bar
Now that your tacos are cooked and ready to go, your kids can start setting up their taco bar. Have them spoon salsas, toppings, and even fan out tortillas in colorful bowls for display.
Step 7: Choose the Games
You and your kids can play a traditional game of bote pateado, which is basically hide and seek that requires the “seeker” to go back and forth between searches to a can in the middle of the room to give players time to hide again. Or you could get creative and hold Mexican jumping bean races. Simply place dry bean on a flat table top, and using a straw, blow the beans in the direction of your designated finish line.
Step 8: Toast to a Good Time
Although your little ones cannot enjoy a tequila-infused margarita, they can feel included with their own kid-friendly drinks. Have them hold the blender lid down and watch their faces light up as the blender whirs fresh lime juice, tart raspberries, and ice together for a tasty drink of their own!
Step 9: Do Dessert
What kid (or adult, for that matter) doesn’t love a sweet treat at the end of a meal? These super simple and tasty churros are an easy and theme-appropriate dessert to make with the kids. They’ll get a kick out of piping these onto the baking sheet, and can be a big help sprinkling sugar.