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Baloo's Bugle


January 2004 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 10, Issue 6
February 2004 Theme

Webelos Engineer & Scholar
  Tiger Cub Achivement #



Blue and Gold Fiesta Ideas

Circle Ten Council

Decorate (and wear, if possible) red, green, and white (the colors of the Mexican flag), make (or buy) some Mexican food, play festive Mexican music, and have a great time! For dessert, fill a Piñata with candy, and challenged your guests to one swing each, blindfolded, to see who can break open a Piñata, for all to enjoy the candy inside.

Fun Invitation ideas for a Mexican Fiesta include:

Mexican flag design

Sombrero shape

Photo of Chihuahua dog

Fun Party Favors for a Mexican Fiesta include:

Spanish word book


Finger cuffs

Jump rope


Party favors can, also, include individual boxes of Mexican Jumping Beans, treat bags with poppers, toys, and candy from the piñata.

If you have access to a large Mexican flag, hang it at a focal point in your room. Then, use smaller flags to decorate the walls and doors, etc. Or, Mexican Flag bandanas to decorate, or as napkins!

For an authentic touch, visit your local travel agent and try to get posters of Mexico - some city scenes, some beach scenes and scenes of some of the historic ruins. You can mount these on foam core and hang them on the walls.

For appetizers, you could do something as simple as salsa and chips. Check the grocery store for different types of chips -- they have blue and black tortilla chips as well as flavored tortilla chips (including lime).  Serve them in a Sombrero chip & dip holder for more fun! You could then have an assortment of salsas -- some mild, some spicy, etc. You could also make nachos, a bean dip and a cheese dip. Of course, you will have to serve guacamole. If you don't feel like making this, check with your local Mexican restaurant -- they can definitely supply you with some. Fajitas, quesadillas, refried beans and Mexican rice would be super for your entree. Be sure to have both beef and chicken fajitas, as well as veggie fajitas, to accommodate all tastes.

Everyone loves to make their own tacos, so try Tacos with their favorite toppings: cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa!

Have Maruichi music playing at the party or have a Maruichi band playing. Los Lobos would be a good band to select for music your Fiesta. Once the party gets going, play the Macarenas and get everyone out dancing!

For Drinks serve a non-alcoholic sangria mix, soda and sparkling water garnished with lime slices.

Set the mood and create instant fun when you set your table with brightly colored plates, cups and napkins. Fiesta flowers, carefully placed houseplants, live Cactus Plants , colorful tin candles as centerpieces on the tables.

Gotta have chips and salsa, try serving the chips in a sombrero or sombrero chip and dip tray. Put on some festive music, and you're ready to party Fiesta-style. Serve Frozen paletas

Serve Frozen Juice Bars for dessert.

"Choco-Tacos" (ice cream sandwiches made with flat cookie cone folded over like a taco) for dessert.


Greet Your Amigos In Spanish

Great Salt Lake Council

English                                            Spanish


Good day                                    Buenos dias

                                           (Bweh'-noh.s dee'-ah.s)

Good afternoon                       Buenas tardes

                                          (Bweh'-nahs tahr'-dehs)

Good evening                         Buenas noches

                                           (Bweh'-nahs noh' chehs

Good-bye                                         Adios


How are you?                        Como esta usted?

                                   (Koh'-moh eh-stah ' oo.s-tehd?)

Very well, thank you            Muy bien, gracias

                (Mooy bee-en grah'-see-ahs)


Mexican Fish Yarn Painting

Santa Clara County Council



Pencils, crayons or markers

Yarn or embroidery floss of various colors, cut in 6” lengths

White craft glue

Draw a circle in the middle of your piece of cardboard.  In the middle of the circle, draw the outline of a fish.  Draw other fish, ocean creatures, seaweed and shapes in the area outside of the circle.

Spread glue on the body of the fish drawing in the center of the circle.  Place pieces of yarn on the outside line of the fish body, then fill in the body with the yarn strands.  Cover the tail in the same way.  Next, spread glue around the fish inside the circle.  Working out from the fish, cover the entire circle in yarn.

Then work on the shapes outside of the circle.  Spread glue on each shape, then cover each shape with yarn.  To complete your picture, work on the space in between each of the shapes until all of the space is covered with yarn.

Take a look at some Mexican yarn paintings online at:  www.huicholartonline.com







Pufferfish Pinata

Santa Clara County Council


Newspaper                                        Spoon

Large balloon                                       Paint

Plastic bowl                               Paintbrush

White craft glue                                      Pin

Water                                       Candy/Toys

Small drill                                       Blindfold

Wire or string                          Broom/stick

Note:  this is a messy project, so prepare some workspace prior to starting.

Begin the project by tearing off long strips of newspaper, blowing up the balloon, and mixing the white craft glue in the bowl with some water to make a thin paste.  (Try a mixture of half glue and half water to make the paste.)

Dip each strip of newspaper completely into the paste and place it on the balloon.  Continue this process until you have covered the entire balloon except for a small hole in the bottom.  Add 2 more layers, then let the newspaper dry overnight on your piñata.

At this point, your piñata looks like a ball, but here’s how to make it look like a spiny pufferfish.  Tear the newspaper strips into smaller squares.  Dip each square into the paste.  Roll the small squares into cones and press them onto the piñata.  These will be the spines of your pufferfish.  Shape a tail with the newspaper, and glue it onto the piñata at the opposite end of the hole.

Allow the piñata to dry completely, then paint it.

When the paint has completely dried, pop the balloon with a pin and fill the piñata with candy and small toys.  Plug the hole with a few crumpled sheets of newspaper.  Complete the pufferfish by rolling up some of the newspaper to form two lips.  Glue the lips over the hole.  When dry, paint them.

Drill a couple of holes in the top of your piñata.  Thread a wire or strong string through the holes and hang it overhead.  (If possible, hang it over a beam or on a ceiling hook on a long rope so that it can be raised and lowered to adjust the height.)  One at a time, have children, while blindfolded, take swings at the pufferfish to try and break the piñata and release the candy.







Paper Bag Pinata

Santa Clara County Council

Here’s a simple to make piñata that you can make from materials around the house.


A Large Paper Bag   String, Tissue Paper

Glue                                                 Scissors

Crepe Paper Streamers                  Markers

Paint                     Googly Eyes (Optional)

Fill the paper bag about ½ full with candy and small prizes.

Roll the top of the bag down, staple the folded top shut and punch out two holes along the top.

Cut the tissue paper into strips; add fringes to the strips if desired.

Glue the tissue paper onto the paper bag, completely covering the bag.

Decorate the bag with paper cut-outs, markers, paint, googly eyes (for a face), and any other material.

Glue the crepe paper streamers to the bottom of the piñata.

Tie a long string through the two holes at the top. The string will be used for hanging up the piñata.

Hang up the piñata, and break it open with a soft bat.







Ojo de Dios (aka God’s Eye)

Cadette Girl Scout Troop 1333,

Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh PA.


Ojo de Dios (aka God’s Eyes) are made by the Huichol natives (pronounced Wee-chol-les) who live in the Sierra Madre Mountains in Jalisco, Mexico.  They are intended to be a means through which the Eye of God will see the person who is asking for health and long life (usually for their children).  The cross of the Ojo de Dios is that of the four directions: earth, fire, water, and air (not the Christian symbolism).  "God's Eyes" were made so that the gods could watch over the praying people and protect them. They are now more often sold in markets, reminding us that God looks with love on people everywhere.

Materials: 2 wooden sticks (popsicle) and Variegated yarn (knitting worsted weight) 5 1/2 to 6 yards

1.       Cross the sticks in the middle and hold the sticks at right angles.  Leaving a short tail held with the left thumb, lash the yarn over the two places where the sticks cross, making an X. Be sure to pass the yarn over the tail. See pictures below

2.       Wrap the yarn twice more in each arm of the X making the “eye”.

3.       Bring the yarn to the front of stick, then pull the yarn under the stick and back over it. 

4.       Then carry the yarn to the next stick going over, under and back over it.

5.       Keep on wrapping the yarn on top, behind and then back over each stick (see figure 4).  As you continue making the rounds, always be sure that the yarn lies next to, but never on top of the yarn in the previous round. After the first few rounds, you will see the woven pattern of the "eye" beginning to form.

6.       Keep weaving the "God's Eye" until you are about 1/2 inch from the ends of the sticks. Knot the yarn a few times around the last stick (use two half hitches) and leave an approximately 6" tail. Tie the tail in a knot to itself, in back, to make a hanging loop. A "God's Eye" this size can be use as a decoration, hung almost anywhere. At Christmas you can even hang them on your tree. 

If you have trouble with these instructions, go to website list for other sites with instructions on making Ojo de Dios or God’s Eyes.   CD

"The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good." Prov 15:3

Shoe Box Guitar

Santa Clara County Council

Here is an easy to make guitar from recycled materials.


An old tissue box or old shoe box

rubber bands                   paper towel tube

scissors                                               pencil

With adult supervision, cut out an oval-shaped hole in the top of the shoe box.  Some tissue boxes already have an oval hole; remove the plastic that is inside the hole.

Stretch 3 or 4 rubber bands length-wise around the box and over the hole.

Place a pencil under the rubber bands width-wise on one side of the hole.

Tape a paper towel tube to one end of the show box.

Decorate the box guitar with markers or paint.

Paper Plate Maracas

Santa Clara County Council

A maraca is a Mexican rattle.  The original maracas were made from hollow gourds filled with pebbles or seeds.  A simple maraca can be made from one or two paper plates stapled together, filled with dried beans or popcorn.



One Or Two Paper Plates                                           

Rice Or Poporn (Un-Popped)               Dried Beans

Wide Wooden Craft Sticks                          Markers

Crayons Or Paint                                   Stapler, Glue

Place a handful or two of dried beans, rice, or popcorn on a paper plate.

Turn another plate upside down and cover the first plate.  Staple the plates together along the edge of the plates.  You can also use a single plate by folding a paper plate in half, adding the beans, then stapling the edges shut.

Staple two wooden craft sticks onto the paper plates, one on each side of the plates, to make a handle for the maraca.  Glue the two sticks together.

Decorate the maraca with crayons, markers or paint.

Festive Centerpieces


Santa Clara County Council

Supplies for each centerpiece:

24-27 colored candy sticks (at least as high as the can)

1 empty 16-28-oz can

1-2 rubber bands

20” ribbon (1-1.5 inches wide)

The number of candy sticks you’ll need will depend on the type you use and the size of the can.  Place a rubber band around the can.  Tuck candy sticks (still in their wrappers) behind the band, keeping the bottoms flush with the bottom of the can.  Continue to add them around the can until it is completely covered.  If you’re having trouble keeping the candy in place, add a second rubber band toward the bottom, then tuck the sticks beneath both bands.  Remove one rubber band and center the other on the can before continuing to the next step.

Hide the rubber band with a ribbon that coordinates with your table decorations.

Fill the can about half full with water.  (Be sure not to get water on the candy, or you’ll wind up with a sticky mess.)  To complete the centerpiece, add fresh flowers.

Water Bottle Maracas

Circle Ten Council

Materials needed for each maraca:

Plastic water bottle, a cup of rice, construction paper, Cinco De Mayo stickers


Put rice in the bottle.

Cover bottle with construction paper.

Decorate them with the Mexican stickers.

Paper Plate Maracas #2

Circle Ten Council

Materials needed:

9-inch paper plate

Markers or crayons

Handful of dried beans or rice


Five or six strips of colored crepe paper or streamers.


1.       Decorate the outside (bottom) of the paper plate- use bold designs and bright colors!

2.       Fold the plate in half and put a handful of beans or rice inside.

3.       Staple it shut.

4.       Then staple the colored streamers to the curved side of the plate.

5.       Now shake your maraca, and make your own music!

Red Pepper Streamers

Circle Ten Council

Materials needed: tissue paper, masking tape, red paint

  1. Twist tissue paper into the desired shape
  2. Then cover them with masking tape
  3. Paint them red.
  4. When dry, secure to a strand of jute rope and hang

Paper Flowers

Circle Ten Council

Materials needed: long, colorful, tissue paper, one pipe cleaner per flower


First, take the tissue paper and put six pieces, one on top of each other, and then, fold it like you would fold a paper fan.  Next, take one pipe cleaner and tie it around the center.

Now, take the tissue paper that is still folded like a paper fan and pull the paper up. Make sure you do not pull too hard or it will tear.  Now, you should have a paper flower.

Papel Picado

Circle Ten Council

In Mexico, papel picado (perforated paper), refers to the traditional art of decorative cut paper banners. Papel picado are usually cut with sharp fierritos (small chisels) from as many as fifty layers of colored tissue paper at a time. Designs may incorporate lattice-work, images of human and animal figures, flowers, and lettering.  Many papel picado are made especially for the Mexican festival

Making Simple Papel Picado

Circle Ten Council

Fold a rectangular piece of paper in half. In pencil, sketch one half of a design on one of the folded halves. Rulers may be used to divide the paper into grids or sections. Objects or designs must touch and connect to other areas of the paper as they form the positive shapes on the paper. Negative areas to be cut away may be shaded in pencil to aid in cutting. Use scissors or a craft knife to carefully cut away negative areas of the design (cut over cardboard if using craft knives). Open slowly, flatten, and glue to a background paper. To create more complex designs, fold the paper more than once. Try using different kinds of paper: butcher paper, fadeless colored paper, origami paper, and colored tissue paper.

Tin Can Maracas

Longhorn Council

Use empty tomato sauce cans and duct tape.  Put beans, rice, and/or un-popped popcorn into one can. 

Put the cans top-to-top.  Secure with duct tape around the joint between the two cans.

Art Contests

Longhorn Council

Boys design projects or posters on a particular subject for fun or to be judged.







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