Puerto Rican Güiro Craft: Celebrating Latino Culture This Hispanic Heritage Month & Always! {Video}

by Melanie Edwards on September 16, 2016 · 13 comments

in Kids, Kids Activities & Crafts, Latino Culture, Puerto Rico

Raising multicultural children can be a little tricky – you want them to learn about their roots and heritage, yet they’re surrounded and influenced by a culture that is different from the one you grew up knowing. That’s why keeping culture alive in the home is so very important to my husband and I and why taking advantage of cultural celebrations is a wonderful way of reinforcing our heritage. Right now, we are in the middle of Hispanic Heritage Month (also referred to as Latino Heritage Month), the United States’ official celebration of Latino culture and heritage, honored from September 15 through October 15 each year. As such, the kids and I have been taking the opportunity to talk even more about how I’m Puerto Rican, what that means to me, and in turn, what that means for them.

I recently picked up the book A Kid’s Guide to Latino History [aff] for them and in it there is a great section all about Puerto Rican culture. One of the activities that stood out for me was how to make a water bottle güiro, since my 5-year-old recently learned all about percussion instruments in school and I knew it would make a great connection for him if I introduced him to the Puerto Rican güiro. Originally from Puerto Rico, a güiro is traditionally made from a hollowed-out gourd, but for the sake of this kids’ Puerto Rican güiro craft, we’ll be using a water bottle.

Puerto Rican Güiro Craft: How to Make a Water Bottle Güiro

The great thing is you may already have the few necessary supplies at home! (If you want to purchase a more traditional güiro, you can find a variety online – I was surprised to find so many different kinds of güiros, from wooden and metal güiros to kid-friendly plastic güiros!) Now, let me introduce our Puerto Rican güiro craft with this short video, followed by the full instructions for you to make your own.

Puerto Rican Güiro Craft

*Adapted from A Kid’s Guide to Latino History book

Materials Needed:

  • Empty water bottle
  • 3-4 acrylic paint colors
  • Paintbrushes
  • Wooden dowel
  • Plastic cups

Puerto Rican Güiro Craft: How to Make a Water Bottle Güiro, Materials Needed

How to Make a Water Bottle Güiro

Making a water bottle güiro is fairly simple. First, you’ll need to remove the label from your water bottle. Using plastic cups to hold each paint color, paint the water bottle in the colors of your choosing, alternating colors to create a striped design. Be sure to clean your paintbrush before switching from one color to another by dipping the brush into a cup full of water and wiping it on a paper towel.

Once you’re done painting the water bottle and your paint has dried, you may want to give your stripes a second coat of paint. (This is optional.) Allow your water bottle güiro to dry completely, then let your kids play it using the wooden dowel. (A güiro is played by scraping the side with a scraper – called a “pua” – using long and short strokes.) To add to the Latino cultural experience, play some Latin music and have some fun playing your homemade water bottle güiro along to the rhythmic tunes!

Puerto Rican Güiro Craft: How to Make a Water Bottle Güiro

You Might Also Like: Hispanic Heritage Month Activities for Kids

For more Hispanic Heritage Month ideas, see our Hispanic Heritage Month Activities and Printables for Kids, full of crafts, recipes, and great ways to celebrate Latino culture and heritage with your children!

Hispanic Heritage Month Activities for Kids

How are you celebrating Latino culture this Hispanic Heritage Month? If you try this Puerto Rican güiro craft with your kids, let us know how they like it!

All photos © Melanie Edwards/modernmami™

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 MeryKnowsBest October 1, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Very nice!!! I do have some questions about this craft, how does it sound when you play it? at the end of the video I thought you were going to test it 🙂 . Another question is, doesn’t the paint will come off if you play it?. the post and the instructions are very nice. Thanks


2 Melanie Edwards October 2, 2014 at 1:46 pm

I played it towards the beginning of the video. 😉 It doesn’t sound *quite* like an authentic güiro, but it gives kids the idea and they have fun with it. Once the paint dries completely, it shouldn’t come off. I have noticed it chips slightly on the wooden dowel, but I guess it depends on how hard the kids scrape the bottle güiro. Thanks for the comment!


3 Tiffani G. from MyMommyVents October 2, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Great post! This looks like something I cab do with my nights this weekend. What I really want to know is how you were able to pain the lines so neatly! I can almost guarantee mine will look nothing like that, lol.


4 Melanie Edwards October 2, 2014 at 1:44 pm

LOL Thanks, Tiffani! I simply used the brush carefully and followed the ridges from the water bottle. Have fun making your güiro!


5 Yadira October 6, 2016 at 10:16 am

This is so easy to do. Great project for rainy days!


6 Melanie Edwards October 6, 2016 at 1:21 pm

Yes, absolutely! Great rainy day project and they get to learn about culture too!


7 Meryland Cuevas October 6, 2016 at 10:21 am

It’s amazing the things we can do with simply stuff like a en empty water bottle and some paints 🙂 Kids love that


8 Melanie Edwards October 6, 2016 at 1:20 pm

I know! So simple, yet so fun! 🙂


9 Marielisa Ortiz Berríos October 6, 2016 at 8:45 pm

Esta manualidad me encantó y la tengo pendiente para hacer con mis nenes.


10 Melanie Edwards October 13, 2016 at 1:36 pm

Ay que bueno! Dejame saber como le gusta a tus nenes! 🙂


11 Edith Tapia October 7, 2016 at 10:41 am

Jaja!!! Te quedó bien chévere esa idea… También puedes hacer maracas echando algunas semillas a las botellas. 😀


12 Melanie Edwards October 13, 2016 at 1:37 pm

Sí, lo hemos hecho también!


13 Evelyn miranda April 22, 2017 at 8:46 am

Such a great idea today am picking up some grand kids to make this project.


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