By Meagan Raker

Join us via Zoom every Tuesday at 3:30 pm or Friday in-person at the Museum for Little New-Yorkers. Check our Family Programs calendar for additional information.

It’s the first week of our January Jam! This month we will be reading books all about music, starting with Tito Puente: Mambo King, written by Monica Brown and illustrated by Rafael López. 

When Tito was a little boy growing up in Harlem, he won his church’s Stars of the Future contest and was crowned King of the Stars. Today we will become musical royalty ourselves by making our own Mambo King crowns, just like Tito’s. Follow along with the steps below and don’t forget to join us live at 3:30 pm every Tuesday and Friday via Zoom for our Little New-Yorkers Hello Song, silly games and dances, a craft, and, of course, our read aloud!


Print Mambo King Crown templateDownload

  • Something to color with: markers, crayons, pencils, pastels, or a cool combo!
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape

* A note on supplies: If you don’t have exactly the supplies listed, improvise! These projects are designed to be versatile, so feel free to use whatever materials and tools you have at home. And if your final product looks different than what you see here, that’s wonderful!

STEP 1: Color Your Crown!

What colors will your crown be? In Rafael López’s illustration, Tito’s crown is gold. Will yours be gold, too? Or lots of colors? Try adding patterns or pictures. Whatever makes you feel like the King of the Stars!

STEP 2: Cut Out Your Crown

It’s time to use your scissors for some careful cutting! Cut along the outside black lines of the crown and the two long rectangles.

When you are done, you should have three pieces, like this.

STEP 3: Attach the Straps

Using your glue or tape, attach the long rectangles to either side of your crown. This way, your crown will go around your head.

STEP 4: Measure and Attach

With the help of a grown-up or a friend, figure out where to glue or tape your straps together by measuring your crown around your head. When you know where to attach the two sides, use your tape or glue to stick them together.

STEP 5: Wear Your Crown!

You are officially a Star of the Future – just like Tito Puente. It’s time for you, or a friend, to wear your crown with pride!

Tum Tica! Tac Tic! Tum Tic! Tom Tom! Can you dance like Tito Puente?

Thanks for following along, Little New-Yorkers! We hope to see you, and your creations, at Little New-Yorkers soon!