Storytime & Artmaking: When Julia Danced Bomba

Take inspiration from Raquel M. Ortiz's book When Julia Danced Bomba to create a maraca. (While this activity is inspired by a book, you do not need to read the book to do the activity.)

Los niños y sus cuidadores escuharán el libro Cuando Julia bailaba bomba por Raquel M. Ortiz y crearán una actividad de arte basado en el libro. Dirigido a niños de 3 a 6 años, ¡pero todos son bienvenidos!

About the Book

“Julia, they’re already warming up. Hurry!” Cheito says to his little sister as they rush to their bomba class. Cheito is a natural on the drums, but Julia isn’t as enthusiastic about dancing. Julia tries to imitate the best dancer in the class, but her turns are still too slow, her steps too big. She just can’t do anything right! When the instructor announces the younger students will be participating in the bombazo and performing a solo, Julia is terrified. When it’s her turn, she takes a deep breath, closes her eyes and focuses on the beat of the drum. As she dances, Julia notices that the drums are actually talking to her. Feeling braver, she stops worrying and trying so hard. Instead, she loses herself in the rhythm of the bomba drums and enjoys herself! Watch Read Aloud by Author Raquel M. Ortiz

Getting Started

  • How can we create movement with shapes and colors?
  • What instruments do you like to dance to?
  • What are some materials around the house that can be used to make music?


  • ¿Cómo podemos crear movimiento con formas y colores?
  • ¿Qué instrumentos te gusta bailar?
  • ¿Cuáles son algunos de los materiales de la casa que se pueden utilizar para hacer música?


  • Paper tube
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Markers, colored pencils, or crayons
  • Rice or beans


  • Tubo de papel
  • Lápiz
  • Papel Cinta
  • Tijeras
  • Marcadores, lápices de colores, crayones
  • Arroz o frijoles

Artmaking Activity

1. Cut a piece of paper the same height as your paper tube and large enough to cover the entire tube. You can find this by wrapping the paper around the tube until it meets the edge of the paper.


1. Corte una hoja de papel de la misma altura que su tubo de papel y lo suficientemente grande para cubrir todo el tubo. Puede encontrar esto envolviendo el papel alrededor del tubo hasta que se encuentre con el borde del papel.

2. Decorate your paper with patterns and colors. Set your decorative paper aside.

2. Decora tu papel con patrones y colores. Deja tu papel decorativo a un lado.

3. Using your paper tube trace two circles on a separate piece of paper.

3. Con el tubo de papel, traza dos círculos en una hoja de papel separada.

4. Draw a larger circle around the two circles you just traced. Cut them out.

4. Dibuja un círculo más grande alrededor de los dos círculos que acabas de trazar. Córtelos.

5. Cut out four triangles from one circle. Repeat on the other circle.

5. Recorta cuatro triángulos de tu círculo. Repite en el otro círculo.

6. Tape one circle to the bottom of your paper tube.

6. Pega un círculo debajo de tu tubo de papel.

7. Fill tube with a small handful of rice or beans.

7. Llene el tubo con un poco de arroz o frijoles.

8. Cover the top of the paper tube with the other circle.

8. Cubra la parte encima del tubo de papel con el otro círculo.

9. Tape your decorative paper around the tube.

9. Pegue su papel decorativo alrededor del tubo.

10. Make music!

10. ¡Haz música!


Bomba: a traditional dance and musical style of Puerto Rico

Bombazo: a communal celebration where everyone who attends dances, plays instruments, and sings a bomba jam

Maraca: a rattle that appears in many genres of Caribbean and Latin music

Pattern: a repeated decorative design


Bomba: un baile tradicional y estilo musical de Puerto Rico

Bombazo: Una celebración comunitaria en la que todos los participantes bailan, tocan instrumentos y cantan

Maraca: un sonajero que aparece en muchos géneros de la música caribeña y latinx

Patrón: un diseño decorativo repetido