Make a Piñata

Piñatas are great fun for any type of party, whether it is for Halloween, a birthday, anniversary or any other excuse for a party that you can think of.

You will need:-
A balloon, the bigger the better!
Old newspaper – lots
PVA, wallpaper paste or flour & water paste
Paints – poster paints or acrylics
Sweets, confetti, tinsel etc for filling.

Blow up the balloon, and tie a knot in the end. Make up the flour & water paste, the wallpaper paste or a 50/50 mixture of PVA and water, whichever you prefer to use for papier mache. Put newspaper down where you are going to work as this can get really messy!

Tear some newspaper into strips, and dunk into the glue. Cover the balloon in a complete layer leaving a gap around the knot – you’ll need this hole to put the sweets in at the end. Add two or three more layers, but not too many or the poor kids won’t be able to break it, papier mache can be really strong!

Tip: Try to get hold of a different coloured newspaper (for example the FT or a classified-ads type of paper) and use it for alternate layers between the white paper, and then you know that you haven’t missed any bits.

Tie some string around the knot and hang the piñata up to dry. I read somewhere a suggestion that you could hang it over the oven to make it dry quicker. Not a good idea if you need to light the hob though, it would be a bit of a fire risk.

When the piñata is dry, pop the balloon, remove it and make a small hole in the top and thread string through to hang it up with. Fill with sweets, confetti etc then seal up the hole with more strips of gluey paper. You can stand it in a bowl or flowerpot to dry if necessary.

Paint it in any design you like, poster paints will work for flour and water or wallpaper paste, while acrylics work better if you used PVA.

Now all you have to do is hang it up and let the kids each have a go at hitting it until it breaks. You may also want to supply bags for the children to collect the sweets in and they may even collect the confetti up from your carpet……in your dreams.

Piñata Safety

1) Hang the piñata above head height and away from anything breakable. Do not hang it near a light bulb, for example. Outside is better if it’s warm enough.

2) Make sure everyone at the party stands well away apart from the partygoer actually hitting the piñata at the time

3) Use a sawn off broom handle about 75cm long or special ‘Piñata Buster’ rather than a baseball bat or similar. Less painful if someone gets hit.

4) Do not put lollies in the piñata, if they fly out the stick could go in someone’s eye.

About the Author: Jacqui O'Brien is the Editor of eParenting.

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