Fire Frog's

Piñatas Page.

How to make one:

You will need...

Papier-mâché paste <some recipes below>

Shallow dish.

Coloured tissue paper (optional)

Balloons.

Shellac / decoupage finishing paste.

Paint brushes/paint.

Thin cord.

3cm strips of newspaper or paper toweling

Toys/prizes/wrapped lollies.

Coat hanger/wooden pole/broom handle/rake.

 It is probably a good idea to do this outside or in a garage or garden shed, as there is a bit of splattering and dripping of the paste.

Blow up a balloon and attach it with a piece of string to a coat hanger or just make a loop. Hook over a wooden pole/broom handle/rake etc suspended between 2 chairs and spread newspaper under the area. Rip more newspaper into 3cm strips. It is best to rip the paper as the jagged edges stick better. I find ripping a folded newspaper <about twenty pages max> with a metal ruler works best. Use the ruler to make a strip of folded paper, then before unfolding it rip the strip in half, then rip at the fold. This gives you the perfect length.

Make a layer of strips on the balloon by dipping them in the glue and place on the balloon in one direction. To stop the strips being too soppy, remove the excess by pulling the strip through your fingers. Wait for this layer to dry before putting on the next layer, in a different direction i.e. first go across, then go down. This helps you remember how many layers you have done. After two layers you can tie a piece of string around the piñata and then continue layering over the top of it. This is to hang the piñata up without putting a strain on the top, which can lead to the piñata falling prematurely. Four or five layers should be strong enough to resist disintegrating at the first hit. Any more than six and you may end up having to saw your piñata in half to get at the prizes! Try not to make the paste to strong for the same reason, the idea is to make the piñata not to strong, but not to weak. Just right :)

Drying Pinata's and with goodies to go in them.

 

Animated egg.

 Papier-mâché paste recipes.

1)Water mixed with enough plain flour to make a smooth runny paste, looking a bit thicker than melted icecream. Add a pinch of salt. You can store this mix overnight in the fridge, but not for longer than that.

2) Wall paper paste made up a little weaker to the directions on the packet.

3) Clag or other non-toxic children's glue.

Things to Fill the Piñata with.

Soft lollies in bright wrappers.

Toy bracelets and necklaces.

Party Poppers.

Plastic novelty toys.

Pieces of paper with present locations.

Solid Easter Eggs.

Rubber Bouncy Balls.

Confetti.

Things Not to Fill The Piñata With.

Lead weights to make it hang better.

Metal toy cars/soldiers etc.

Glass ornaments.

Liquid in any container.

Yeast based sweets.

Penknives/scissors.

 

The glue sets quite hard, so any splattering will have to be cleaned up fast as soon as the papering is finished. Dip your strip of ripped paper in and apply it to the balloon. If you accidentally put to much paste on one layer, paper over it with undipped <dry> paper, it will soak up the access. The paste can often be kept for several days in a sealed container, but it is better to make up small lots as you need them and throw the little bits away. Warning! Do not put glue down the drain. It clogs it up and is very, very hard to shift (actually, I haven't been able to yet.) Let the Piñata dry thoroughly between layers, doing two a day at most <Unless you use a hairdryer etc> If you don't the inner layers can remain damp and go moldy or simply remain soggy and are easily ripped.

Finnished Pinata.

When almost complete cut out a hole in the piñata using a craft knife. Put in the sweets, toys, balloons, prizes and a handful or two of coarse glitter / confetti. Put in a special wrapped prize for the child who opens the piñata (it has been our experiences that by the time the child has the blindfold off all the best goodies are gone. Be sure to explain that the wrapped prize is for the 'winning' child and keep an eye out for where it goes. Little children are not always the most honest of creatures!) Close this hole by replacing the piece you cut out and sealing it with more strips of paper and glue. Use white or single coloured paper for the last layer so that the news print doesn't come through if you decide to paint it.

Paint and decorate your egg, protect it with a coat of Shellac/decoupage finish etc and make streamers/ bows with the crepe paper for decoration.

Make little cones with paper circles or egg tray holders.

Tape or use papier-mâché to secure them, than paint over. The shapes of quite complex things can be made, but remember that the more stuff you have on your piñata, the harder it will be for the children to crack it.

The traditional way (um..I think) is for piñata's to be decorated with little tuffs of paper half glued on like feathers or scales. Piñatas were made up as donkeys, moons, bird's etc. I have heard of them being made into space ships, soccer balls and dolls. Even as the party's honored guest's head! 

How to Play The Game:

Draw up the rules for the game and print them out so people can read them before the fun begins. The piñata is strung up on a line, with plenty of space around it. On the porch, in the garage, under a tree, somewhere open. Some think it is amusing to be able to pull the line up and out of the way of the blind folded swinger, but this can lead to some frustrated 'wide' swings and that can be dangerous. So a cleared area with a wide circle marked out with rope on the ground for the kids to stay behind is best. A sleeping mask makes a good blind fold, or a wide tie. When turning the children, make sure they are facing the piñata again when they stop. Use a hockey stick, bat, rattan sword etc as a whacker, note a shorter whacker is handy and fairer to have for the taller kids. The idea is that everyone has three goes at cracking the piñata and making the goodies inside rain down.

Do not let adults hold smaller children up for a swing, they inevitably get clocked by their little ones <ouch>. Lower the piñata for them, or give them a longer stick. They wont crack it anyway, (the older children will do this) but love to hit it and hear the noise. Make a second Piñata for when the kids go to bed, as adults will want to join in and pout if you don't let them.

For notes on adult piñata's go here.

RULES

1) There is a circle drawn on the ground around the base of the piñata. No one but the person taking a swing at it may enter the circle until the referee says, "Go." *

2) The swinger will be blind folded, turned around three times and then given a pole. They will then have three goes at hitting the piñata.

3) The order of swingers will go from youngest to eldest. This order will remain and repeat until the piñata is burst.

4) There is a special wrapped prize for the person who bursts the piñata, please let them have it, and don't grab all the prizes, there should be enough for everyone if we share nicely.

*(Shout go as the piñata breaks, as kids will run out anyway and you are shouting for the benefit of the swinger more than anything.)

Piñata Ideas

Mini Piñatas: Make several mini Piñatas using water bomb balloons and paint them bright colours. Hang around the main Piñata or make lots and hang them in a cluster. Be sure to fill with shatter proof prizes, like silk scarves, bead necklaces and stickers.

Enjoy your piñata!

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