DIY Piñata Fun To Share With Your Kids!

Pinata

There’s a wonderful sound that happens when a broomstick connects with a piñata, but there’s something even more satisfying when that ‘CRACK!’ comes from a pinata that you and your kid made together. Even better, is when you’ve made a pinata that lasts just the right number of rounds, and gives the little kids and the big kids a chance to take a whack at it. But the best, as I found out this summer, is when a DIY pinata does all that and causes the aluminum broom handle to bend out of shape and become pretty much useless as a broom handle. Here’s a tutorial to help you on your way.

 

Things you’ll need:

  • newspaper
  • flour
  • water
  • balloon (I used a round Mylar one, but you can use any shape you want, as long as you remember it needs to hold a good amount of candy)
  • cardstock (for adding on to your base balloon)
  • tissue paper in colors that match the character you want to create
  • wire (you can use a coat hanger or any stiff wire you can find)
  • glue
  • duct tape
  • candy (word to the wise. There’s a reason why lots of pinata candy is kind of ‘meh.’ You can get the good stuff if you want to, but be prepared to keep that pinata cool if you do.)

So, let’s get started. First you’ll want to decide on a shape for your pinata. My kid loves Hello Kitty, so that’s the shape we were going for. I cut out two ears and taped them to the round Mylar balloon. Hello Kitty is really more of an oval shape, but we’re not engineering a bridge here. We don’t have to be exact. Remember, this is going to end up looking like a Hello Kitty who went a couple rounds with Mike Tyson, so don’t be precious about it.

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For this next part, you’ll want to either be outside or lay out a drop cloth. The mess is part of the fun. You’re going to use flour and water to make a paste, and that paste will get everywhere. You can make it as thick or as thin as you want, but I tend to go for a 1:1 ratio for pinatas. You don’t want it so rigid that it actually takes Mike Tyson to knock a hole in it.

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Rip your newspaper into strips and then dip them in the flour mixture. Use your fingers to lightly wipe down each strip leaving the excess glue in the bowl, so you’re not wasting it. Little kids love this, so let them savor it, and let them get as messy as they want. You can hose them down later.

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You’ll want to layer your newspaper so that you’re not leaving any holes, and the more layers you make, the thicker your pinata will be. It’s really up to you how hard you want to make this for your kids. For our Hello Kitty pinata, my daughter and I laid down two layers. One we did together, and the second I did myself after the first layer had dried (and she was taking a nap).

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This pinata dried all afternoon in the sun. I used a tomato fence to prop it up so that it didn’t get flat on one side.

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Once it’s dry, you’ll set your hanger. Cut a trap door in the top, for pouring in your candy. You can use your string-hole in the bottom to poke through your wire. Once you’ve got it through, use duct tape to fix one end to the bottom, on the outside of the hole.

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It’s your choice to either remove the balloon (after popping it with the wire) or leave it in there. I took ours out just so it wasn’t making it harder to crack the pinata. Once you dump in all your candy, then bend your wire to make a hook, and close it up with a liberal application of duct tape. You should have a happy naked pinata!

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On candy: When I was planning this, I thought, “I can fill this pinata with the best candy!” which is great. But after I’d finished it, I realized that there’s probably a reason why pinatas have mostly hard candy instead of the good stuff. Because once you make the decision to throw a bunch of chocolate in there, you’re going to want to keep it cool. Otherwise you’ll end up with a party of children covered in Reese’s peanut butter splatter, and Snickers despair. So. Get the good stuff. But don’t leave it in the car. You’ll regret it. A/C all the way.

Now that your pinata is full of candy, you can decorate. For Hello Kitty, we glued a ton of white tissue paper in a shingle pattern, and then cut out some paper eyes and nose, and drew a happy pink bow. Again, if you have little kids, you’ll probably want to let them start, and once they lose interest, let them go play while you finish up. All that gluing gets a bit tedious, but the finished product is really cool, and hearing your little ones proudly saying, “I made that pinata!” is worth every minute.

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Now, grab some rope, and a broomstick, and you’re off. Let your party-kids take turns wailing on Hello Kitty, or if your papier-mache’ was too thick, let Uncle Larry take a whack too.

 

Stay tuned for more fun art projects to share with your kids!

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