Friday, 25 September 2009

Easy-Peasy-Piñata

The Piñata is a traditional Mexican game that's one of the highlights of kids’ parties in Mexico and across the United States. It’s best played outdoors as you need something like a tree to hang your piñata from and enough room to swing the stick. The idea behind the game is that the piñata is full of sweets and tissue paper, and the kids take it in turns to be blindfolded and to bat it down with a stick.

You can buy piñatas from toyshops or online, and I've included instructions for making a proper piñata out of paper mache in 'Organised Fun for Kids', which is great fun for kids to help out with as well.

If like me last weekend, you're short on time and need to rustle one up fairly quickly then why not have a go at this easy-peasy version. Admittedly it looks a little more like a West Highland Terrier Piñata, but that's its British edge. Anyway instructions below:

How to make a piñata (the easy-peasy verison)

Get yourself a couple of cardboard boxes - one large and one smaller and some extra cardboard and cut yourself out some ears.

Next you need to figure out how to fix these in place before you start decorating the elements. We pierced holes in the cardboard and threaded string through, ready for it to be tied in place once the piñata had been covered with the tissue paper.

You also need to fix a strong piece of string or ideally rope so you can hang it up somewhere. Again do this now before you start decorating.

Before you close up the bottom of the large box, fill it with sweets and treats and shredded newspaper and tape it closed.

Once you've got all that figured out, this is where the kids can help. Get some different colored tissue paper and cut into 20cm strips and then snip all the way up to give them a fringe and glue them in place to give your piñata a colorful shaggy coat. Finally tie all the components firmly in place to complete your West Highland Terrier Piñata as in the picture at the top.

How do I play it?
  • When you’re ready to play, gather all the children around the piñata. Each child takes it in turn to be blindfolded and spun around and then with stick in hand they have to try to walk towards the hanging piñata and take a swipe at it to knock it down or knock a hole in it to get the sweets and toys inside.
  • Each child has two swipes. If a child is under three, don’t worry about the blindfold; just let them have their two swipes without. Also, let younger kids go first so the older ones don’t knock it down early on.
  • The winner is the one who knocks a hole in it or knocks it out of the tree.
  • To purchase Organised Fun for Kids click here.

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