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Are you looking for an original craft idea for the next children’s birthday party, Easter, summer party or Christmas? Piñatas from Mexico have been a party hit for young and old in Germany for several years now.
Of course, you can also buy a piñata ready-made. However, it is more fun to make the pinata yourself and to design it imaginatively.
Even for small children, making and decorating a pinata is an exciting and educational experience.
If the piñata is to be the surprise highlight of the birthday party or Advent bazaar, you can get together with other parents to make the pinata.
Big children’s eyes are guaranteed at the children’s party.
The Most Important Things About Making Pinatas With Children
Before you start making your piñata, you may be interested in the background of this cheerful tradition from South America.
In this article you will learn everything about:
- The origin and spread of the pinata trend.
- Easy piñata making for young children.
- Original pinata craft ideas for older children.
- Varied game variations with the piñata.
What Is A Piñata?
Piñatas are colorful papier-mâché figures that are filled with candy and small gifts.
Whether the term pinata comes from the Italian word pignatta – fragile pot or was named after the Spanish term piña – pineapple because of its traditional shape doesn’t really matter.
Pinatas are attached to a rope on the ceiling or outdoors on a branch. As in pot banging, the child is now blindfolded and must try to hit the pinata with a stick.
If this does not succeed after three hits, it is the next child’s turn. At some point, the piñata bursts and it rains small gifts. All the children are allowed to collect together in bags what they find.
Of course, the birthday child gets to try his luck first.
Where Does The Piñata Come From?
As far back as ancient China, there was a kind of piñata in the spring from which it rained seeds. The pinata tradition as we know it today comes from Mexico. There piñatas belong to every children’s birthday party and to the Easter like the Easter bunny in our country.
As is often the case, the custom spilled over from Latin America via the USA to us in Europe.
In Mexico and Spain, pinatas are a must at Christmas. In the meantime, the pinata, like Halloween, has also arrived here in Germany. Pinatas are also trendy in this country.
Pinata crafting is an exciting and educational creative activity for children of all ages and a real highlight among the craft ideas.
What Does A Typical Pinata Look Like?
That’s the beauty: every pinata is different and you can let your imagination run wild with the design: Fruits, animals, cartoon characters or fantasy objects are allowed.
Traditionally, the piñata is spherical and has seven tips, which originally stood for the seven deadly sins.
So smashing the piñata brings good luck, even if at first glance it seems a shame to destroy the great handicraft at the end.
You can also explain this to your child in case they are sad to break the work of art at the end.
Instructions For Making Pinatas With Children
Depending on the age of the children, you can decide which techniques you want to practice with your child: Three or four-year-old children especially enjoy painting and sticking on the pinata figure.
Kindergarteners and younger school children often find the variant with papier-mâché and balloons particularly exciting. Depending on the time, space and occasion, you can choose more elaborate or simpler craft ideas.
Crafting is important for the healthy development of your child and you should not be too squeamish about keeping the place tidy.
Experiencing and learning about a wide variety of materials is great enrichment for any child and a unique sense of accomplishment.
Pinata crafting combines basic craft skills with the development of your child’s imagination and creativity.
Simple Instructions For Pinata Crafting With Several Young Children:
For young children, a simple piñata is recommended, where you make an animal shape or fantasy object from old cardboard boxes, loo rolls and glue, alone or together with your child.
Depending on the occasion and the season, donkey, fish, unicorn, robot, witch’s house, dragon or giraffe are all good choices.
Once the basic shape has been decided, you can lay out acrylic paints or glue, old newspapers, magazines, colored paper, and crepe paper. Now your child can paint and/or glue the blank to their heart’s content.
Pinata crafting in this variant is also ideal as a game during the children’s birthday party. It is important that you provide an opening for filling the gifts and drill holes in time for hanging.
Otherwise, there are no limits to the creativity and imagination of the children. Joint crafting promotes the relationship with your child and you should use every opportunity for it.
Shared experiences such as outings or joint crafting create trust and beautiful memories.
Materials needed for pinata crafting:
- Small and large cardboard boxes.
- Clour rolls.
- Acrylic paints.
- Colored paper, crepe paper.
- Old newspapers.
Great Pinata Craft Ideas For Older Kids
Once your child reaches kindergarten or school age, they will have a lot of fun making pinatas with paper mache and balloons.
This requires a little more preparation. Pinata crafting in this variant is also well suited for two joint craft afternoons with other parents and children. The papier-mâché pinata is created in two steps.
First, you create the blank by applying the paper-mâché mixture layer by layer on an inflated balloon. Only when everything is thoroughly dry can you start decorating the piñata figure.
Shared crafting and designing is important for children of all ages. With attractive craft ideas you train your child’s concentration, stamina, fine motor skills and creativity.
Some preparation is necessary when making pinatas with papier-mâché: Involve your child in the preliminary work: This way, he or she takes responsibility and understands the context of pinata crafting.
Materials needed for pinata making day 1.
- Stirring spoon.
- Wallpaper paste.
- Wide brush for the paste.
- Lots of newspaper.
- Lots of colored crepe paper.
- Craft apron and rubber gloves.
First, in a bucket, mix the paste with water exactly according to package directions. It’s a good idea to use a few layers of newspaper, a tarp, or a large disposable tablecloth as a base.
This keeps the table and floor clean. Next, blow up as large a balloon as possible and tie it in a knot.
While the paste is resting, tear the newspaper and crepe paper into many small pieces with your child.
Now coat your child’s balloon all around with paste. Now your child can glue the torn newspaper evenly onto the balloon.
Then the next layer of paste comes over it and again the newspaper is glued on to your heart’s content. Make sure that there is enough space around the knot of the balloon so that you can comfortably fill in the gifts later.
Normally, you or your child should glue on at least 3 layers of newspaper to make the pinata stable enough. Now it gets colorful: Let your child glue the colored crepe paper over the newspaper layers.
Every child is different: some kids like it confetti-colored, others take a systematic approach and glue stripes or areas of the same color.
The more children participate, the more colorful, varied, and imaginative the craft ideas become. Some kids like to use craft gloves when making pinatas, while others love to muddle along with their bare hands.
You should have a craft apron or an old t-shirt on hand for all the kids to protect their clothes from the glue.
Encourage creativity and fun in imaginative crafting, and slow down as little as possible for fear of clothing or furnishings.
A little preparation and a tarp or plastic blanket make pinata crafting a straightforward fun activity that won’t be marred by long cleanups afterwards.
Afterwards, take at least a day off to allow the piñata to dry thoroughly.
Required material Pinata crafting day 2:
- Hot glue
- Wool scraps
- Crepe paper
When the papier-mâché and crepe paper mixture has dried thoroughly after at least 24 hours, you can carefully pry open the balloon and remove it.
The papier-mâché layer is now sturdy enough to continue crafting imaginatively. Depending on time, age, and crafting desire, you can now create colorful craft ideas. When making pinatas, you can create wild shaggy monsters, tame animals, or colorful fantasy figures.
The main thing is that your child has fun gluing and designing. Skilled crafters can use milk cartons, toilet rolls, or small boxes to add arms and legs. Googly eyes, wool or crepe paper hair, fish scales, and much more is possible.
These craft ideas encourage your child’s imagination and creativity, and you shouldn’t be too specific about what the finished piñata should look like.
Finally, use a hand drill or screwdriver to drill four holes around the edge of your pinata’s opening. Pull a long enough string through the holes to hang the piñata up to play with later.
Pinata Crafting With A Paste Mixture Of Flour, Salt And Water
Alternatively, for this and other craft ideas, you can make your papier-mâché from a mixture of salt, flour and water.
Mix a cup of water with a cup of flour and a spoonful of salt until you get a homogeneous paste. This mixture is further processed in the same way as wallpaper paste when making pinatas.
More Play And Craft Ideas With Pinatas
You can make pinata crafting a permanent part of your family tradition and use it as a birthday highlight, just like in Latin America.
Children’s parties, Christmas and Advent bazaars always become exciting with seasonal pinatas.
Of course, if your child definitely doesn’t want to smash his or her work of art after the pinata craft, you can make copies together to decorate the kids’ room.
Maybe you can turn the piñata into a big piggy bank where small amounts of money can be collected over the year. There are no limits to your imagination when making pinatas.
If you’re not quite sure of your child’s level of development, you can find out a lot about their fine motor skills and stamina while making the piñata together, and give your child targeted support if necessary.
It doesn’t really matter what your pinata looks like later. The most important thing about pinata making is the creative fun you have together.
While making pinatas, you can tell your child a lot about traditions and customs in South America and other countries. Children always find it exciting to learn how children in other countries live, play and celebrate.
For a stylish pinata children’s birthday party you now have to fill the finished figure with many small gifts. In South America, candy is usually inside the pinata.
Age-appropriate little things like kids’ tattoos, mini stamps, mini puzzles, gummy figurines or animals, dice, brainteasers, gummy bears, erasers, granola bars, hair ties, flummis, stickers, and more are better for health and make kids even happier.
It’s important that each child collects about the same amount of treasures at the children’s birthday party. So you effectively prevent tears and disappointment. Good luck with the pinata crafting and have fun at the next children’s birthday party or pinata party.