A Pinata For You To Make
You will need:
A round balloon
Tape (regular or masking)
Crayons or Markers
Tissue paper or construction paper
String or yarn
A craft knife
Goodies to fill the Pinata
Warning: This project is messy!! Spread newspapers around the workspace!!
Warning Two: This project will probably require two days!!
Step One - Blow up the balloon and tie a knot at the end. Tear newspapers into strips about 1 inch wide and about 6 inches long. Pour some of the glue into a disposable bowl or a bowl you don't mind soaking in water for a long while. Dip the newspaper strips into the glue and spread them onto the balloon. Thoroughly cover the balloon. Let the first layer dry.
Step Two - Repeat Step One two more times.
Step Three - Lay the dry balloon on its side so it forms an oval shape. Cut a hole about 2 inches across on the top of the oval (see Diagram A). If scissors don't work you may want to have mom or dad use a knife. DO NOT use a knife without an adult present!!! Save the piece you cut out. Carefully, pop the balloon (if it's not already popped) and take it out. Cut two more very small holes in the body on each side of the big hole. Place the hole for the front a little closer to the big hole than the hole for the rear so your pinata will balance well (see Diagram A). Cut two pieces of string or yarn about 18 inches long. Tie a knot at the end of both string and bring up through the holes. Tie the ends of the strings together with a secure knot. (You can save tying the ends together until you have finished decorating if you wish.)
Step Four - Now you have a big decision to make. If you want to use your pinata for a decoration, tape the piece you cut out back to the rest of the pinata. If you want to fill your pinata with goodies and play the pinata game, do not tape the piece back onto the pinata. Save it, however, to decorate separately. You may decide you want to make two pinatas!!
Step Five - Cut an oval of tissue paper or construction paper (You can choose whatever colors you want or you can use the colors in the picture above.) The size of your oval depends on the size of your balloon. Make sure it's big enough to cover the bottom well. Glue the oval to the bottom of the pinata body.
Step Six - Print out the Pinata Patterns.
Pinata Tail and Leg Patterns
Mom or Dad may need to help with Steps Seven and Eight and Step Ten.
Step Seven - Cut out the pinata head patterns. Cut on the heavy lines up to the decoration on the neck. Use one head as a pattern to cut out a thin piece of cardboard for reinforcement. (You only need to reinforce the head from the nose to the neck decoration) Cut the cardboard just slightly smaller than the head. Now glue the two heads together with the cardboard in the middle. Color both sides of the head. Glue the cut tabs to the front of the body.
Step Eight - Repeat Step Seven with the tail pattern and glue it to the rear of the body. (See Diagram B) Let the glue dry before you go on to Step Nine.
Step Nine - Cut a lot of strips of tissue paper or construction paper about 1 inch wide and 2 inches long. Start at the bottom of the pinata making sure the first row overlaps the bottom oval and glue one end of the strip to the body. Continue until the body is covered. You want the paper strips to look like fringe. (See Diagram C) Let the glue dry before you go on to Step Ten.
Step Ten - Cut out leg patterns. There are one pair of front legs and one pair of rear legs. Reinforce with lightweight cardboard, cutting the cardboard the SAME size as the legs. Color BOTH sides of each pair of legs. Cut the X lines on the pair of rear legs. Very carefully slide the tail through the cut X and glue the legs to the body. Glue the front legs under the head. Try to glue on the front legs so they are even with the rear legs. You may want to glue on a few more strips of tissue paper or construction paper to cover the top edge of the legs. Let the glue dry before you go on to Step Eleven.
Step Eleven - If you have decided to use your pinata for the pinata game, you want to fill it up with goodies (candy, small toys, whatever you like). Take the piece you saved from the top and carefully tape it back on the body with clear tape. Cover the top piece with strips of paper. If you haven't done so before, tie the ends of your hanging string together with a secure knot.
Step Twelve - Enjoy your pinata OR play the pinata game. This game would be a lot of fun at a Christmas party or at a Birthday party. If you have family members who cannot attend in person you can have them join in the fun with a conference call (http://www.conferencecallsunlimited.com). To start, hang the pinata up from the ceiling. Each child takes a turn trying to break the pinata. Blindfold the child who's turn it is. Give the child a stick (a broom handle works well). Turn the child around in a circle 2 or 3 times and point him or her in the direction of the pinata. The child gets to swing the stick 2 or 3 times. Make sure everyone else stands clear of the swinging stick, including the grown-ups!!! Then another child gets a turn. When someone breaks the pinata, all the children get to gather the goodies. You might want to have little paper bags with each child's name on them so the kids have a place to store their goodies for the remainder of the party and a way to carry everything home.
If you are feeling very ambitious, you can always expand this project and make your pinata even more three dimensional. Use a second small balloon for the head with a cardboard neck and cardboard tubes for the legs. Be sure to adjust your string holes to compensate for the extra weight of the head. You can also try other making other figures. We once made a bat, for example, for a Halloween party.