It is fun and exciting for them and truthfully, they are all the rage in the area that we live. However, they are often filled with way too much candy and cheap, awful toys that I really don't want my kids to have. Is an eco-friendly birthday pinata possible? Yep. At least if you make it yourself and get a little creative with what you put inside.
For making this simple pumpkin version (great for an autumn birthday!) you'll need: two paper grocery bags, paint (acrylic craft paint), some paper filler (newspapers, extra grocery bags) for stuffing, kitchen twine and of course the goodies you plan to put inside.
Use two grocery bags for a nice, sturdy form and fill it up with the goodies you want inside. We included organic lollipops as the only candy and focused on small toys for the rest. Little tins of homemade playdough, handmade wool felted balls, twig colored pencils, stickers, tiny wooden cars, mini watercolor paint pans and more! Finding small, affordable (but not junk!) things was half the fun.
Unless you are having a very, very large party you won't want to fill up the entire bag! You should have plenty of space left over so it is best to fill it with additional crumpled grocery bags or newspaper. This will help the pumpkin pinata keep its shape, especially when it is hung.
Next, tie up the bag as shown with kitchen twine. This is where the shaping takes place, including the bottom "corners" that you'll want to push in for a more round look. Once you add paint it will keep the shape better. If you are lucky enough to have grocery bags with handles then by leaving a handle loop at the top you have a built in loop for your rope! If not, you can punch holes underneath the "stem" to thread some twine through.
Enlist a toddler to help with the painting if you like. If you are using acrylic paint, shirtless (or wearing an art smock) is best since it will surely stain. Make sure to protect your table too. Let it dry for several hours before touching it.
Then hang it up and let them take turns! We always have a rule that the kids have to stand behind a line or area while one child is swinging so nobody gets hurt. We use a baseball bat which works pretty well as the hitting stick. We also let the birthday boy or girl go first, followed by the youngest to oldest.
Don't forget to have bags for the kids to put their loot in! We decorated some simple ones with a leaf punch to go along with our autumn theme.
Variations: Okay, so pumpkin isn't your thing? This same round shape can be used for an apple, baseball, basketball, sunshine, octopus (just add streamer legs), a variety of faces and so much more!
Have fun with these homemade pinata instructions!
For a Laugh:
Search This Site
FREE Crafty Baby Ezine!