This Pinata Craft is a must for any Easter get-together!
Everybody needs to make this pinata craft at least once in their lives. Based on a simple paper mache recipe and a balloon base, this project does take a few days to prepare...so plan ahead. Creativity rules here, so let your imagination soar!
Most everyone is familiar with the "classic" pinata game. A paper mache decorated form, filled with candy, is suspended on a rope and each participant is blindfolded, turned around a couple of times and then allowed to take a swing (with a baseball bat) at the pinata. The person who breaks the pinata open wins while everyone else scatters about gathering up the "fallen" goodies.
Well, believe it or not, there's another type of pinata. One that is a "kinder and gentler" version, and that is the pull-string pinata. The basics are the same. Same old paper mache, same old suspension. But this time there's no bat, no violence. The pinata is suspended on a rope, but there are strings hanging from a "secret trap door" in the bottom of the pinata. The person who pulls the correct string, releases the trap door and all the goodies fall to the ground.
Whatever your preference, you'll find the instructions for these kid holiday crafts below.
Let's take a look at our super easy instructions! Here's what you'll need:
A large, round balloon
Newspaper, torn into strips and small pieces
Crepe paper or tissue paper
String, yarn or ribbon
Paper mache recipe
Make your paper mache paste using:
1 cup water
1/4 cup flour
5 cups boiled water
1. In a medium saucepan, add flour to one cup of water and mix until the mixture is thin and runny. Gradually add the boiled water. On a low flame, gently boil and stir for 3 minutes. Add some salt to act as a preservative. Cool before using.
2. Blow up a balloon for each child. (It's a good idea to give each child a small plastic bowl to "sit" the balloon in. This helps keep the balloon in one place as the child adds paper mache layers to it).
3. Dip individual strips of newspaper (about 1 inch wide) into the paper mache paste and place them on and around the balloon. Repeat this step until the balloon is completely covered with about 3 layers of newpaper. Now, find a nice dry place for your project and let it dry completely. (We hung ours outside on a laundry line--make sure there's no hint of rain!)
4. Is your "balloon" hardened and dried? Now pop the balloon by sticking a pin through the layers of paper mache. Remove the balloon through the small hole that's formed at the base.
5. Now it's time to make the trap door for your pinata craft: Cut a flap on the bottom of the pinata (this will be a bit hard, so have an adult do this). Make a hole at the edge of the trap door and pull a string through it. Tie it in place with a knot. Now close the trap door but don't tape it shut. Attach more strings (cut to the same length as the string connected to the trap door). Spread some glue over the trap door and cover with tissue paper. Make sure to cover the ends of all the strings.
6. Now it's time to decorate the rest of your pinata craft. Here's where your imagination comes into play. Use paint, crepe paper, tissue paper or whatever else your heart desires to make the shape you've chosen.
7. All that's left is to let the pinata dry! And there you have it. A pull-string pinata and a great, easy Easter craft!