Mexico - Piñatas

A piñata is a must for any Mexican celebration!  It's an empty container of paper maché - usually in the shape of an animal, but not necessarily - and not too heavy on the maché, because it has to be broken. You could fill it with wrapped candies and treats - maybe some Girl Scout items.

The piñata is hung from the ceiling; each person is given a chance to be blindfolded and swing at the piñata three times with a bat to try to break it. When it breaks and the candy falls, there is a free-for-all to get some treats. Maybe adults will be better at only taking their "share" than a couple of my girls have been - we've had to work on this aspect.

Contributed by:
Joni Morgan
Cadette Leader, Oak Ridge, TN, USA

Make a piñata. You need a large balloon to use as the form. Start this a week before you need it!!! Cover the balloon, except for an opening big enough to allow you to stuff it with candy, with strips of newspaper wet in flour and water. (Papier Maché). Cover the balloon with several layers, using a length of string in the middle of the layers so that you can hang it up afterwards.

Let the balloon dry in a warm place for 3 or 4 days. Fill with candy (I always put enough candy for each of the participants - I use a baggy for each girl, and I only put in candy that can survive a pounding!!!) (Taffy, gum, that sort of thing; anything brittle comes out as a powder!)

Decorate the outside of the piñata.

Then I hang it from the basket ball hoop - and with a blind fold and a baseball bat I'm ready.

I have rules!!!!! No one crosses a certain line on the floor unless they are the one to swing! (If there isn't a line on the floor, I put one there with masking tape!) No one is to swing the bat until we say GO! (We've never had any one get hit this way!) Each person is lead up over the line, blindfolded and spun a couple of times. Then they are to hold still till everyone is out of the swinging zone.

There is a person holding the rope of the piñata. If there is a large group and I am concerned that everyone won't get a chance, I might raise the piñata so that the current swinger doesn't connect too hard.

After the entire group has had a turn, I continue letting each person in the line come up for a swing until the piñata breaks apart. Everyone gets a little baggy of candy and everyone has a safe time and everyone has a BLAST!!

Contributed by:
Jane Maddin        @}'-,-'--
1st Orleans Pathfinders, Orleans, Ontario, Canada

You can make simple piñatas out of two styrofoam cups.  Punch a small hole in the bottom of one, fill the other with small amount of wrapped candy.  Glue
them together at the rims, opening to opening.  Then take pieces of crepe paper in different colors, overlap them around the cups in layers, doing one cup in each direction.  Leave enough overlapping so that you can "fringe" each layer.  We used bright pink, blue, yellow and green.   To cover the seam in the middle use one piece of coordinating rick rack odds and ends.  Kids loved them ... we took the same idea and made maracas for our music try it long ago.

Contributed by:
Alex B
Troops 340 and 346, Midland, Michigan, USA

For more ideas on piñatas, look in the book 'World Games and Recipes', published by WAGGGS.

Do you have any other ideas for activities? Contact The GuideZone Team with your comments or suggestions!

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This page last updated September 24th, 1999