Formed into shapes with cardboard or paper mache and covered with colorful tissue paper, piñatas are literally a hit at children’s parties. Children love to swing a wood stick and break open the decoration filled with small toys, candy, gum and assorted party favors. Before you hang the piñata, choose a location that will not only keep it at the proper height for the kids, but that also provides enough room to swing the stick safely and allow the guests to run in simultaneously to retrieve the falling treats.
Fill the piñata with candy, toys and party favors through the opening located on the top or back of the figure. Punch or cut through the tissue paper with scissors to access the opening often marked with a sticker.
Push the end of a 10-foot piece of rope through the loop attached to the top of the piñata and tie a double knot to ensure the rope will hold the weight of the filled piñata.
Select a location such as a low-hanging tree branch, a basketball hoop or a beam in a patio overhang that can accommodate the rope. Ensure the spot is wide open, giving the kids space to swing the bat or wood stick without hitting anything but the piñata.
Throw the rope over the branch, hoop or beam so the piñata is hanging on one side and the loose end of the rope is hanging on the other. Pull the rope so the piñata is out of the children’s reach and tie the loose end to the tree or a pole to until it’s time to play the game.
Untie the end of the rope, lower the piñata to the desired height and have an adult hold the end of the rope when it’s time to play the piñata game. As the blindfolded child swings the bat or stick to hit the piñata, either keep the rope steady or pull it up and down to turn the piñata into a moving target.
Continue the safety precautions with the hanging piñata by having an adult supervise the activity, particularly if you’ve blindfolded the child swinging the stick. Before the game begins, instruct the guests to wait to rush in for the candy until the adult removes the blindfold and stick from the guest hitting the piñata.
When choosing the treats to fill the piñata, opt for items like hard candy, stickers, bead necklaces, plastic figurines, gum or pencils. If the piñata will be hanging in the park or backyard during the party, goodies like chocolates may melt as the piñata sits in direct sunlight.
If you couldn’t fill the party piñata with enough candy to accommodate all of your party guests, wait until a child breaks open the piñata. At that moment, toss handfuls of candy and treats onto the ground where the kids are scurrying to retrieve the goodies.