My first paper mache piñata! I wanted to make a lego box rather than a lego person (kind of sad to ask kids to beat up a person-shaped piñata, don’t you think? Do an online search for “youtube, spiderman piñata”) It was Pete’s idea to use a grocery bag for the bottom layer (I was afraid it was too thick, so I cut long slits into the body…which I don’t think made a difference). We tried to use balloons to keep the bag from collapsing from the moisture of the 1st layer of paper mache paste, but the wet bag started shaping itself to the balloons, so I had to put a large shoebox in it to keep the angles square while the first layer dried. After it was dry, I took the shoebox out, put the balloons back in, and closed the other side of the piñata with the bottom of another grocery bag. I started out using a boiled flour paste recipe for the paper mache, but it took me a week to make, gluing strips down every now and then during the day, so the other two layers were just glued with a flour/water paste that was about the consistency of a thin pancake batter. (I forgot to refrigerate the boiled recipe, so I couldn’t keep using it).
I did two layers in newspaper and a third in white computer paper. Before the computer paper layer, I cut a slit in one end to stuff the snack packs into the piñata (graham crackers, shortbread, animal crackers, etc). Then, I used Elmer’s glue on the edges to glue blue streamers to the ends, pulling the streamers taut so that the surface would look as smooth as possible. For the body, I again applied glue only to the edges and wound the streamers tautly at a slight diagonal, also covering up the loose streamers from either end.
For the lego bumps, I used guacamole cups!
After enlarging the “Lego” logo to the correct size and cutting the blue circles out, I realized that the letters had to be traced over with a black pen, just like the circles on the small lego boxes. So tedious, but there were only 6 this time.
All done! T&T really liked it. I had three weeks to explain to Teddy and Timmy that we were going to break the piñata at their party to get the snacks out. And yes, everyone was going to have a turn. And yes, the piñata was going to be broken, and that was okay. And yes, all the kids at the party get to hit it. And…you get the idea.
It was too hard for the kids to break!! 😦 At least all 14 kids had at least two turns each (better than not getting around to everyone, right?) Pete finally took it aside to slice open and then let a few more kids hit it. We decided not to hang it because T&T are only three years old…as it was, they barely knocked it off of the stool. Some of the older kids had great whacks, though! Not hanging it = snacks not flying out of the piñata, just FYI. I’m pretty sure Pete quickly stuck his hand in the crack and flung snack packs all over the room at the end.
The other game I made was “Pin the Head on the Lego man.” I had Pete teach Teddy & Timmy how to play while I was at the Piano Festival the morning of the party (that’s why those two heads are already on the board, but I reset it before the party)
I enlarged the template of the lego heads (2 per page) and printed them onto yellow paper. I found the template here: http://www.atypicalenglishhome.com/2013/01/freebie-thursday-lego-party-printables.html
I personalized each head with a sticker of the child’s name in Lego font (more on the name stickers later). The pin-the-head man is just a super enlarged one of the outline that I used for the smaller lego men from week 1. The pants are the size of one sheet of card stock, the body is another, and the arms are half of a third sheet.
During the game, I used painter’s tape for the kids to stick the heads to the board, but the kids who waited longer had touched the tape too much and the heads kept falling off of the board, although I tried to put them back close to where they had been. (Teddy’s lego head was one that had fallen off, and it just got slapped back on the board randomly–it was actually much closer than where it ended up on the board!) So if I had to do it over, I would give the child their head to pin right before their turn, I’d assign someone else to hold the pin-the-head board or find something at the right height to prop it up on, and I’d find a blindfold that could be tied and left around the child’s head so they’d have to walk independently to the board.
What to do with all those lego heads after the party? They were all salvaged, thanks to the painter’s tape, so I peeled off the kids’ names, replaced it with a sticker printout of “Thanks” in lego font, scored the top of the lego head, attached the top with double-sided tape, and made Lego head thank-you cards.