This year she was a little less, um, "alternative" in her requests, which made my life a whole lot easier. She told me a few weeks before her birthday that she wanted "a spooky halloween party with a superhero cake". Actually it started out as a "batman cake" but then she decided she wanted spiderman and superman too (that's for a later post though)
She's never been too interested in the getting presents aspect of birthdays, which to tell you the truth surprises me, and with each year that passes I always expect that the next one will be the year that she has her heart set on some inanimate object that she wants. So far though when people ask her what she wants for her birthday, the usual response is "a (insert weird idea here)
party with all my friends", so that's why we make the effort with the parties.
Last year we made a non violent pinata, because the kids were all around three and four years old and weren't too hot with the whole batting thing. This year though I thought it would be ok to try a traditional beat the living hell out of it pinata.
Inspired by LiEr's hello kitty pinata over at Ikatbag, I decided the covered balloon would be the best way to go if I wanted the kids involved in making it.
We blew up one of the giant punchball balloons and covered it with about three layers of newspaper strips and watered down white glue. We did this on a really sunny day outside though and evidently the many years of physics education went out the window when I totally didn't figure that the balloon would expand in the heat and rip the layers of paper we were putting on. Bah! or rather BANG!
It wasn't too bad though. We patched it up and although the top looked a little gnarly, you couldn't tell by the time we had put a layer of butcher block paper on top and painted it orange. When we put the layer of butcher block paper on I used a flour and water mixture rather than the glue and water and honestly, that seemed to work just as well (and was obviously cheaper). Yes LiEr, that is an empty Nutella jar that the paint is in ;)
I drew a wee jack o lantern face on to go with the spooky halloween theme and then cut a couple of holes to thread a hanging rope through. I made the holes a little more sturdy by hot gluing a disposable ketchup cup in them (yes, I swipe ketchup cups from fast food places, sometimes even when people are looking)
After I'd sorted the rope to hang it, I covered the holes with some fake autumn leaves we had around (that little packet of leaves has been used in a lot of crafts over the year. Here, here and here, but now alas they are all gone)
The kids helped me to stuff the pinata with candy and shredded newspaper (the stuff out of the freaky scarecrow actually).
The verdict was that with three layers of newspaper and one of butcher's block paper, it stood up to about 20 minutes of pounding by 20 kids between the ages of 2 and 7, which was just right.
It was definately worth making a pinata, because the kids felt a whole lot of ownership over the project and got more and more excited in the build up to the party over making it. Far better than buying one from the store. Thank you LiEr for the hints and tips on making a pinata with just the right smashability rating.
My best mate back home wants one of Frank Sidebottom's head for her birthday. I think we may be up to the challenge.