Friday, November 11, 2011

a moral quandry (5-year-old style)

My 5-year-old's only wish for her recent birthday party filled my heart with dread: a piñata.

Allyson, I know that you are the piñata queen, but the thought of all that candy (her birthday party was right after halloween) or on the other hand dozens of plastic trinkets that would break minutes later or kick around the house for months afterward... ack! A piñata is my worst nightmare. Besides, I'm morally opposed to the idea of getting as much stuff as possible just because it's available and free. (I have to remind myself of that fact all the time.)

But I couldn't deny my daughter her fondest dream, could I? (Or so my husband told me.)

The girls volunteered some of their Halloween candy - I readily agreed to the chance to give some of it away. I also put in some (sugarless) gum, punch balloons and glow sticks. I also hit upon an idea that I thought might counteract some of the individualistic grabbing behavior usually elicited by candy raining from the sky. I drew a treasure map on the back of a puzzle, planning to have everyone put it together after the piñata was smashed to smithereens. They would then work together to find the treasure (in this case some hot cocoa and the makings for s'mores). Sadly a thunderstorm forced us to find an alternate venue for party, so it became a virtual treasure hunt instead. The idea showed promise, though. I'm really excited at exploring this more. Next time I'm considering filling the piñata with only puzzle pieces and the treasure will be a bag for each child containing something fun and lasting.

And, according to my almost 3-year-old, I'll have the chance to do so very soon. It turns out her fondest dream is also a piñata.

What are your thoughts on piñatas? Any suggestions for fillers?


  1. I have tried so many non-candy items in pinatas, and in general they are obliterated by all the whacking (along with the dum-dums and jolly ranchers. oh, and the smarties -- more like "dust in a roll"). but small plastic animals, punch balloons (deflated), and note pads have been a hit.

    the puzzle sounds like a great idea. I wonder how the shapes would hold up against a stick?

  2. Wow. You guys are really serious about your pinatas. The 5-year-olds at the party weren't terribly rough on it. Also, I made it via the paper-mache method, so it didn't require being beaten into a pulp in order to spill its contents.

    Needless to say, the puzzle pieces held up perfectly. Will you sneak some into your next pinata and let me know how they come out in a hard core pinata experience?