Pinatas have become a birthday party essential, but did you know they're actually a Mexican Christmas tradition? And in Germany, advent calendars are paired with advent candles which begin four Sundays outside of Christmas. You light the candle for each meal and add an another lit candle each Sunday out from Christmas until all four are lit. With this in mind, we jumbled the cultures a little to bring you a new idea for Christmas celebrations: advent pinatas. Fill with lollies, confetti or tiny toy treats and let the kids have a whack each Sunday afternoon before Christmas for four weeks. It might be best as outdoor fun, so store away for the rest of the week by hanging undercover until you're ready to release the contents.
- Paper mache paste (see recipe below)
- Plastic gloves
- Confetti or glitter to decorate
- Newspaper strips around 15cm by 2cm
- Lollies, small toys or extra confetti to fill; paint; a bowl to lean the balloon on while paper maching.
Paste, gloves, confetti, newspaper strips, balloons, string
Blow up your balloon to desired size and tie off.
Place the balloon in a bowl or cup as a stand with the tied end facing up. Soak strip of newspaper in paste then smooth onto balloon vertically starting about two and a half centimetres down from the balloon's knot.
Continue with more strips of paper until it's entirely covered. Flip the balloon upside down in the cup and cover the bottom of it with the paste-covered newspaper. Return to upright position and do another layer, this time going horizontally. Tie a piece of string on the knot of the balloon and hang in the sun to dry for several hours.
Once dry and if the shell feels sturdy enough (if not, complete another layer of paste and leave again to dry), pop the balloon and fill the pinata with goodies.
Cut a length of string and fold in half. Place the looped end into the hole of the pinata and paper mache over the hole and between the two pieces of string exiting the hole so they are a couple of centimeters apart. Leave to dry in its 'stand' in the sun.
Once completely dry, paint and roll in confetti or glitter while the paint is still wet. Leave to dry then bring out when the day calls for it to be smashed!
Paper mache paste recipe
- 1 cup plain flour
- 5 cups of water
Boil four cups of water. While waiting, mix one cup of flour with one cup of warm water. This will avoid clumps.
Once water has boiled, pour into bowl with flour and water mixture, stirring well constantly. If paste is too thick, add more water; if too runny, add more flour.
Leave to cool.