A Halloween Piñata

A new addition to our usual Halloween celebration this year was a piñata made by one Mr. Elijah Rain.

It turned out really well, I was impressed!

This is the first piñata that I’ve ever been called upon to fill. I grew up with ones full of gum balls, tootsie rolls and junky little plastic toys, so this required some thought.

Here’s what I ended up with:

  • Little baggies with lumps of clay
  • Colored pencils (some regular, some metallic and shimmery, some chunky for and built for little hands)
  • Some of my chocolates
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds
  • Gum (the stuff I mentioned here)
  • Raisins
  • Stickers
  • Glitter glue
  • Goji berry and orange white chocolate (which was wonderful AND a gorgeous bright orange!)
  • Nuts and dried berries

But my favorite thing was these little blank books that I made, simple though they are:

I’m on a big fancy paper kick at the moment. I love all of the fun and inspiring prints out there. The covers for these (which all have a coordinating print on the inside) came from an autumn inspired craft paper pack that I found on clearance at the craft store.

I wanted to add in green chips and popcorn, but I didn’t get around to making them. A friend suggested polished rocks and gem stones and another mentioned bouncy balls, both great ideas, but didn’t have time to get any. I was kicking myself for not thinking to add packets of some of the seeds that we gathered from our garden. I thought about those little gnomes made of a felt cloak stuffed with some wool, but that was one of the treats a couple of years back and my family has just received some fresh ones, so I filed the idea away for the future. Maybe whistles of some sort? Or kazoos? I thought bells would be fun. Friendship bracelets? Honey sticks? Small felt animals?

I should have ample opportunity to use all of my ideas. Iain already made a piñata for his birthday in January (let’s just hope it holds up well in the attic) and Galen just announced that he wants one for his birthday too. So, if anyone else has any inspired ideas, put them out there because I’ll be needing them!

~Sometimes I suspect that Elijah actually *is* Harry Potter!~

Now, perhaps you’ve noticed that I have a nasty little habit of making the simplest of things exceptionally complicated?

You see, the things is, I don’t like the whole piñata mentality; this rushing and pushing and shoving to grab as much as you can. Kind of puts me in mind of that poor person being trampled to death at a holiday sale last year. I’m just not comfortable with it. And when you are looking at an age range like we were (from not yet 2 to nearly 10), there are very good odds on the little people being pushed aside, with huge discrepancies between treat bags resulting. Beyond which not all of the filler was appropriate for all ages.

Enter The Grand Plan.

I had this idea to turn it into a kind of treasure hunt. I made each child a bag with their name on the front. On the back was a child specific list of star stickers, with each combination matching a prize in the piñata. So, for example, 2 year old Rosa would have the combination for raisins, but not for gum. Each child was to seek out one of each thing on his or her list, with the older ones helping the little ones once their own bags were full.

I know, me and my ideas! A little too rigid perhaps? Too structured? My fear was that a) it would be too convoluted, and b) it would negatively impact the joy and spontaneity of the moment. I may never know. I didn’t exactly get to see my grand plan in action…
On Halloween morning Steve was feeling kind of off, but still running errands and going about his usual business. By noon he was slowing down and not looking so great. At 1 I was optimistically filling the piñata. By two he was unconscious on the futon in the middle of the living space, despite the four kids crowded around him and making a racket. And by three I was calling to cancel. Did I mention that he spent last week in training classes at work, closed up in a small room with two other guys, both of whom currently have children diagnosed with swine flu? Yeah.

6 thoughts on “A Halloween Piñata

  1. sarah

    I love the way you filled the pinata and I think your idea of making it a treasure hunt is brilliant – so much more fun for the children. And I completely agree with you, I find it stomach-churning to watch the children grab and shove and scramble for lollies.

    I'm sorry Steve is sick. If it's any consolation, our experience of the swine flu was mild. And even people who were quite sick with it said it only lasted for one or two days.

    I hope you will find another chance to use your pinata soon – perhaps an All Recovered From The Flu party?

  2. Michelle

    What a great pinata and great filling for it too. I hope that Steve gets better and that if it is swine flu, that you all get a really mild illness. Of course you would, being as healthy as you all are.

  3. Christine

    You have such a wealth of wonderful ideas! Thank you so much for sharing! Sorry to hear about Steve- you probably already know this, but elderberry is supposed to be very effective at stopping the flu where its at (so it doesn't get any worse). I hope you and the kids stay well!

  4. Allie

    Well, it sounds like it would have been a great party – do you have a "rain date" for the pinata? I hope your husband gets better soon!

  5. Nicole

    LOVE the "code" idea for the pinata treasures! I've always hated them because of the shoving/grabbing, but I think now we just might have to do something similar at our next birthday party.

    Hope Steve feels better soon.

  6. cecilia

    oh my, i hope his illness is shortlived.

    you did just make my next go at filling a pinata MUCH easier! great ideas :)

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