Cheap, "crunchy" pinata ideas? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 09-05-2010, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD is having her birthday party next weekend and wants a pinata really bad. A lot of the families coming are very crunchy, healthy, not into plastic junk kind of people. So I can't just stuff it full of cheap candy and dollar store toys lol.

And ideas on things to put in there and not go broke on? We are using the goodies from the pinata in place of goody bags.

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#2 of 26 Old 09-05-2010, 09:40 PM
 
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Crayons? Little erasers?
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#3 of 26 Old 09-05-2010, 10:10 PM
 
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maybe some little organic treats? Fruit leathers, Annie's fruit snacks, tattoos, stickers, handmade finger puppets??

me, dh and 2 boys = our family (oh and a cat...who is also a male...lol)
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#4 of 26 Old 09-05-2010, 10:58 PM
 
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I don't know where you live, but where I live the organic stuff is more than twice the price of non-organic. This just isn't an option for me so I always fill it with candy and let the parents deal with it. Pinatas are expensive to fill no matter what and I just expect my guests to be good guests without worrying about what they think. I have been to many parties with crunchy families and not one has had organic healthy treats and expensive give-aways in the gift bag. If you can't get over what people think of you then you could go with organic candy if it comes in bulk and put a box of playing cards from the dollar store in each gift bag before the kids break the pinata. They sell the cards at 2 for a dollar at our dollar store so it is a very affordable and fun party favor (nobody can tell they come from the dollar store either because they look the same as the $2 cards they sell at Albertsons.
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#5 of 26 Old 09-05-2010, 11:23 PM
 
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Homemade popcorn balls? seed packets?
You could go to Target or Walmart now and check out the back-to-school stuff that's on clearance now, and see what looks like fun. Maybe you can get some cheap crayons or little notepads or something.
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#6 of 26 Old 09-05-2010, 11:33 PM
 
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As a parent, I hate pinatas!!!

If your natural food store has a big bulk section, they may have seperately wrapped sesame-honey treats or chocolate earth balls.

Any way you can get away with skipping the pinata? As I write this I know there isn't--who wants to say no to a kid about their own birthday party? I'll be facing this same problem, come spring.

How about the CRAFT STORE--they sell big bags of stickers, fun shaped buttons, etc.

And if there are no allergies, peanuts in the shell. That's affordable!!! With treats interspersed it would really fill the space.

Good luck!
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#7 of 26 Old 09-06-2010, 01:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I'm starting to hate pinatas too lol. It's the only party activity that she wants though, and it's the only party she's ever had...so I might just be stuck with it. Though I have had plans on trying to talk her into a simple goody bag instead. They have some really neat (and super cheap) things at the craft store that would be perfect. Add a lollipop or something and we'd be good. Maybe if I let her help me pick out the stuff she'll go for it...

I love the peanut idea! And I wasn't speaking organic candy or anything lol. I'm not trying to impress people that badly. Just wanted to see what other ideas there were besides for a bag of miniature chocolates yk?

Thanks for all the great ideas!

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#8 of 26 Old 09-06-2010, 01:57 AM
 
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I've heard of people put the goodie bags labelled with each child's name in the pinata so that there isn't really a scramble - everyone will be guaranteed an equal amount.

As an aside - are you purchasing or making the pinata? The purchased ones ime are awful - they just don't break & end up needing a parent to finally rip it apart because they are made of cardboard taped together.

Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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#9 of 26 Old 09-06-2010, 02:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh I'm so glad I posted this. Goodie bags inside the pinata...that is genius! All they want to do is hit the thing anyways lol. And I could be much more frugal that way.

I was planning on buying one. We have decent sized ones for $10 at the local Asian supermarket. But now you got me all nervous about it.

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#10 of 26 Old 09-06-2010, 02:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post
I've heard of people put the goodie bags labelled with each child's name in the pinata so that there isn't really a scramble - everyone will be guaranteed an equal amount.

As an aside - are you purchasing or making the pinata? The purchased ones ime are awful - they just don't break & end up needing a parent to finally rip it apart because they are made of cardboard taped together.
Not in DHs family . They have been known to use a broomstick or other heavy object. The ones we buy are handmade from a place called Dulcelandia, though. Our family is Mexican so we take it seriously,

I'm not a fan of candy, though for DDs first bday we had one filled with Mexican candy.

I love the peanut idea

rainbow1284.gif Mama to DD1 (6) DD2 (4) and DD3 (1)
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#11 of 26 Old 09-06-2010, 02:30 AM
 
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PPs-- great ideas-- love the individual bags and the peanuts! Brilliant!

Also-- have you seen these "googly-bands"? They're weird shaped jelly bracelets-- like an outline of an animal, but they just look like a crimped jelly bracelet when they wear them. They're in 10 packs for a dollar at the dollar store... (can you tell what era I was born in... jelly bracelets, crimped, oy)

I also have seen pencils, mini notepads, crayons(just 3 or so rubberbanded together), sidewalk chalk (not a pack per child, but 1-3 sticks per), stickers, mini playdough (home made would be fun and super cheap). Home made cookies or candy... idk.

We make our pinatas out of a balloon and flour-glue shredded (upcycled) newspaper, then decorate w streamers, stickers, whatever. They break nicely.

Have fun!
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#12 of 26 Old 09-06-2010, 02:54 AM
 
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raisin boxes, natural fruit snack packets, granola bars, bouncy balls, silly bandz, whole grain cracker packets, temporary tattoos, trading cards, noise makers

Full-time RVing wifey, TTC #1 and working towards living debt-free!
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#13 of 26 Old 09-06-2010, 03:38 AM
 
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This time of year, you should be able to get trick or treat bags of pretzels. We've done seeds. If you buy in bulk, you can get undyed silk scarves super cheap, like around a dollar each from Dharma Trading, then pack them with packets of koolaid and instructions. Also, another hit has been "dream pillows" - little sachets full of chamomile and lavender. Wedding favor bubbles? Pencils. Crayola 24 pack crayons are $0.25 a piece at Target right now. Mostly girls on the guest list? Barrettes and hair ties - make your own by tying ribbons onto plain elastics.
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#14 of 26 Old 09-06-2010, 03:43 AM
 
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I hate cheap plastic pinanta crap, that being said these are some of our things we have stuffed ours with in the past:


1. homemade rainbow crayons (melted down crayon pieces in muffin tin, wrapped up with a pretty bow)

2. bubbles

3. Chalk (dollar store big bucket, seperated 2 per cello bag)

4. homemade playdoh in recycled containers (actually my neighbor saved her baby food plastic tubs for this) I also did gak/goo which was a huge hit
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#15 of 26 Old 09-06-2010, 04:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post

I love the peanut idea! And I wasn't speaking organic candy or anything lol. I'm not trying to impress people that badly. Just wanted to see what other ideas there were besides for a bag of miniature chocolates yk?

Thanks for all the great ideas!
organic vegan, soy free, gluten free candy is the only kind we eat here. I will not give what I believe to be toxins and poisons to my child or anyone else's. If it was the same candy as my childhood, with the only 'bad' ingredients being preservatives, dairy, HFCS and food colorings, I may allow it every now and then, but there is a much more dangerous ingredient in the candy now IMO. All mainstream candy has GMO ingredients in it nowadays. (unless marked GMO free---)The HFCS is all derived from GMO corn. The soy lecithin or any form of soy is derived from GMO soy. All cottonseed oil, canola oil... all GMO. There is too much evidence that GMO strains are causing dis- ease and sterility, although just like the vaccine evidence (and some extended breastfeeding info, attachment parenting... etc.) you have to research it on your own as the $ makes sure it is hidden.
Things that were once hidden are now becoming mainstream and will continue this path, but we are mostly all ahead of the curve, understanding things before the masses.
I don't think it is ridiculous to want to provide only good candy. But there is no way I could afford to stuff a normal sized pinata either. Have you thought of doing something smallish? Like the size of a bowling ball? Then using all the ideas in this thread, bulk natural organic candy either from HFS or http://www.naturalcandystore.com, erasers, pencils and toppers, school things or miniature notebooks... peanuts if you ask everyone that is coming if peanuts are a problem ahead of time. You could maybe make natural suckers pretty cheap too, just sugar and flavor and beet or carrot coloring I think....

We tried to have a gathering this year for dd1's 7th bday, but we didn't want to buy a package at the skate place because we can't eat or drink anything they offer there, except the water at the water fountain... so we just asked people to meet us there, and requested no presents. a few people from the homeschooling group showed up, and we didn't have to worry about making expensive food for people. But if either of us could find a job right now, I would've loved to have sunk my teeth into it and had a real party here at home, because dd1 would have loved it.

You may consider doing the cheaper gift bags for the party, then letting your dd bust open a private family pinata later, filled only with wholesome non toxic things....

wow- i started typing this hours ago (but got waaaayyy sidetracked and was off computer) and you have had so many more responses with GREAt ideas! I love it! Now I wanna make a pinata.

To begin to save the world, we must first nurture the children. Read "The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost"    saynovax.gifgoorganic.jpgintactlact.gifMe-hippie.gifreading.gifhelp.gif10.5 yo dd1- nut.gifreading.gifblahblah.gif ; 5 yo dd2- angel.gifhearts.gifbouncy.gif
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#16 of 26 Old 09-06-2010, 10:43 AM
 
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Panda licorice might be a good addition.

But do beware that most fill-your-own pinatas are made of cardboard and not really breakable. I really don't even understand their point. But, if you google how to make a pinata, you and your daughter might have a great time making your own.

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#17 of 26 Old 09-06-2010, 10:50 AM
 
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I put labeled goodie bags in the first time we did a pinata. We had a wide age range and it was the first time for some kids. I was real pleased with being able to get just enough stuff for each kid to get one of everything and not having to get extras to ensure no one missed out on a choice item. I also put in loose pony beads in case any of the kids were really into the collecting aspect. However, they weren't and I was finding beads whenever I cleaned for the next couple of years.

The last pinata I did was for a group of 8ish yo boys and we did it the traditional way. I put in gfcf hard candies because one of the kids was on a gfcf diet. I put in loose legos. You can either buy a box of bricks, or if you have a lego store near you, you can buy a large cup of "pick a brick". Not super cheap but not something that will end up in the trash either. And we also put stickers in it. I found a bag of individual glittery Clone Wars stickers at a craft store for $1. I think I had leftover from Halloween mini bubbles, too. They were just solid colors so perfect for using up at a birthday.

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#18 of 26 Old 09-06-2010, 03:54 PM
 
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WELL, this is something we struggle with every year, too. I am a grinch about birthday parties, though. I do NOT do goodie bags. We make everything, including games & piñata. We use real plates & silverware. I make a vegan cake, use "old" candles, and we do not offer soda. Other snacks are fairly mainstream, but we don't overdo it with junk food, either.

Anyway, we put in things like tattoos, individual stickers, pencils, raisins, punching balloons ... but we also top it off with paper confetti, so it "rains" down when it opens. The confetti is biodegradable, and we don't mind it in the grass.

One super fun thing was to make no-sew "scarves" - we bought some netting-type-fabric at Joanns and cut it into 6-10" wide strips (the width of the fabric). I don't know how to describe the fabric, except that its like tulle/netting, but it has sparkles in it, and it comes in bright colors. (We've had these scarves floating around the dressup collection for 5 years, and they wash well) We have also made friendship-type bracelets. We try to think of things enough in advance to make them. If you shop craft stores around holidays, you can also find random interesting things. I know Michaels has a very interesting $1 section.

my daughter is also a control freak, and she instructs her friends how to "behave" when the piñata breaks - get "one" of everything - and there is a good amount of trading at the end.

My daughter's birthday is a month after Halloween, so we usually throw their candy into the piñata, too - since most "normal" people like candy, it's an easy way to get rid of it.

I know that traditional Mexican piñatas are filled with oranges ... I'm trying to convince my kids that is a good idea

--janis

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#19 of 26 Old 09-06-2010, 05:05 PM
 
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What a timely thread! I was just coming on MDC to look for ideas for pinata-stuffers for dd's b-day in a couple of weeks. I think we'll go with the individual goody-bag idea - love that one!

Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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#20 of 26 Old 09-07-2010, 02:04 AM
 
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We went to two awesome pinata parties this sumer. One had fake jewels that my daughters were all over. The other had small party-cracker type gizmos, and those were a huge hit as well. Hope that helps!
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#21 of 26 Old 09-07-2010, 09:19 PM
 
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These ideas are great! My children have asked to do one for their birthday so I'm on the hunt. We'll have lots of children here so I'm thinking:

shredded paper/confetti (outdoor party)
loose Lego
strings of beads
bouncy or pink balls
silly bandz
temporary tatoos
stickers
wedding favor sized bubbles
rainbow crayons (we have such a huge bucket of broken bits!)
sidewalk chalk bundles
maybe a mixed bag of candy from Costco

A colleague, who shares a birthday with my children, was trying to convince me to make it with a 96" balloon. Can you imagine! She has no children...

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#22 of 26 Old 09-07-2010, 09:37 PM
 
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We went to a party where the hosts put mandarin oranges in the pinata. Most of them remained edible.

Mama to three  
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#23 of 26 Old 09-18-2010, 03:49 AM
 
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I saw a post on here one time about someone who filled the whole pinata with bouncy balls. They strung it over their drive way so when the balls hit the floor ..it was bouncy mania.

Honestly I love love love the pinata thing. We make one for each kid every birthday. They enjoy taking part in it and mixing and decorating the cake. For us it is such a simple pleasure.

I saw some tissue paper flowers on this blog http://www.ikatbag.com/2009/10/how-t...r-flowers.html
I think that you could put a lollypop in the middle of the flower.. and the stick is the stem. Pompom bugs and pipe cleaner butterflys could work well too. This could be an alternative to a pinata ..stick them in a flower pot or make a flower picking garden.

We recently went to an event where they had minute to win it games and it was a blast. The parents got involved too and it kept everyone entertained for almost an hour.
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#24 of 26 Old 09-18-2010, 09:16 AM
 
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ikesmom, thanks for the link to the crafts!

We're another pinata family and we make ours every year. It IS expensive, no matter what you fill it with. I LOVE the lego idea, especially since we do co-ed parties.

Just a note, my 6 year ol dd didn't like the idea of treat bags in the pinata. Part of the fun was having individual items fall all over the place.

I do think minimizing the grab-for-all is good, at least in our crowd and especially with the younger children. We made sure to have everyone get roughly equal amounts of treats. That said, we were impressed by the trading that went on and the attempts made by the kids to ensure fairness themselves.

For future years, my key tip is to start early! We know we'll be doing a pinata and now it's literally in my consciousness all year. Dd's b-day is at the end of February and we're well on our way to having the filling collected. Clearance means much cheaper and the costs are spread out over a year. Also fun is the fact that we get better at actually making the pinatas with practice over the years. I may be ready to attempt an actual design this year.

Have fun, sweet mama!
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#25 of 26 Old 09-18-2010, 09:45 AM
 
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We just had a pinata at my son's birthday party. It was his only request for the party. He went to a party in July and it was the first time he saw a pinata and thought it was great. However we still have candy from that pinata. I let him have one piece a day if he asks, I think we still have Halloween candy too because it is just too much candy!

I stuffed the pinata with fruit strips, gummi snacks, snack sized bags of cookies/animal crackers, pencils, mini slinkys (which were a huge hit), small containers of playdoh, little kaleidoscopes, some candy (lollipops and m&ms). I tried to make it stuff that would still be a treat since I don't normally buy fruit strips/gummi snacks/cookies but that wasn't ALL candy. I also had some silly straws that didn't make it in, my husband filled it and missed some of the stuff I had for it.

We didn't have any trouble breaking the store bought pinata. It was my son's 4th birthday and his 5 year old cousin broke it open with a whiffle ball bat.

If you are concerned about everyone grabbing and it not being distributed evenly, you can hold some extra fillings aside and help fill out the treats to those who weren't as quick. Especially if there will be an age range.

Melissa- mom to a boy 9/06 and a new boy 11/10 and married to my best friend 7/02
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#26 of 26 Old 09-19-2010, 10:30 PM
 
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My dd's sixth birthday party was yesterday, and I made my own pinata, so I thought I'd share what I filled it with (all from the $ store except for the candy and glitter pens).

- Crayola pipsqueak's glitter glue pens
- small colourful note pads
- erasers
- super bouncy balls
- those bracelet/elastic thingies that are a certain shape (animal, etc) that they resume after being stretched out.
- colourful feathers (from the craft section of the $ store)
- small glittery pom poms (also from the craft section of the $ store)
- chocolate coins
- good quality chocolates (found on sale half price - yay!)

I think that's everything.

It went over very well and the kids were excited and happy about everything they got. I also sewed some drawstring bags from some fun fabric I had for then to take the loot home in.

Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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