Need a smashing addition for your next party? Adding a piñata would be a perfect activity. Piñatas are available in hundreds of shapes and sizes that you can choose from, depending on your theme. And in case you don’t know, it can be filled with anything small and unbreakable, so it’s not just for kids! Here’s a guide to use piñatas for your parties.
Types of Piñatas
Do you know that there are two main types of piñatas? For safety and ease of release of the goodies, there are two kinds: the traditional piñata and the pull-string piñata.
1. Traditional Piñata
Traditional piñatas are made of cardboard paper mache or sometimes pottery, which is decorated and filled with candies and treats, and then broken as a part of the celebration. It’s suspended in the air, so blindfolded players can hit it with a bat or a broomstick to release what’s inside. It’s great for people of all ages, and a bit of strength and precision is needed to hit the target and successfully break open the piñata. The traditional piñata is best used in big spaces, like a large party area, in the backyard, in the garage, or outside.
2. Pull-String Piñata
A pull-string piñata is great for the kids, but it’s also perfect for adults, especially if the party space is smaller and doesn’t have a lot of swing room. It’s like a traditional piñata, only with strings to pull, so you don’t need to break it with a bat. Each participant gets to pull one string from the piñata, but only one will release the filler.
It is preferable to use a pull-string piñata if:
- Your participants are children between the ages of 3 to 7
- Your party is indoors
- You have a large crowd, so you can give everyone a chance to participate
- You have a shy group of children
- When it comes to fillers, candy is not your only option. You can fill it with anything small and won’t break, but steer clear of anything sharp to avoid injuries.
- Make sure the piñata is set up securely with a sturdy and tight rope.
- Only one person must go and try to break the piñata at a time. Multiple people holding bats to try to break the piñata is a recipe for disaster. Even multiple people trying to pull on a stringed piñata can cause someone to get hurt.
- Allow a safe distance from the piñata batting area.
- If there are very young children participating, choose a pull-string piñata.
- If you are setting up a piñata for kids, it’s safer to use a plastic whiffle ball bat instead of a wooden baseball bat because the latter might be too heavy for the children.
- When turning the blindfolded hitter before hitting the piñata, don’t turn them too much that they become really dizzy. Just turn them around two to three times. Then, guide them in the right direction within hitting distance.
- Once the piñata is broken, don’t let the kids rush for the spoils. Hand out bags for kids to gather their prizes with.
When filling up your piñata, be sure there are enough prizes inside so everyone can get their fair share! Here are some ideas for fillers you can add to your piñata:
1. Edible fillers
Candy is considered the customary stuffing for piñata, so you can’t go without it. Nerds, Sour Patch Kids, Starburst, Skittles, and Twizzlers all work well as a piñata filler. But if you’re a purist, chocolate is actually the healthiest candy option. However, you have to consider the weather and outdoor temperature when adding some chocolate to your mix, especially if it’s a summer party outside and the chocolate could melt. Either way, you can forgo the chocolate altogether or keep it in a cool, dry space until it’s time to break it out.
While candy is expected, you can add healthier food options as long as they are small and packaged just right. You can also add small snack bags of goldfish crackers, fruit snacks, granola bars, boxes of raisins, or bags of baby carrots.
You can buy edible piñata fillers you can use:
- Bulk Assorted Fruit Candy – Starburst, Skittles, Swedish Fish, SweeTarts, Nerds, Sour Patch Kids, Haribo Gold-Bears Gummi Bears & Twizzlers
- Airheads Candy Bars
- Candy Shop Assorted Candy Party
- ULTIMATE Assorted Classic Candy Mix
- Smarties Original
- TWIZZLERS Strawberry Twists Snack Size Packs
- Hershey’s All Chocolate Pieces
- Reese’s, Hershey’s and Kit Kat Assorted Milk Chocolate Miniatures Candy
- Mars Chocolate Favorites Candy Bars Variety Mix Bag
- Sarah’s Candy Factory Party Mix Assorted Candy
2. Toy Fillers
Toys are always an exciting prize for children, so a piñata filled with small things kids can play with will be a crowd-pleaser. Here are some toys you can use to fill your piñata:
- Mini bubbles
- Plastic animals
- Little bouncy balls
- Squishy toys
- Glow sticks
- Rubik’s cube
- Rubber duckies
- Putty slime
- Spinning tops
- Wind-up toys
- Paper airplanes
3. Crafty Fillers
If you’re setting up a piñata party for kids, crafty supplies are the way to go. Parents of the children would thank you for that! Give them things they can use at school or for any art-related activity, and they will get giddy and excited about it. You can choose from any of these things:
4. Something to wear or use
You can offer things that kids or any of the guests would use. Small items that people would wear or use, like hair accessories, fashion accessories, and anything small and functional, would serve as a great piñata filler that guests would love to take ahold of.
- Shutter glasses
- Silicone bracelets
- Necklace and bracelet set
- Lighted rings
- Slap bracelets
- Hair clips
- Bow clips
- Hair ties
- Sleep masks
- Mini lip gloss
Of course, don’t forget the confetti in paper or foil for the classic “burst piñata” moment! It’s for the fun visual effect and element of pizazz. You may also choose flower petals as a filler if you want something pretty yet biodegradable.
Piñata Hanging Tips
Here are some helpful tips on how to hang your piñata on the big day!
- The piñata comes empty, so don’t forget to fill it first. On the underside of each piñata, there’s often a tab (sometimes very well hidden) that you can push to create a hole in the piñata. This is the hole that lets you fill it. Candies, sweets, little presents, and confetti are usually inside a piñata, but we’ll discuss piñata fillings later.
- Make sure that the things you place inside a piñata are packaged well won’t rip off our spill out when beaten and when it falls down to the ground. For instance, if you want to put a small raisin box inside, add a sticker or tape to the top and bottom to keep the raisins in.
- If you wish to set up the piñata in an indoor location, it has to be suspended in the middle of the room with furniture moved out of the way. The children or any person participating must be able to move around it without tripping over once their eyes are covered. If you have a crossbeam or a free hook in the space, that’s the perfect place.
- If you’re hanging the piñata outside, a branch, a goal post, or a basketball hoop is the perfect spot. Take some string and fix it to the hook in the piñata to create a loop long enough to hang the piñata on. Consider the participants’ height, especially if there are little children – they must be able to reach when pulling on the strings or hitting it with a bat.
- Have a broomstick or a bat always ready to whack the piñata down, even if you’re using a pull-string piñata. Sometimes, it just won’t open, so just have them prepared to prevent a super awkward situation.