- Masking tape
- 8 empty toilet paper rolls
- 1 cardboard box that is at least 12 x 24 x 8 inches
- 16 bathroom dixie cups
- several different colors of tissue paper to match your other decorations
- 1 cup white flour
- 2 cups water
- Large bottle white school glue
- 24 inches flexible wire
- 1-inch plastic or metal washer
- 1 bag 1-inch plastic "gemstones" from a craft store
- 8 miniature flags
Your children will love having her medieval birthday party include a pinata made into the shape of a castle. The pinata game comes from Mexico. It starts with a hollow paper mache sculpture filled with candy, the pinata is hung over a branch or on a rope manipulated by a pulley or by a pair of adults. The pinata game goes like this: Each player gets three chances to whack the pinata with a bat or stick but they have to be wearing a blindfold. First they get spun around so that they are disoriented and a bit dizzy. Then the adults tease them by raising and lowering the pinata. After three hits, if the pinata does not break, the next player gets a turn. Eventually a player whacks the pinata so that it ruptures, spilling the candy. Then it is a free for all. The children try to pick up the most candy as a prize.
Use masking tape to attach three toilet paper rolls to each of the long sides at the top of the cardboard box. Attach one toilet paper roll in the middle of each of the short sides at the top of the cardboard box. The toilet paper rolls will be the turret towers of your castle pinata placed at the edges of the top of the box. Tape two bathroom dixie cups upside down on the top of the box between each of the toilet paper rolls.
Cut an opening near the middle of the top of the box to make a hole through which you will fill the castle pinata with candy later. Do not discard the part you cut off. After the pinata is filled, close this opening up so that no one knows exactly where it is.
Twist several inches of wire into a loop. Insert it through the opening in the washer so that the wire on one side of the washer can be used to hang the pinata up. Knot the wire on the other side of the washer so it won't fall out. Poke a hole in the top of the box that is big enough to insert the wire hook.
Paper mache the castle pinata to give it a hard shell. Tear the newspaper into long one-inch wide strips. Mix one cup of white flour, one cup of white school glue, and two cups of water in a large bowl. Drag one strip of newspaper through the wet mixture. Then wrap it around the castle beginning at the bottom of the castle. Continue to add strips of paper mache until the castle pinata looks real. You can use the paper mache to form curves and even to make a sculpted outlines for the windows. Let the paper mache dry totally. It will take at least 12 to 24 hours.
Cut the sheets of colored tissue paper into strips that are three inches wide. Use scissors to create a fringe on each strip of tissue paper. Each cut should be two and three-fourths inch long so that there is a quarter inch margin between the end of the fringe and the top of the strip. Make one cut every one-eighth inches along the whole length of each strip. Because tissue paper is so thin, you can cut and fringe several layers at once.
Use white school glue to stick the fringed tissue paper to the castle pinata. Start at the front of the castle. Glue fringe all the way around the pinata. Glue the next fringed strip so that the quarter inch margin of tissue paper fits directly above the previous strip. Continue adding fringed strips - use stripes or any combination of colors that you wish, until the whole castle pinata is covered with fringe. Wrap the turret towers and the dixie cups with fringe too. Fringe the section of the cardboard box that you saved to cover the candy hole.
Glue on the plastic gemstones to decorate the castle pinata. Use a small dot of glue to stick a flag from the top of each turret tower.
Fill the castle pinata with candy. Glue the opening shut using the fringed panel that you made. Use the castle pinata as a focal point for your child's party. Play the pinata game at the very end of the party so that the anticipation will grow and so that you can enjoy the castle pinata as a decoration for as long as possible.