Tear several pages of newspaper into strips, approximately 1 inch wide by 6-8 inches long. Don’t try to be neat and cut them with scissors; the torn edges will adhere more closely and give a smoother overall surface to the finished pinata.
Paper Mache Recipe:
Next, it’s time to prepare the paper mache paste by using a simple mixture of flour and water. Use a disposable bowl to facilitate easy clean-up afterwards. Mix one part flour with 2 parts water until you have a consistency like thick glue. Add more water or flour as necessary. Squeeze out all the lumps and add a tablespoon or two of salt to help prevent mold.
Blow up your balloon and place it in a shallow bowl to prevent it from rolling as you work on it. Spray or brush on a light coating of vegetable oil to keep the balloon from adhering to the newspaper when you pop it. Dip a newspaper strip into the flour mixture to coat, and apply it to the balloon at an angle vertically, and overlapping. Continue this process until the entire balloon is covered, leaving a small hole at the top from which to remove the balloon and fill the pinata. Let the first layer dry completely. Each layer will take up to 24 hrs. to dry.
Apply a second layer to the balloon, this time angling the strips in a horizontal direction, and overlapping. Let dry and finish with a third layer.The third layer should always be made from torn strips of white computer paper or paper towels. This allows for easier paint coverage when it's time to decorate. When your project is completely dry, pop the balloon and remove it through the opening at the top.
Decorate your pinata with vibrant colors, paint a face on it, add crepe paper hair and eyelashes - be creative! Hang crepe paper streamers from the bottom of the pinata for the final touch.
Fill and Hang:
Make 3 or 4 small holes around the top opening and thread a strong piece of string or yarn through them. Tie a longer string to it for hanging.
Fill your pinata with wrapped candy, small toys and other goodies.
Playing the Pinata Game:
Hang the pinata securely and spread a blanket or sheet under it. Each player gets a chance to break the pinata. Blindfold the first player and give them a bat or stick. Spin them 2 or 3 times and point them in the direction of the pinata. Players get 2 or 3 hits to break the pinata. (For smaller children, feel free to omit the blindfolding and spinning.) When the pinata breaks, the children each get a portion of the candy. Give each child a small bag to hold their goodies.
Caution: Adult supervision is necessary to keep children a safe distance from the player swinging at the pinata. Kids are sure to rush in when the first pieces of candy fall, unaware that the player is still swinging.
Paper Mache Recipe Options:
Recipe #1 - One part flour to five parts water. Boil on stovetop for 3 minutes and let cool.
Recipe #2 - 3/4 cup white glue to 1/4 cup water
Recipe #3 - liquid starch found at your supermarket