These days pinatas are a very popular item at children’s parties. We are often asked by parents whether we can facilitate the game if the parent supplies the pinata. From years of experience of running these activities we have developed our own tips.

Whilst Piñatas are a big draw card at a party, they do have some safety issues and if not managed properly children can get hurt.

These are our safety tips:

• Before you consider buying a pinata decide if you have enough space at your kids party. A big stick is going to be swung around like a baseball bat and hence you will want all the other kids well away out of reach whilst they are waiting for their go.

• Next you need to consider whether there is a place where the pinata can be hung by a string at a reasonable height for the children to hit. If the venue is based in a community centre etc there may not be a place to hang the pinata and the last thing you would want would be to have to hold it up yoruself – as you will quite likely be hit by the stick (believe me we have seen this happen many times at kids birthday parties!!)

• There are a variety of things that could fill the inside of the pinata, but you will want to ensure that each child receives at least one. We would suggest a minimum of 3 items per a child consisting of sweets or small toys

Explain the rules to the children before they start:

1) Everyone needs to be in a straight line.
2) Everyone gets to hit the pinata one or two times and then they need to hand the stick to dad and go to the end of the line so they can have another go.
3) There should be an adult at the front of the line preventing any children moving forward beyond the point where the stick is being swung.
4) There should be a decent space between the children hitting the pinata and the front of the line.
5) The child who hits the pinata can only start hitting the pinata once the dad says – “go” otherwise Dad may get taken out once he immediately hands the stick to the child.

When the pinata breaks and toys/lollies start falling the children tend to run in frenzy and some little children can get knocked down or miss out. To avoid these situations we recommend that when the adult sees the pinata is about to burst – He makes an announcement that once the lollies/toys fall he will hand them out so every child gets to receive some presents.

Please also ensure the toys are safe for children (they may meet Mexican standards but not Australia standards). And enquire whether any children have any allergies eg sugar, lactose etc that may inhibit them eating lollies.

The game usually lasts between 5 minutes – 15 minutes

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