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The Treasure Ball – “A Non-Violent Parenting” Piñata

Posted Oct 01 2008 8:42pm


There’s something wrong with a Piñata? Oh for goodness sakes…hmm, well, OK. I do subscribe to non-violent parenting after all....

Now that I think of it, I’m not really fond of the excessive air slashing that is an integral part of the piñata breaking process. Besides the obvious dangers of injury to nearby parties, it’s a wee bit violent and favors the bigger, stronger kids over the smaller ones – it would anyway if parental involvement wasn’t a given.

Of course, now “pull-string” piñatas are available, which address the non-violent part of the game but fail to consider the tears inherent when the first person “breaks” the piñata and no one else gets a turn.

Enter the non-violent, equal opportunity piñata.

My friend, Crystal, the who claims she isn’t creative but manages to make amazing crafts, told me about these papier-mâché balls and inspired me to attempt some. Besides their use as piñatas, they also make an excellent party game or Easter basket alternative.

Here’s how it works. Blow up a balloon. Papier-mâché it. Dry. Pop-it. Fill with little toys and presents. Let the children toss; kick; roll the ball back and forth until the "piñata" breaks and the presents fall out. No whacking involved and since it takes a while for the ball to break, most everyone gets a turn to touch the ball.

Popular with Waldorf and non-violent communication parents, treasure balls are easy to make.

Blow up a large balloon and using any popular papier-mâché recipe, coat the balloon with newsprint paper - (unprinted) or any semi-porous white paper- I used large easel paper. At that point you can either add a second coat of colored tissue paper, or wait for it to dry (a day or two depending on the weather) and paint it. Make sure you completely cover the balloon top so there are no holes.

Set it out to dry on a plate or a flower pot.

Once dry, stick a pin through the ball to pop the balloon; then cut a small “door” in the ball and insert prizes. Miniatures, handmade tiny dolls and polished rocks are standard Waldorf fair but, you can substitute any traditional piñata filling. Add one more coat of papier-mâché to close up the door again and cover any holes.

You can also purchase pre-made Treasure balls on E-bay from time to time or at local craft fairs.

For more great Works for me Wednesday ideas visit Rocks in My Dryer



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