Although Piñata’s are no way near as popular in the U.K as they are in the states they are getting more popular. These aren't as simple as you may think and I have seen some go horribly wrong ending up with broken noses and broken fingers. I mean the adults not the kids!
All pinatas have a designated opening for filling purposes. To find this area, look for the sticker on your pinata that says "press here to fill.” You can either press into that part of the pinata with your finger or carefully cut a U shaped flap using a knife or scissors. Make sure you do not tear or cut off this section because it will make a hole. Choose candy or small prizes that will fit into the hole (see pinata filler suggestions below) and place as many as you can inside the pinata. The bigger the pinata, the more prizes it can hold. After you fill the pinata, push the flap down or tape it in place. Hang your pinata with sturdy rope or string by its plastic handle. We suggest hanging the pinata about 1-2 feet above the guests' eye level. You can even use your pinata as a table decoration and then hang it when it's time to play the game. DO NOT HOLD THE PINATA UP WITH YOUR HAND
Here is a list off some of the best items to fill a Piñata with. I always prefer the pinto's that aren't full of just sweets but rather a mixture of little toys and sweets. A good rule of thumb is to fill a piñata with enough prizes so that everyone can have 3 or 4 each, depending o the amount of kids you may need more than one piñata.
Chocolate Celebrations (not a good idea during the summer months)
Moam's individually wrapped chewy sweets
Little packs of Haribo's, available from every supermarket
Animal shaped rubber bands
Chocolate coins (again not during the summer months)
Kids plastic finger rings
Now before we start this, if you are hitting the piñata with a stick make sure it is hung up with string over a beam or on a hook, please do not be a macho Dad and think you can just hold it, you will get hurt! I have also seen a really long wooden pole with a manat either end and the piñata hanging form the middle. This worked well as the pole was so long that the two men were not anywhere near the piñata and they were able to hold it high enough for the game to work. I have broken down how you play piñata according to the age of the guests. As with most games at parties the rules should be explained before you start to play, so here goes
3-5 yr olds
Its best to use a pull string Piñata for this age group. These tend to be smaller piñata's and with this type you don't have a stick and you don't hit the Piñata at all. They have strings hanging from the bottom of the piñata and each guests takes a turn to pull the a string like pulling the shortest straw. We tried one of these for my daughters third birthday and found that the strings will need quite a tug on them to release the door that holds the sweets inside. Also there is the chance that the very first child to try puling a string may get the correct string and its game over straight away.
5-7 yr olds
Now you'll notice that 5 year olds are in both groups so far. You can use your own judgement on how ready the children are for each way to play. This is almost how the traditional Piñata's are played sans the blindfold. At this age I wouldn't blindfold them as their co-ordination tends not to be brilliant and some younger ones may not like being blindfolded. You should still explain clearly the rules of the game BEFORE you start, not during or after. The rules are listed below.
7+ yr olds
Go all out for this one, blindfold the kids and spin them in circles just make sure you read the rules below and explain them to all the kids before playing.
The kids need to line up from shortest to tallest, place a mat on the floor as the front of the line and make sure this is at least three feet away from the person with the piñata stick. Why the height organisation? well generally the bigger the child the harder they will hit so this way its more likely that everyone will get at least one go.
Each Child can only have 3-4 prizes, if you grab more you will have to share them. When the Piñata breaks no pushing or shoving or you will lose all your prizes
Make sure you have a back up stick, in my experience the stick that come with store bought piñata's are strong enough and often break, so make sure you have a broom handle or decent size stick as a back up.
Each child gets spun three time in circles unless they are a much older sibling in which case go for it and spin them as many times as you can get away with, also make sure they are pointed in the wrong direction. This always gets a laugh.
Each child gets to hit the piñata three times, once they have had three goes they need to go to the back of the line.
ideally once the piñata is broken it would be great to give each child a small plastic party bag to fill with some prizes but in my experience once it breaks its every man for themselves.