We are making pinatas to help celebrate the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo and learn more about the Mexican culture. Most people have the misconception that Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of Mexican Independence. It is really the commemoration of La Batalla de Puebla. This is the battle that was fought at Puebla between Mexico and France, in which the Mexican troops were outnumbered and lacked sufficient military supplies, but prevailed and were victorious against the French troops. This historical event helped spark patriotism and pride within the country of Mexico.
Inflate the balloon with air, not helium. Tie the balloon with a string to hang it up. Make the papier-mache paste by combining the flour, a little water, and a little glue. Keep mixing until the consistency of glue has been reached. Soak newspaper strips in paste, squeeze off excess, and lay over the balloon. Continue adding strips, slightly overlapping them, covering the enitre balloon, except a small opening at the top for putting in candy and small toys. Add a second layer and let dry for 24 hours. Add two more layers of papier-mache; let dry for 24 hours. Now the real fun begins. Glue on the colored tissue paper. To make fringe, cut the streamers every 1/4 of an inch. Wrap around pinata. Make cones from the cardboard, decorate and attach to make a star. If the balloon is still inflated, pop it. In order to hang the pinata, use a hole punch to punch a hole at the top beside the opening, and another hole on the opposite side of the opening. Loop string through the holes and tie off.