Wildflower piñata

Activity

A brilliant (and messy!) activity for young people, especially when planning a celebration.
This activity was provided by Lee Connelly, The Skinny Jean Gardener.

  • Estimated time: 60 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): Art&DT

Learning objectives

  • Learn about types of wildflowers
  • Understand about seed dispersal
  • Have fun!

Preparation

Find a spot where you’d like your wildflowers to grow. If you don't have a suitable area, you could place some compost filled trays underneath your piñata to grow them in.

Prepare your workstation/table – cover with paper or sheeting as things are going to get messy! 

Equipment

Day one:

  • Balloon
  • Newspaper
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Paintbrush
  • An old t-shirt or apron to wear 

Day two:

  • Paints
  • Wildflower seeds
  • Sweets
  • String


Watch Lee explain and demo this activity:


 

This activity was provided by Lee Connelly, The Skinny Jean Gardener. For more of his brilliant activities for children, check out his new book Gardening with Children

Step by step

Day one: make a papier-mâché (paper mache) piñata

  1. Pop on your old t-shirt or apron as this will get messy!
  2. Blow up the balloon and tie a knot at the end.
  3. Tear the newspaper into strips.
  4. Add a couple of tablespoons of flour into the mixing bowl and slowly add water, mixing constantly until it forms a gluey paste.
  5. Layer the strips over the balloon one at a time and paint the glue over the top with the brush - you may find it easier to balance the balloon in a bowl.
  6. Leave an un-papered area at the bottom of the balloon as this will create the hole to add the sweets and seeds.
  7. Keep going until you’ve added about 3 or 4 layers of newspaper strips over the balloon so your piñata will be strong.
  8. Leave the balloon to dry – this could take up to a day or two in cooler months.

Day two: decorate, fill and whack!

  1. Once dry, paint the piñata with your design, leaving the balloon inflated inside.
  2. When the paint is dry, carefully pop the balloon inside and remove it from the piñata.
  3. Fill the piñata with loose wildflower seeds (and sweets if you wish!).
  4. Pop a couple of holes either side of the big hole and thread some string through.
  5. Hang your piñata above the space you want the wildflower seeds to land.
  6. Arm the children with a gardening trowel or bamboo cane and take turns to try and break the piñata!

Children can then enjoy watching their wildflower seeds grow over time – they may need a water now and then if the weather is hot and dry.


Hints & tips

  • This piñata can take up to three days to make so be sure to factor that in, especially if you want it ready for a special occasion.
  • To help you choose your seeds, use our info sheet to find out which wildflowers attract different wildlife.

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