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How to Play the Piñata Game
Article first published in Vol. 10, 1992.
By Olga Rosino
It is very easy to play the piñata game. Basically, the piñata is suspended from a rope, and the designated hitter strikes at the moving target while blindfolded.
Since a clay pot is no longer used inside the papier-maché figure, there is little danger of the participants being hit by the clay shards. However, there are still rules to enforce, which will ensure a safe, exciting game of piñata-breaking.
First, two adults thread a rope through the wire loop at the top of the piñata. Then one adult sits on the roof of the hose holding one end of the rope. The other person holds the rest of the rope coiled in readiness to raise and lower the piñata in response to the hitter's swings. This team can then tease the hitter by swinging, raising and lowering the piñata confounding the blindfolded hitter.
An easier alternative is to attach one end to a sturdy tree limb, or if the branch is high enough, to throw the rope over the limb to aid in raising and lowering the piñata. This makes it simpler if there are only a few adults available to help.
An adult begins the action by blindfolding the child who will be batting. The child, stick in hand, is turned around at least three times, but sometimes the same number as their age. The hitter is given three chances to break the piñata. One important safety aspect is to establish an area around the batter and piñata where no one will be hurt by the swinging stick or bat.
Each batter does some damage to the piñata, but one child finally hits it open. Once the piñata breaks open, the adults in charge will give a prearranged signal so that the partygoers can scramble for the treats. If you follow these simple rules, everyone can enjoy a piñata surprise.