My son recently turned four and decided sometime this past summer that he had to have an Imagination Movers themed party. If you are not familiar with the Imagination Movers, they are a fun preschool rock band based in Louisiana and were picked up by Disney to have a TV show. Unfortunately, Disney did not capitalize on them and has not marketed anything with their logs/brand. Lucky for my son, the band does have a small online store so I was able to purchase some merchandise for him. But, there are no party goods available with the Imagination Movers! I found some party planning crafts and activities online, surprisingly on Disney channel-Asia's website! My son really wanted a themed pinata, so we ended up making one!
In the past I've had fun working with paper mache to make pinatas and masks, but with a preschooler, indoors, I was not willing to go that route. Instead I decided to just decorate a cardboard box and make a trap door pinata. Definitely the cheap route, but it worked and the kids had a blast!
Here's what I did:
- medium sized cardboard box
- crepe paper (or wrapping paper)
- tape (Scotch and packing,) glue, hot glue gun, scissors, X-acto knife
- decorations related to the theme: I printed out the activities from the Disney channel and cut them out to use, including light bulbs and the characters/band members photos. You could also use stickers.
- streamers or shredded paper
- wire or strong twine/string, about 12 inches long
- ribbons (the curling ribbon kind used for presents) in coordinating colors
- goodies for the inside of the box!
- Determine which side of the box will be the bottom of your pinata. Draw a square on that side in the center of the box, making sure that your largest treat that will need to fall out of the box will fit. Using the X-acto knife cut out three sides of the square, leaving the fourth side intact. This will be the hinged door that will be pulled open by your party-goers.
- Attach the wire or string to the top of the box by cutting two small slits about two inches apart with the knife. Loop the wire or string through and knot it or twist the wire shut inside the box. Seal the rest of the box with strong packing tape. Don't tape the trap door shut!
- Wrap the box, except the bottom, with crepe or wrapping paper.
- Flip the box upside down and fill it with the goodies. I used a combination of small bags of pretzels, fruit snacks, chocolates and little toys (mini yo-yos, harmonicas, mini tambourines, finger puppets.)
- Cut lengths of curling ribbons to attach to the trap door. I cut one for each party guest and added one extra, just in case. Using the X-acto knife, cut two small slits in the trap door, near the open end, but not too close to the edge. Thread one strand of ribbon through the slits and knot the ribbon. I even added a piece of packing tape to the knot end of the ribbon. This ribbon is what will open the trap door. It has to be as long, or longer than the other ribbons. Using scotch tape, attach all the other ribbons one at a time with small pieces of tape to the the bottom of the box around or on the trap door. The idea is that the ribbons that are taped on will pull off easily by the kids, but the kid that pulls the ribbon knotted onto the trap door will actually open the door!
- Then cover the bottom of the pinata to hide the way the ribbons are attached. To do this, I cut strips of crepe paper and taped them on so that the ribbons could poke out in different directions and not all be clustered together. It also hid which was the real ribbon!
- Then decorate the box with stickers or other cut outs to match your theme. I also used shredded paper and hot glued it on the bottom to add some pizazz to the bottom of the box and further hide how the ribbons were attached. It helps to loosely knot all the ribbons together to keep them from tangling too much before your party.
The kiddo had a blast with this and it really was much cheaper to make than to buy a pre-made trap door pinata. The best part of making it, though, was that my son could help with it. We made it the day after he came home from the hospital and had to sort of stay calm and recover. It was a fun activity that kept him busy and he was really excited about the project. It helped that I let him preselect some treats before they were loaded into the box!