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Birthday Parties and Pinatas

Birthday parties at the Sandra Lee Centre are quite noisy and big; when you combine 31 children and up to 8 staff members on any given birthday you are stretched each time to come up with something new as a party game. It was decided some time ago to combine birthdays on a quarterly basis with one big cake sectioned off for each child whose name and age appears there along with the matching number of candles for each child celebrating. There are presents, food, games and the cake with which to mark the special day. Recently we made a piñata for one of the birthday parties. It began as an inflated balloon wrapped in strips of newspaper and glue. After it was dry we cut an opening, popped the balloon and inserted lots of sweets and sealed it up. Some wings and a rudder were attached and after a paint job we had an aerodynamically challenged cheerful aircraft complete with a captain and his copilot smiling from the cockpit windows. After a thorough beating delivered by each of the children and the loss of a wing or two, the fuselage finally cracked open spilling the contents on the ground followed instantly by a crush of children. In no time the sweets had disappeared with plenty to go around. We will repeat that activity and maybe our next piñata should be a bumblebee. Written by Michael Pratt, Director of Sandra Lee Children's Center in Swaziland, Africa.

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