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Party Bags VS Pinatas

Updated on July 28, 2013

Pre-filled Loot Bags, or Piñata Fun?

When it comes to kids parties, after all the fun has been had, guests usually toddle off clutching a party bag full of goodies. But which option is better - pre-filling bags (or favor boxes) for them to take home, or having a fun piñata game, where they can fill their own bags from the spilled contents?

The only choice I had as a child was the party bag - I remember them well, filled with a few plastic toys, sweets and piece of yummy birthday cake wrapped in kitchen paper!

These days, it seems party bags are either filled with cheap tat, or over-extravagance! But that's for another debate. I think piñatas are brilliant, as they create a fun party game as well, and so serve two purposes. But how about you?

I'm in Favour of Piñatas!

Personally, I think piñatas are much better than party bags! Loot bags are nice if they are filled with good things (and you don't have to spend a fortune to make a nice party bag, either) but piñatas add that extra element of fun, which is what parties are all about!

Hang on, what the heck is a Piñata?

For the uninitiated, here's a quick guide to piñatas! Originating in China and Mexico, the piñata is usually made of cardboard or papier-mâché, decorated colorfully to match the birthday party theme and filled with confetti, candy or chocolates, and small toys. Near the end of the party (traditionally after the cutting of the cake), the piñata will be 'broken'. Children get an empty party bag and gather under the piñata. They hit the piñata with bats or sticks until it breaks. The children are showered in treats and confetti, which they can then fill their party bags with!

An alternative form of piñata is one with long colored strings attached to the bottom, which conceals a trap-door. Pre-made piñatas are often pull-string piñatas. Each child holds one of the dangling strings, and on the count of three, the children pull their strings, which opens the trap-door and breaks the piñata.

Advantages of a Piñata

* It doubles up as a fun game

* You can even incorporate it into a party craft, and get the kids to make it!

* You don't have to spend money buying one (although there are lots of lovely ones available!) - you can have fun making one at home with your kids out of papier-mâché!

* The contents are more of a surprise, and children can pick and choose what they want

* You can add heavier items that are unsuitable for the piñata, such as a slice of cake, before they go if you want to!

* Perfect for a party where you have a lot of children attending, as you don't have to make up tons of bags!

Disadvantages of a Piñata

* Some kids might be quicker (or greedier!) than others, getting lots in their party bags while others don't get much. You can always have some extra goodies on standby however to top up any lacking bags!

* You will still need to buy party bags, favor boxes or make some sort of container for the children to take their goodies home in

Are Party Bags Better?

Prefer to still give out pre-filled party bags? Can't be bothered with all that piñata malarkey? You're not alone - party bags and favor boxes are still hugely popular. I have to admit, I don't always have a piñata at my kids parties. Sometimes it's nice to make up bags or boxes, especially if the party theme in question does a nice range of favors and bags. If the items you want to buy for the children are too big or heavy for a piñata, then that's another reason to opt for the pre-filled party bag. If you only have a few children attending and you know them quite well, it's also nice to buy personalised, individual presents for their bags or boxes.

Advantages of a Party Bag

* Everyone gets an equal portion of the same things, so no arguments!

* You can personalise individual bags, for example if you know a couple of children don't like sweets, you can put chocolates inside instead

* You can fill a bag (or box) with larger items like notebooks or slices of cake

* Great for small parties

* Many loot bags now come in cool tote designs, meaning that children can keep the bag as a gift in itself rather than throwing away a plastic bag

Disadvantages of a Party Bag

* You have to make up lots of bags, unless the party is very small

* Children don't necessarily all like the same things

Party Bags or Piñatas - YOU Decide!

It's over to you guys - which do you prefer? Cats your vote and leave your comment here!

(Everyone can have their say, even if you don't belong to Squidoo!)

Party Bags VS Pinatas

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