Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by desiree. desiree Wonders, “How are pinatas made” Thanks for WONDERing with us, desiree!

Hey! We’ve got a great idea. Let’s have a party where we blindfold a bunch of kids and give them big sticks to swing around!

OK, at first that might not seem like that great of an idea. But if you’ve ever played with a piñata at a party, you know how much fun it can be. Let’s learn a little bit more about them!

What are piñatas? They’re colorful creations usually made from papier-mâché. They may be made to look like animals, toys, cars, or any of a wide variety of objects. Today, piñatas are usually filled with candy or other treats.

At parties or celebrations, piñatas are hung in the air. Children (and sometimes adults!) swing a stick or bat at them in order to break them open and release the surprises hidden inside. To make things even more fun, party-goers are often blindfolded. This makes the game more challenging!

Today, piñatas are commonly associated with the culture of Mexico. In fact, the Aztec people made piñata-like objects to celebrate Huitzilopochtli, their god of war. These took the shape of decorated clay pots. They were often covered in feathers and filled with offerings. Even earlier, the Mayas played a game that included hitting a hanging clay jar until it burst. As you can see, the piñata has existed for many centuries in Mexico.

Piñatas also have a long history in China. There, they are part of the New Year’s celebration. Early Chinese piñatas were often shaped like oxen or cows. Of course, they were also covered in colored paper. As far as historians know, this tradition developed separately from those of the ancient people of Mexico.

Experts believe the name “piñata” came from the Italian word “pignatta,” which means “fragile pot.” The name came into use after Marco Polo brought Chinese piñatas to Italy in the 13th century.

Early piñatas were made from clay. However, broken pieces of clay can be quite dangerous, especially for small children. That’s why most piñatas today are made from cardboard and papier mâché. Some people make them at home, but many piñatas today are mass-produced in factories.

Traditional Mexican piñatas are filled with candies and fruits, such as guavas and oranges. They’re now popular in the US, as well—especially filled with candy at birthday parties. Have you ever been to a party that had a piñata? It’s often the most exciting part of the gathering!

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, NCAS.A.1, NCAS.A.2, NCAS.A.3, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.W.10, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

Wonder What's Next?

Think pink is a flamingo’s favorite color? Join us in Wonderopolis tomorrow to find out how flamingos get their signature color. (Hint: They’re not blushing!)