Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Shinkansen Piñata

As I blogged about in yesterday's post, on Sunday we had K's 3rd birthday party. The festivities started out with a Shinkansen race in which the dads (and one very good friend) pushed the kids around in Shinkansen bedecked boxes. Once the race was finished, we moved onto the piñata.

K has a few favorite Shinkansens at the moment and Dr. Yellow is certainly at the top of the list. This is not your standard Shinkansen - this one doesn't carry passengers, instead it rides the rails checking for problems. A few weeks ago, Dr. Yellow stopped at Shin Osaka Station and Y and I took K out to see it. It was on a holiday, so it was pretty packed out, but K got to see Dr. Yellow and he was stoked.

The shape of the train is pretty simple, although I did take a few artistic liberties to make my life a bit easier. Luckily a few weeks ago, we bought a plastic chest of drawers for K's old toys and it came in a huge box. We saved the box, so I really only had to carve away at one instead of piecing a million little boxes together. Once I got the shape, I did only two layers of paper mache.

In previous years I had done four layers, I think, but decided that it always takes a long time for us to bust it open. Also it takes a long time to make since you have to wait for layers to dry before doing the next. I took a bit of a shortcut this year and it was fine!
I wanted the bottom of the train to be black, but instead of gluing on black paper, I started by using black duct tape and just went across the entire bottom. 

Once that was ready, I used yellow crepe paper to do the whole body. I started by cutting long strips and then making a bit of a fringe. Then I glued each strip on starting at the bottom and working my way up. Once it was covered in yellow, I cut and glued on black construction paper for the windows and blue tissue paper for the stripes.

K was stoked on it when he saw it. He wanted to play with it, but just like the Shinkansen boxes, I told him it was for the party and he would have to wait. Instead he would just stare at it. It was adorable.

On the day of the party, K and I filled the piñata with candy and after the race the guests took turns busting it open. As the birthday boy, K went first then all of the kids had a chance. When it got to my friend's 14-year old son, he actually broke the stick - yikes!! We stopped him before he broke the piñata open so that the moms and a few dads could have a go at it.

Once it broke open, the candy all fell to the floor and the kids politely picked at it - a far cry from my childhood where it was a free for all to get as much candy as you could. Ah well, different cultures and all that, I suppose. While it took a while for all of the candy to be picked up, it seemed that all of the kids and parents had a great time. Once the mess was all cleaned up, it was back to ours for snacks and cake - more on that tomorrow though!

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