Mexican Fiesta -5yr- Cascarones for Friendship
Marci in Rancho Cucamonga, CA U.S.A.
MEXICAN FIESTA for my daughter's 5th Birthday I wanted to get a little authentic. The VERY colorful (made by me on the computer)
INVITATION read, "FIESTA MEXICANA" for Penelope's 5th Birthday (the cover) with a green, white and red background and a picture of a donkey pinata hanging off a "papel picado" streamer. The inside left panel is a scanned-in picture of a mexican "loteria" card framed in colorful designs. The inside right panel simply had the date, time all in colorful mexican fonts. Under that was a picture of tacos, a pinata and a sombrero.
Each picture was respectively labeled in fancy mexican fonts. I printed each panel on photo paper and I cut out to paste on Astrobrite Card Stock (assorted colors) with double-sided tape. The back panel had Address & R.S.V.P. info (phone #,etc.) If you print on photo paper, the ink colors are more vibrant. I also printed the envelopes (Astrobrite) and added aztec and mayan designs in black.
DECORATIONS: I hung the Donkey pinata up to serve as a decorative centerpiece in the middle of rows of "papel picado" I made. I went to Dollar Tree and bought all their bright colored tissue paper and some kite string. With my paper cutter, I cut the tissue paper in 10"x10" squares and folded each square several times and I cut out random designs (like making snow flakes). Then I unfolded the squares and I folded the very top edge over the kite string and stapled it to hang on the string. Just keep adding squares to create a long string of "papel picado".
It was at the park, so we hung several strings of the "papel picado" from tree to tree, covering the central party area. Using the same colorful tissue paper, 20"x20" I made huge flowers. Just stack about 8 sheets of tissue squares and fold them up like an accordion and twist tie with colorful pipe cleaners in the center of the accordion. Spread out the folded tissue and one by one, pull up a single sheet, alternating sides to create a poofy flower. I used these flowers as center pieces on each table.
I created miniature versions (5"x5" squares) of these tissue flowers for all the "senoritas" to put in their hair as they arrived. I also gave each of the "senores" a straw sombrero from the party store, as they arrived. We had mariachi music CDs playing to greet all the guests.
FOOD: It was served right away. I hired a "taco cart guy". This is pretty popular in southern california. They bring their own set-up (for outdoors only) and grill the "carne asada", chop it and serve it in miniature-sized soft corn tortillas as tacos and add salsa, onions/cilantro, etc on top. All I did was make a green, chopped salad and some mexican rice as a side. They even brought "horchata" and "jamaica" in those cute glass barrels to drink. (mexican drinks)
DESSERTS: I would have loved to design an authentic mexican cake, but we compromised since my daughter is a big Dora fan. We just ordered a tasty Dora the Explorer cake at the local mexican bakery. But, I did get a couple of beautifully colorful mexican gelatin desserts (like J-ello, except made with milk instead of water). Since it was in November, it got a bit chilly towards the end, so we served Mexican Hot Chocolate (it tastes similar to hot cocoa, just mixed with milk instead of water) and offered some mexican pastries from a mexican bakery.
GOODY BAGS: I bought brightly colorful "lunch bags" at the party store (very cheap) and using that same colorful tissue paper, I made little strips and I cut them into fringes and glued them down on the bag, creating layers. It started to look like a pinata. I folded the top edge of the bag down to close it and punched a couple of holes (hole puncher) and twisted the pipe cleaner into the holes to keep the bag shut. I made tags on my computer with the guests' names and the word "GRACIAS", using the same designs that were on the invitation. I hole punched the top of the tag and with colorful ribbon, I tied it to the pipe cleaner from the tissue flower. The bags were very colorful!
INSIDE THE GOODY BAGS: various candy, mayan designs for temporary tattoos & stickers (dover books), book mark (made by me) with printed designs similar to the invite and most importantly the authentic Mexican "pinata song" in spanish and an english version right below for interpretation. (too long to type)But, you can find it in a book called "PIO PEEP! Traditional spanish nursery rhymes by Ada, Campoy, Schertle, Escriva. I hole-punched the top and tied a colorful satin ribbon to create a fringe. Oh yeah if you put all the goody bags on the cake table until you give them out, it adds to the colorful mexican themed decoration.
GAMES & PRIZES: "pass the hot chile pepper" same as Hot Potato, just a little harder to catch; "catch the sombrero"the kids gathered into a crowd and similar to a wedding bouquet toss, using a sombrero (works like a frisbee)we tossed a few (less sombreros than kids) and whoever didn't catch one was out. We kept going until there was 1 winner, removing the amount of sombreros we threw, of course. But, everyone got a colorful foil wrapped chocolate coin to reward them for their effort. The kids also had fun at the playground (park).
The finale game was the pinata. I made sure I ordered an authentic pinata (as authentic as I could find in america) from pinatas.com I wanted to make sure it wasn't the horrible pinata made of cardboard boxes and big fat staples so that you can never break it. The one I ordered was made of mostly papier mache easier to break.
And as a Grand Finale to the party I gave out "cascarones". These are real egg shells, decorated and filled with confetti that I collected for months. When I scrambled eggs, I would carefully poke a hole at the top of the egg, no bigger than 1/2". Then gently shake the egg contents out. Once emptied, I washed the inside of the egg out really well with soap and water. Use your finger to rub out all gooey egg stuff. Then fill with confetti. Close the hole up with masking tape. Then paint the egg, decorate with fabric paint, glitter, etc.
At the end of the party, I encouraged the kids to break the eggs on the heads of their friends or on themselves. Confetti would fly all over. I made sure we did this on a cemented area so that we could sweep it up easily. This is an old Mexican Tradition to offer friendship to the person you're cracking the egg on. It's a way to "break the ice", if you will. The kids loved the idea of making a mess with permission. OH PRIZES! Aside from the colorful chocolate coins, I gave out Mexican/Aztec Coloring books from dover books. I also gave out little mexican flags, sets of markers and one sarape.