Homeschooling Through Play: Pinatas
by Megan Mora Fuentes
Learning through play and games can be one of the best methods for introducing new topics or areas of study naturally, and create an atmosphere that encourages the learning process. Check out this Homeschool Living for a fun way to introduce a cultural study while practicing creative and fine motor skills. Making their own piñata is an activity that will appeal to students of any age, so make it a family activity!
There are a lot of benefits for students in learning about different cultures and incorporating cultural studies into your homeschool, including a better understanding of the world, better-developed communication skills, and increased empathy. There are many different ways to introduce a new study, but a great way is to choose a fascinating element from the culture–whether it be a celebration, dress style, food, or game–and build from there.
Homeschool Play with Colorful Piñata
While most people recognize the piñata from its colorful presence in Mexican celebrations, its roots likely date back as far as the 13th century and as far away as China. Follow the piñata’s journey from Asia to Europe to North America, and learn how its use and meaning have developed and changed over hundreds of years.
In the U.S., piñatas are commonly seen as part of birthday celebrations, but in Mexico they carry a deeper meaning and are used in the tradition called Las Posadas. Check out this Christmastime celebration for a fascinating look at celebrating the anticipation of Christ’s birth.
Homeschool Hands-On Play
You can create your own piñata at home with some very simple supplies–and some patience! This project is likely to get messy, so take advantage of one of these last warmer afternoons outside, or cover your indoor space with newspaper or a dropcloth. You can follow this tutorial for creating a round or oval shaped piñata base with a balloon and newspaper, but then, the sky is the limit as far as the decorating is concerned! You can even make a traditional seven- or ten-pointed star piñata by adding paper cones around your dried paper balloon.
If you’d like to check out more ways to use homeschool games and play to introduce and reinforce a variety of subjects, check out Teaching With Play: Using Games In Your Homeschool.