I saw small pinatas made at an Oakland park festival by taping together
paper cups, then covering them with crepe paper fringe and adding a fish
tail. If you could find large paper bowls or boxes, you might have close to
instant pinatas. Also, you could add cardboard cone legs to an oatmeal box
or to another box to make a pinata animal.
Regarding the gourds, I am far from an expert on gourds, but I did
personally experience a lot of sneezing and tremendous allergic reaction
when I dumped the contents of a gourd into the kitchen sink. Then I read
the book and it said to wear a mask. Someone from the list said they were
filled with mold. Please wear a mask, and maybe even a respirator to do
The musical instrument book is just beautiful, and the directions for making
a shekere worked perfectly, with no other assistance. I used a woodburning
kit to make a design around the neck and it looks great! You can use shoe
dye for color. Maybe Procion dyes would work, I don't know. Or just paint
them with acrylics, but then they don't have the natural look any more. I
think if I were making shekeres with the kids, I would forgoe cutting them
open. I'd just do the tieing and beading. They are almost as loud that
way. On the other hand, I was thinking about making real musical
instruments, not toys. What do you think?
My next project is to make a gourd drum, from the same book. After the
large print exchange, the plaster-vermiculite sculpture, the illustrated
children's book, and the neighbohood holiday art sale, that is. Gotta do
those projects before I teach them, heaven help me.