Pinatas are a great party activity – in fact, they’re one of the best! Kid’s and adults alike love taking their swing at a pinata, as well as getting their share of all the tasty goodies hidden inside. But does a pinata always need to be filled to the brim with candy? Yes and no.
Everything is great in moderation, and while we wouldn’t advocate skipping the sweets altogether – it wouldn’t be much of a pinata without them – there are plenty of alternatives you can use as filler alongside the traditional sugary treats.
In this post, we’ll take a look at a few of these alternatives in more detail, all of which make great additions to any pinata – especially if you’re hosting a dinosaur-themed party.
11 pinata filler ideas that aren’t candy
We all love candy – who doesn’t? But given all the party food and cake your little party guests will be getting through during the day, do you really want to load them up on even more sugar and calories?
Probably not, which is why we wrote this post – here are our top 11 dinosaur pinata filler alternatives that aren’t candy.
1. Plastic figures
Whether prizes, party bag items, decoration – or pinata fillers – mini dinosaur figures are always a safe bet for any dino-themed kid’s party. They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and types of dinosaur – offering plenty of variety.
They’re also an excellent pick for anyone on a tight party budget, as alternative fillers don’t get much cheaper than this – you can pick these dinosaur toys up by the bag full, with a 100+ piece set typically retailing for less than ten bucks.
2. Coloring pencils or crayons
Pencils and crayons make great pinata fillers, being available in mini packs that are the perfect size. These packs are also pretty cheap – you can buy them by the bucket load, usually for no more than a few bucks.
The great thing about this filler over some of the others in this list is that these will definitely get used – providing plenty of value in the long-run – as little kids love nothing more than to draw and color. One tip is to avoid pens – the other parents won’t thank you for it, and neither will your walls and furniture!
3. Ink stampers
If you’re looking for another creative pick, dinosaur ink stampers are a good bet – and are especially great when combined with our last choice, crayons and pencils. They’re also great for party bags or as part of other party activities, being a great addition to any drawing table and dinosaur coloring books or dino coloring pages.
One of the best things about dino ink stampers is that they’re so cheap! You can pick these up in sets of 24 pieces for less than $10 a box – or just south of 50 cents per stamper – making them one of the best value pinata stuffers around.
4. Key chains and charms
While you aren’t going to be able to find too many plush dinosaur toys small enough to fit in your pinata, there are plenty of soft, furry dinosaur keychains on the market, which can be a pretty good substitute.
Key chains aren’t just for keys – especially at this age. That said, they make great accessories to mini dino backpacks, dinosaur lunch bags, dinosaur suitcases – well, pretty much any sort of bag or luggage, offering kid’s an easy customization option.
There are plenty to choose from – in all sorts of styles, themes, sizes, and prices – making them a great, varied option. Just be sure to shop around, as some of these can be quite pricey per piece, so you’ll want to look specifically for low-cost, bulk dino keychain options and avoid buying them individually.
5. Finger puppets
You might not think it at first, but finger puppets are pretty versatile – being just as great for storytelling as for regular play – making them an immensely entertaining and creative option that’s sized perfectly for a pinata.
You’ll want to avoid anything fancy – no plush or elaborate options from well-known brands. Stick to basic dinosaur finger puppets – as these offer the most bang for your buck. There are plenty to choose from, with sets of these retailing for under 10 dollars containing mini puppets of all your favorite dinos.
The thing to remember about balloons is that, as you’re hosting a party, you’ll have plenty of dino balloons leftover – meaning that you won’t have to do any additional prep or fork out any more cash for this filler choice.
Simply set aside a handful of dinosaur balloons before you start decorating, ready to load up your pinata. You’ll also want to keep them deflated, for obvious reasons. Be sure to include as many different colors and designs as you can, giving your little party guests plenty of variety.
Kids love customizing all their possessions, making them their own – and there are few better ways for little kid’s to do this than with stickers. And if you’re party is a dinosaur one, then you’re in luck – as there are plenty of different dino stickers to choose from.
Super cheap, lots of variety, and available in pretty much any shape, size, or theme you could think of – stickers are great, not just as an alternative pinata filler, but also for party bags and any arts and crafts party activities.
Another kid’s classic – Play-doh has been a staple of children’s toys for as long as I can remember – being universally loved by all. You obviously aren’t going to stuff your pinata with any dinosaur Play-Doh toolsets or even the regular sized pots.
Instead, you’re going to want to choose the smaller, mini Play-doh pots – these come in the 1 oz size. They’re also pretty cheap – being bought in multi-color, bulk sets – with 15 pots typically setting you back less than $10.
It’s no secret that kids love slime. In fact, it’s one of my little one’s all-time favorite toys to play with. Stretchy, gooey good fun – if you’re trying to impress your little party guests, you can’t go wrong with dino slime!
You’re going to want to go for smaller, individually wrapped slime – and be careful of any carpets or home furnishings, as slime can be pretty messy. There are plenty of inexpensive, bulk options around – with everything from tubs, pots, bottles, and even slime-filled dinosaur egg toys to choose from.
10. Yo Yo’s
Yo Yo’s never seem to go out of fashion – having been a staple of kid’s toys, in one form or another, for millennia. But let’s skip the history lesson for today; in short – you can’t go wrong with Yo Yo’s – they’re great fun, easy to use, and come in a range of sizes including those small enough to make the perfect pinata fillers.
If you’re throwing a party for younger children, make sure to stick with more basic Yo Yo’s. Don’t go for more complicated professional ones, as they’re both more expensive and, let’s face it, it’s doubtful that any of your little party guests are going to be pulling off impressive tricks anytime soon.
11. Spinning tops
Another kid’s classic – dinosaur spinning tops are an excellent choice for your non-candy pinata fillers. Like Yo Yo’s, these things never go out of fashion, and they’re always super cheap – you can pick up a box of basic spinners for no more than a few bucks.
They come in all sorts of styles – from inexpensive, basic spinning tops to more elaborate wooden ones, and even those with built-in LEDs, lighting up as they spin. If you’re on a budget, you’ll want to stick with the simple, plastic ones – avoiding anything too fancy, as the price of these will soon rack up.
Well, there you have it – our picks of the best, alternative pinata fillers, adding something different to your pinata over the usual, more traditional candies and sweet treats.
While you don’t want to avoid candies altogether – you don’t want to overload your little party guests with more sugar than you need to – mixing in small toys and other fun, mini gifts is a good way of reducing how many sweets your party guests get through.
We hope you found this post useful and that you’ve got plenty of new ideas to help in your pre-party pinata filler prep – filling it with all sorts of weird and wonderful alternatives that your little party guests will love.