The MOST frequently asked question I get when folks purchase piñatas is...

“What should I fill it with?” 

Well my friends, don’t fret! I know that it can be intimidating when options are endless…Birthdays come once a year, celebrations are occasional, you want to do it right always! The self-applied pressure is on! I am here to help!

But hey, it’s all good, you decided on a piñata already (that’s like answering the first question on the exam correctly – your name and date), the rest to follow. Life goes on. You tried and showed up to the exam! I appreciate your effort if anything! Even if the pinata is empty, it’s still a great gift overall. I promise you!

So I get it, you want to put gifts that are awesome inside, but not break the bank right? I am definitely on the same page (as should everyone else). I mean after all you did spend a pretty penny on the awesome piñata already and supported an extremely appreciative small business female owner (me!), which is essentially THE gift to your friend (and to me) the stuff inside is just a nice bonus. 

If you read on, I’ll be giving some quick tips throughout this article regarding fillers who, what, when, where, and whys if you are ready for them! I’ll break it up into party and individual (you know one day you will need the knowledge for both)

First of all, I am here to answer your question with more questions because you will know better than me:

  • How old is the recipient or the party attendees?
  • Depending on the age of the individual or group – there are gifts that you can and cannot give for legal reasons (adult content), or safety reasons (choking hazards)  here are a couple ideas for each age group for both under and over 19. 

      • Under 19 years
        • Action figure toys
        • Trading cards
        • Make up/Nail Polish
        • Snacks (Possible choking hazard for tots and babies)
        • Gadgets and (currently Pop Fidgets) 
  • 19+ years (**=Illegal for anyone under 19 years)
      • **Scratch and Win Tickets
      • **Mini Booze Bottles (preferably plastic ones if you are going to smash it)
      • **Gag Gifts for Adults
      • **Adult Gummies/Edibles
      • Nostalgic Snacks - ie. Gushers, Charleston Chews etc...

  • Is the Piñata for a group or individual?
  • Party

    Cost is a huge factor here, especially with parties over 25+ children (JUST CHILDREN, adult not included) You want to be strategic and smart. Most importantly don't overload because the piñata can only hold so much goodies.

    Secret Bonus Tip: shhhhh… your attendees don’t need to know this, you do!  You don’t need 25 of the same item for every single person. I would do half the amount, or maybe 15 of each item and have about 5-6 different items available. I personally like to buy items where I can get multiples per package in this case. Costco or Superstore sell boxes of Welches gummies (great for younger kids). Buy a big bag of small individually wrapped candy to help keep the kids busy. (I know someone who once put a couple rolls worth of nickels and quarters in the pinatas… the kids had a hoot) The key is to keep everyone busy once they hit the ground. Pro Tip - Keep a couple extra of each item that you put inside the pinata in case you have a meltdown. 

    “Please be mindful about the amount of sugar and plastic toys you put inside the pinata” 

    - The parents of your guests.

    Quick Tip #1: Set a budget for how much you ideally would like to spend on the filler BEFOREHAND. Starting at just $20 if you play your cards right, you can get some awesome items if you start looking early on. REMEMBER TO STAY WITHIN THE INTENDED BUDGET! Also if you know what you want to put inside, make sure to let me know if I need to make the trap door bigger to deposit your treats (Trap doors are approximately 3”x4”)


    If you are giving the pinata to just one individual, you can spend more per item. It’s not about the value of the item in itself, it's the value of the item to the recipient (eyes of the beholder). Something that is sentimental, or an inside joke and just various things they have mentioned that they like in the past + some additional generic treats are the best go tos. If you don’t know what they would like, refer to the list up top and just pick a few things (still awesome)

    Quick tip #2: Purchase the El Medio Size for your loved ones (individual gifts), because it's large enough to hold most small items, but it can keep the overall cost lower if that happens to be a concern. Most importantly they can display it comfortably or hang it without taking up too much room at their place.

  • Is there a theme?
  • Parties will most likely almost always have a theme, and individuals will always have a specific preference for certain things. Stick to it! For example, goldfish crackers for under the sea themed parties Character keychains for the anime lover. Knowing the party theme and likes and dislikes of the individual will definitely help in deciding what can and should go into the pinata. It may be the most obvious indicator. 

    Remember it’s what they like, not what you like…( I struggle with this one sometimes)

  • Any allergies?
  • This is especially important for parties with young children at a party. The last thing you want is to have a bad anaphylaxis reaction at your party during the madness. Imagine a scenario where children drop and hit the ground scrambling to pick up ALL the treats! They grab the wrong one (because who even reads labels anymore or in this case CAN read labels at all?) Even if there is one child with allergies, don’t take the risk and make sure everything you put inside is allergy free for that child. 

    Quick Tip #3: We got the small items, and we got the filler fillers.

    • Filler fillers: large chocolate bars (watch out for that peanut), gum, tea bags, larger toys, bags of snacks, something bigger but cost relatively less.
    • Smaller items: typically will cost you a bit more - Gift cards, lottery tickets, movie tickets, small items in relation to their interests (music: guitar picks, art: paintbrush).

    Quick Tip #4: Vancouver Pinatas sells pre-filled pinatas as well. Filler items are more generic and will consist mostly of treats and snacks. Perfect option for you busy bees.The pinata is completely sealed off (unless instructed not to do so) so that you won’t be able to access the goods without smashing the pinata. It’s nice to be able to put what you want inside, but it's also nice for someone else to do it for you.

    If you have come this far reading my rambles and bojambles about fillers, you are obviously taking this super seriously and just the bestest family/friend/acquaintance ever!

    But let me leave you with one last note and this is important, you may already know this. Less is more. Someone once put a photo that meant a lot to the recipient and had lots of sentimental value (it was an endearing surprise)

    (Pictured 24"-30" Ironman Piñata)

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