The craftiest part of the both parties was the Lego pull-string pinata inspired by this one at Delia Creates (also a fab resource for LOTS of Lego-themed ideas).
Because the week prior to the party Bri was in St. Louis (in fact, he arrived mid-kids' party), I tried to make party prep easy. I won't go in to all the details, but here is how I planned my week:
And here's an overview of how the pinata came together using just a diaper box, green plastic table cloth, clothesline, tape and candy.
The concept is simple: only one string actually opens up the door that spills out the candy. The others were just taped on to the bottom. The kids took turns pulling the string and one lucky kid would make the candy pour out.
(And no, I am not anti-real pinata or anything, but I didn't really think arming a group of 3 year-olds was wise. And I wasn't confident that even if armed, they would be strong enough to break an actual pinata. Plus, this was super cheap.)
Clearly, this is not perfect, but it worked. And it was recognizable as a Lego piece. (At least, that is what my kind guests told me!)
More importantly, it was a hit! As I mention in the collage above, the door to open the candy should have been cut wider, but we got it open with a little help.