If no one in your family is gluten-free it may not have occurred to you that even things like paper mache aren’t allowed. Each year, for their birthday parties, I make the boys a pinata. Since Luke was diagnosed with Celiac Disease last year, anything with gluten is out (regular flour is full of gluten). This is a problem for 2 reasons:
One, just the dust from the flour getting on anything that Luke might put in his mouth is enough gluten to make him sick. Don’t think flour causes much dust, just try to scoop a spoonful out of your flour jar in some direct sunlight. It’s amazing how much dust it creates.
And two, I couldn’t put any candy or whistles or silly straws in the pinata because they would come in contact with the flour and then in contact with Luke’s mouth and make him sick.
So, I did a little research and discovered you can make paper mache with corn starch and water. Who knew? It also makes great paste.
To make it, just combine 1 part corn starch to 10 parts water (I just used our smallest little measuring cup, 1/8 cup I think). Heat on medium until it boils. Continue to boil for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally, then let cool. It worked great and I can’t wait to post pictures of the finished product.
Here’s a picture of a tire pinata I did a couple of years ago. I forgot to take a picture of it before the kids started whacking on it, but you get the idea: