Science Party guests are sure to light up when it comes time to test the strength of this giant candy-filled bulb.
Mix the Papier-Mache Paste: In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. In a bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour and 2 cups of cold water, then add the mixture to the boiling water. Once the solution comes back to a boil, remove the pan from the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar. When the paste cools, it will thicken and be ready to use (cover and refrigerate the paste between applications).
Shape the pinata by inflating a large, round balloon (about 14 inches in diameter). Tear 3 or 4 double newspaper sheets into 2-inch-wide strips. Apply the first layer of papier-mâché by individually dragging newspaper strips through the paste, wiping off the excess with your fingers, and pressing them onto the balloon so that they overlap slightly. Cover the whole balloon except for a 2-inch square opening at the knotted end. Let it dry for 24 hours. Pop the balloon.
Tape the midpoint of a long string to the top of the bulb, then wrap the string ends around the bulb sides, taping them in place, as shown. Let the trailing ends dangle. With a craft knife (adults only), cut an asterisk-shaped opening in the bottom of a 32-ounce plastic deli container. Fit the top of the container snugly against the bulb bottom and tape it in place. The string ends should remain outside the container, as shown.
Add a second and a third layer of papier-mache allowing the paper to dry in between. Cover the sides of the plastic container too, but not the container bottom nor the dangling string ends. Finally, use a glue stick to attach a layer of 5-inch yellow-paper squares to the bulb but not the container.
Fill the pinata (through the container bottom) with 4 pounds of wrapped candy. Glue aluminum foil to the container to simulate the neck of a lightbulb. Secure the foil with 3 strips of black electrical tape. Finally, use a black marker to write the wattage (the birthday child's age) on the top of the bulb, then hang the piñata upside down.