Sunday, July 31, 2011

Children's Activities and Games With Balloons

Kids love balloons. There are a lot of games, crafts and even some science that can be done with balloons. Here are a few simple examples to try.

Hot Potato - This simple game begins with one round balloon and all of the participants sitting in a circle. You can sit around a table or on the floor. Set a timer for three minutes and bat the balloon to each other, not letting it touch the ground until the timer goes off. Now add another balloon and reset the timer. Keep adding a balloon until there is at least one balloon for each player and try to keep them all off the floor until time is up. This is a fun indoor game for any age group.

Balloon Faces - This is easier than twisting those long balloons into shapes and can be done by even a young child. Blow up a round balloon only until the rubber pulls tight. Do not tie the end of the balloon but use tie it off with a twist tie. Draw a face or animal on the balloon. Allow the marker to dry a few minutes and then finish blowing up the balloon. The rubber will stretch and create a new animal. Use your imagination to draw interesting monsters or funny clowns.

Balloon Rocket - Anyone who has every tried to blow up a balloon has experienced what happens when you don't get the end tied off correctly. The force of air that comes out can be used to propel a cardboard rocket. Use a paper towel roll or toilet paper roll and decorate it to look like a rocket. Glue a straw to the inside of the cardboard rocket. Glue a balloon to the outside of the rocket so that the open end extends beyond the back of the rocket. Measure a length of string at least 10 feet long, nylon works best as it has lest friction. Tie one end to a chair or doorknob. Put the string through the straw and tie the other end to a chair. Pull the chair away from the doorknob until the string is tight. Place the rocket at one end of the string, blow up the balloon and let go so the air can escape from the balloon. Watch the rocket speed across the room on the string. You can also do this experiment without the string and let the rocket go, but this doesn't work as well as the cardboard is too heavy to launch well.

Dawn Marcotte is a freelance writer and has a bachelors degree in elementary education. She has made a commitment to spend at least 5 fun minutes a day wit her children, having fun with them for the next year. In this quest she has discovered many games, crafts, science experiments and events and shares them with others at

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