Fun With Balloons

On the eve of my daughter’s 5th birthday, after ensuring that our children were sound asleep, my husband and I blew up over 100 balloons.  Then we left the balloons all over the floor of the kids’ bedroom, so that they would find them when they awoke the next morning.  That started a year-long obsession with balloons.  From then on, whether we were practicing counting, making a model of the solar system, or just playing around, we used balloons almost daily.

Parents: Please remember that balloons can be dangerous.  Children can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons, so please keep uninflated balloons away from children, and discard broken balloons at once. Preview any website before allowing your child to view it ans use your own judgment.  Links are provided for your information, but they do not imply endorsement on our part.

Nancy Willoughby graciously helped me to assemble the experiments listed below.  Hopefully, they will spark some wonderful opportunities for fun and learning in your own homeschool.

Before handing out the balloons, explore your children’s knowledge through oral language.  You can help them think and make connections through questions such as:.

  • How would you describe a balloon?
  • What do you know about balloons?
  • Can you share a personal experience with balloons?

Investigate key vocabulary terms with your students.  For instance, ask them to define a word.  If they aren’t familiar with a given word, teach them how to use a dictionary (or website), or look it up together.  Here are some examples of important vocabulary words to know:

  • Density
  • Circumference
  • Molecules
  • Hypothesis

 

Experiment 1

Hand out two small balloons. Have two jars, cold water, and warm water on hand.

  1. What do you predict we will do with these balloons?
  2. Read the experiment:
  • Fill two small balloons with cold water, tying a tight knot to keep the water inside.
  • Now, fill one of the jars about halfway with warm water and the other one halfway with cold water.
  • Place a water-filled balloon into each jar.
  1. Make a hypothesis (educated guess) about what will happen & why you think it will happen and why you think it will happen.
  2. Preform the experiment.
  3. Explain what happened.  Why did it happen?
  4. If you were to repeat the experiment, would you get the same results?
  5. Try to check it out for yourself by doing it again.

We first read about this experiment in 365 More Simple Science Experiments With Everyday Materials.  If you liked this experiment and want to try similar ones, check out these other experiments on density:

9 Simple Experiments to Learn about Density

Liquid Density Experiments

Amazing 9 Layer Density Tower

 

Experiment 2

Ask your children if they know what the word “circumference” means. If not, read the book Sir Cumference and the Round Table before this experiment.

Hand out one balloon and a tailor’s measuring tape (or a string and ruler).

  1. What do you predict we will do with these balloons?
  2. Read the experiment:
  • Blow up one balloon and tie it off.
  • Measure the circumference of the balloon (i.e., the distance around the widest part).
  • Write down the measurement.
  • Now, with the help of an adult, dangle the balloon above a light bulb that is lit.  To thoroughly warm the balloon, you’ll need to rotate, or turn, the balloon above the bulb for two to three minutes.
  • Then, without removing the balloon from the heat source (you really need an extra hand here), measure the balloon’s circumference again.

3. Why are we using a light bulb? What does a light bulb contribute to this experiment? Predict what you think will happen to the balloon.  Why do you think so?
4. Perform the experiment.
5. Look at your data (the two measurements you have taken)
6. What happened to the balloon?  Why do you think it happened?

We first read about this experiment in 365 More Simple Science Experiments With Everyday Materials.  If you liked this experiment, then consider trying these:

Heat Transfer Projects for Kids

The Effect of Heat: simple experiments with solids, liquids and gases

Temperature Changes Everything

 

Creative Writing

Make up a story about a balloon:  Where does the balloon go?  What does it see? What does it do? Who does it interact with?  Remember that your story needs to have a beginning (introduction), middle (body), and an end (conclusion).

If you have trouble creating a story about a balloon, try drawing a simple picture first, and then adding some more details.  Now explain your story to someone else.  Tell them what a day in the life of your balloon was like.  For example: what did the balloon (you may personalize it with a name) do in the morning, afternoon, or evening?

 

Research Skills

Find the answers to these questions: Who invented the first rubber balloons?  What are some other kinds of balloons?  How have balloons been used throughout history?

As you search for answers you may start asking other questions.  Feel free to explore questions beyond the ones listed above.  Those are just to get you started!

The websites listed below are good resources for researching about balloons, and they are relatively safe.  Parents, please preview any website before allowing your child to view it, and always use your own judgment!

Encyclopedia Britannica

The Balloon Council

History of Balloons

 

More Fun Balloon Activities

 

Science

10 Fun Balloon Science Activities

Make a Hot Air Balloon

Weather Balloon

Blow Up a Balloon with Dry Ice Experiment

Ice Egg Dinosaur Preschool Science

How Sharks Float Experiment: Part 2

Balloon Science Experiments for Kids

Balloon Skewer: Polymer Science for Kids

Self-Inflating Balloon Science Experiment

Balloon Baking soda Vinegar Science Experiments for Kids

Build a Model Lung

Learning About Our Lungs for Preschoolers

Preschool: States of Matter & Art

See Sound Waves!

Preschool: Colored light science Experiment

Preschool: Polar Bear Fur Experiment

Static Electricity

 

Math

Math Games: Water Balloon Equations

Wet N Wild Math

Water Balloon Math

Water Balloon Number Blast Activity for Summer

Balloon Math Activities

 

Miscellaneous

Practice Sight Words with Balloons

DIY Sensory Play, Stress Relieving, Fidget Balls

Teaching Emotions and More

Learning About Feelings and Emotions

Preschool: Marshmallow Fireworks

Olympic High Jumps for Children!!

 

1 Comment

  • Homeschool mom March 13, 2018 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    Did anyone proof this poorly written article?. Please correct grammar and spelling errors throughout to bring it to the high standard we have come to expect from this organization.

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