They are stretchy, they are colurful, they are fun, they are inexpensive, they are BALLOONS.
My son was around a year and a few months old when he saw a balloon at a party and was in awe of his discovery. I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said he was obsessed with balloons. On the other hand, I was petrified of letting him hold a Balloon, I feared he’d eat it up.
However, with due respect to his love for balloons, we did so many other fun things with balloons that chewing or even attempting to blow them did not occur to him at all.
Here are fun activities that toddlers and preschoolers are totally going to love :
#1 Paint a Balloon
Blow out Balloons and paint them with fingers, brushes, cotton, stamps or anything that your toddler likes. You could decorate the balloons with shapes and use different colours to introduce the concept of shapes and colours to kids.
#2 Paint with a Balloon
Make cricket-ball sized water balloons and use them as tools to paint on blank paper. Young kids can simply make stamps in different colours. Older kids could use these to paint simple structured images.
#3 Throw a paint balloon
you are going to need an open space that can get a little messy and be washed easily. This one does need a tad extra bit of cleaning, but it’s all worth the fun. Paste a blank paper on the wall, make some runny Paints in a plate, dip water balloons into those plates and aim at the blank paper. This one is a riot of an activity, allows your toddler to run around in paint, get messy and laugh out loud.
#4 Surprise in the Balloon
Insert tiny toys into balloons and blow them out. Make atleast five to six such balloons. Ask your toddler to guess what’s in it. Allow him/her to prick the balloons and take the surprise out of it. My son and I have made surprise balloons with farm animals, fruits, vegetables, shapes, and cars. This is a great way of learning concepts in a play way.
#5 Balloon drum set
Pick large pieces of balloons that scatter after the balloons burst. Stretch them and seal a glass top with it. Make another one, and your own DIY drum set is ready in minutes. You can pull the stretched balloon in the center to create some booming sounds.
Disclaimer – teach this to your toddler at your own risk. Mine gets a balloon only to burst it and make this unique musical instrument of his own.
#6 water fight
We did this activity around Holi, but we had so much fun, that we continue to beat the heat with this activity. Fill plenty of water balloons, cut a tiny hole into balloon to make a “pichkari” and the rest need not be said.
#7 Balloon box
This activity would need a little preparation from your end. Take an old shoe box and paint the lid in different colour strips (the colours that you’d find balloons in – Blue, red, green, purple, yellow) cut a circle in each of the strip. Give a bowl full of balloons to your toddler and ask him to insert the balloon into the box through the same colour strip as the balloon. This one is sure to keep your toddler occupied for really long and he will know colours better too.
#8 Balloon dart game
make tiny balloons and stick them on a large board or a ball. Use gun, tooth pick or a dart to prick them from a distance.
#9 Water Balloon shapes matching game
This one is another fun game with balloons you can play outdoors. Insert tiny shapes into the balloons, the toy shapes you get with toddler puzzles would suffice. Make water balloons out of these balloons. Hang these water balloons on string. Place placards with shapes or draw shapes on the floor with a chalk at a distance from the balloons. Ask your toddler to burst the water balloons with a bat (my take a few hits, but that’s the whole fun), pick the shape that falls off the balloon and match it with the shapes drawn on the floor. Do one balloon at a time.
#10 Decorate party balloons
you don’t really need a party. Just blow balloons and ask your child to decorate them using fancy stickers, markers, bindis, or however they think it will look best.
#11 The noisey balloon
carefully insert a hex nut into a balloon, blow it and tie a knot. Hold and spin the balloon and then stop and the balloon scream on it’s own.
#12 Make a balloon yo-yo
Partially fill a balloon with water, glue, rice, seeds or grains, and secure it with a knot. Tie a rubber band around the knot, take another rubber band and loop it on to the first one. Continue looping the rubber bands until your yo-yo is of the desired length.
#13 Kick and paint
Take a few dollops of different colour paints in different plates, make a few water balloons, paste a sheet of paper on the ground. Now dip the water balloons into the paint and kick it across the sheet to make patterns.
#14 Catch the balloon in a glass
Try to catch the balloon in a wide mouth thermacol glass. Or you could make a appear cone for this activity.
#15 Keep the balloon in the air for as long as you can
#16 Pass the balloon
#17 balance the balloon
#18 balloon badminton
And the list goes on based on how creative you can get!