These are absolute favourite toys around here! Especially if you include water balloons.
- Blow them up halfway and bounce on them. Works better with babies than adults Gas is very, very compressible. Try putting your finger over the end of a syringe and you can push it quite a long way. So gas in a balloon will spread right out, and you can squash it right down.
- Push them underwater. Bouyancy. Did you realise it’s not the balloon bouncing up, but the water being pulled down by gravity?
- Rub them on your hair to make static. This works really well with fine baby hair, especially when it’s very dry.
- Play keep it up. You’re dealing with air resistance on the way up, and terminal velocity (which is a combination of resistance and gravity) on the way down. You can also get things like racquets and vacuums involved in the game.
- Twist them to make a series of small balloons. Make sure they are only half blown up. If you have a very co-ordinated child, they can make balloon animals.
- Let go of them so they shoot around the room. Admit it – adults like doing this too! Holding the open end so they blow air in little faces is another variation. The elasticity of the rubber is bouncing back to it’s normal shape and pushing the gas out. But for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, so the balloon is pushed the other way. This is how rockets work in space where there is no atmosphere.
- Fill them with water and play in the bath.
- Blow them up. Adults tend to think of that bit as work, but kids find it just as much fun.
- Stretch them and let go to ping them. The elasticity of the rubber stores potential energy. When you let them go, all that energy has to go somewhere.
- Draw faces on them. They make simple, quick, fun puppets, also moulds for paper mache.
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