A balloon 🎈 can fill kids with so much wonder and is an instant source of joy ☺️. These balloons are a common colorful attraction that kids love – to hold and chase around.
The best part is that apart from being an element of the decor 🪅 and a familiar sight in special celebrations, like birthday parties, they can also be used for a wide range of activities that your kids will enjoy.
If you have some packets of balloons at home, bring them out as you’re at the right place 💯 to find ideas for how to use them.
Balloon Activities for Your Kids
Playing with balloons has many benefits to offer to support the overall development of our children as it –
- aids their emotional development
- fosters sensory play,
- develops their gross motor skills and
- improves their coordination skills and spatial awareness.
I would say that balloon activities also offer endless hours of fun and laughter 😆 and are a source of entertainment for your kids.
These activities can be done indoors – within the comforts of your home 🏡 or outdoors – amid nature 🌳.
In this blog post, I have made a list of activities with balloons that your kids can try at home and have fun with. 😄
Balloon Keep It Up
Keep it Up is a classic balloon game that I’m sure your kids will enjoy.
You can give your kids one balloon, and the goal of this balloon game, as the name suggests, is to keep their balloons up in the air by hitting them upwards with their hands ✋🏼 to ensure that they don’t touch the floor.
I believe that this game is not only entertaining for your kids but also helps them stay focused and concentrate on keeping their balloons in the air for a longer time and getting their bodies moving.
I recommend you make your kids play a game of tennis 🎾 with a twist using paper plate rackets and balloons.
My son loves playing this version of tennis – a perfect indoor activity.
Steps to do:
- You can get your kids to paint and decorate both sides of sturdy, plain white paper plates with patterns and designs.
- Then, tape a jumbo ice cream craft stick to the backs of the paper plates to make the tennis rackets.
- Prepare the balloons by filling them with air.
- Now, for the fun part, kids can hit the balloon back and forth with their paper plate tennis rackets and play an exciting game of tennis.
This game of balloon volleyball 🏐 is the same as the traditional game of volleyball, replaced with a balloon.
You can fill 1 or 2 balloons with air and tie a rope in the middle of the room or space to act as a net. Kids can stand on each side of the rope and hit the balloon back and forth as they would while playing volleyball.
Balloon Water Fight
Water balloon fights take me back to my childhood days, and I love watching my son enjoy the same with his friends in the garden.
You can fill a few balloons with one-third or more of the water 💦 and place them in a bucket. Kids can aim and throw the water-filled balloons at each other for a fun water balloon fight in the garden.
I suggest that you instruct your kids clearly to throw the balloons gently and avoid aiming at each other’s faces to prevent hurting 🩹 one another.
A balloon seize game is so much fun, and your kids will enjoy themselves as they try to grab all the balloons they can.
Steps to do:
- You can blow up 10-15 balloons and place them on the floor.
- Now, kids can try to take as many balloons as they can with only their hands.
- Set a time limit of 45 seconds to 1 minute, and the one with the most balloons in their hands at the end is the winner.
I would recommend you do this game in an empty room or space with less furniture 🪑 and obstacles, if possible.
Balloon Coloring Sheet
My son loves coloring, and it brings him so much joy and comfort.
You can print a template or draw outlines of balloons on a sheet of paper.
Let your kids use their imagination and creativity to color 🖍️ the balloons with crayons or colored pencils and decorate the balloon outlines with patterns, shapes, and designs they like.
Balloon Balance on a Plate
Balancing a balloon 🎈 on a plate is a fun game that your kids can try, and I would say this is a bit similar to the classic game of lemon 🍋 and spoon 🥄 race.
You can give your kids a paper plate 🍽️ and place an inflated balloon on it. The goal is for kids to walk 🚶🏽♀️at varying speeds or even run around a space while balancing ⚖️ their balloons on their paper plates.
I recommend you turn this into a race if you want to make it competitive – mark the start and finish point for kids to race each other or set a time limit ⏱️ for them to challenge themselves while balancing their balloons.
When my son doesn’t have his friends over to race with, I set a time limit that he tries to challenge and beat in the next round.
Balloon in a String
My son has always enjoyed doing this activity since he was a little boy.
You can give your kids a balloon attached to a piece of string 🧵 to run around the house or in the garden with the balloon floating in the air or dragging behind them as a leisure activity.
Balloon Sugar and Yeast Experiment
I would say this was one of the experiments that my son was thoroughly fascinated by.
He had a great time watching the balloon inflate with the help of sugar and yeast.
Steps to do:
- You can take an empty 1-liter plastic water bottle and make your kids add two tablespoons of sugar – a funnel can make the work easier.
- Then, fill the water bottle with 1 cup of warm water.
- Add one whole packet of active dry yeast to the sugar and water mixture, and kids can swirl the water bottle or seal the cap and shake the water bottle for the yeast to activate and form bubbles.
- Make sure the sugar and yeast are combined in the warm water for the bubbles to start forming.
- While this happens, you can stretch a large rubber balloon a few times by blowing and deflating it. Then, close the opening of the water bottle with the balloon.
- Now, your kids can patiently sit and wait near the water bottle for a few minutes and watch the balloon inflate and become bigger as time passes.
The science behind this experiment is that as the yeast feeds on the sugar, a gas – carbon dioxide is released. This gas has nowhere to go other than upwards and thus fills the balloon, which results in an inflated balloon.
You can also make your kids add the sugar and yeast to the warm water in another container, dissolve them well, and then pour the mixture into the plastic bottle.
Balloon Screaming Experiment
A screaming 😱 balloon is something that most kids would’ve never heard of, and you can get your kids to listen to the sound with this simple and cool experiment, which is also easy to do.
Steps to do:
- You can put one hex nut 🔩, a hexagon-shaped nut, in a balloon, inflate the balloon but not too big, and tie the neck of the balloon with a string.
- Give your kids the balloon to hold in their hands with the neck of the balloon in their palms and their fingers and thumb extending toward the sides of the balloon as they would a bowling ball.
- Now, instruct them to swirl the balloon in a circular motion – round and round. The hex nut will begin to bounce and then circle around.
- Your kids should be able to hear a screaming sound coming from the balloon as the hex nut moves.
The science behind the hex nut circling inside the balloon is due to the centripetal force. The screaming sound happens when the hex nut with its six sides (hexagon) has flat edges that vibrate against the inside walls of the balloon.
I have to share that my son was amazed at hearing the sound of a balloon “screaming” for the first time.
Balloon Waddle Race
Trust me when I say that your kids will enjoy a waddle race 🚩 with balloons, and this can be done with two or more kids.
Steps to do:
- You can blow a balloon for each participant and get them to place their balloons between their knees.
- Mark the starting point and the finish line.
- Your kids can try to race each other by balancing their balloons to waddle and move forward to the finish line without bursting them or letting them fly away, which makes the race more fun.
Your kids can also do this activity individually, too. In this case, you can time how long they take from the start to the finish line, and kids can challenge themselves and try to beat their previous time limit.
This balloon catch game was something that my son played in his class together as a group, and he said it was the most exciting day in school.
Steps to do:
- You can stand in the center and make the kids stand around you, forming a circle.
- Blow a large-sized balloon and a few more for when this bursts.
- Then, toss the balloon up in the air and shout a child’s name.
- The game is such that the person whose name is called should try to catch the balloon before it touches the floor, while the others should try to avoid touching it unless their names are called.
- You can choose the name of one child for each round so they can catch a balloon.
Balloon Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts 🔎 are a hit in my house as my son loves doing them, and I recommend you get your kids to try them, too, if they haven’t yet.
You can inflate a few balloons of different colors and sizes, attach strings, hide them around the house and garden, and give your kids some clues.
To complete the scavenger hunt successfully, you can instruct your kids to find as many balloons as possible within a set time limit ⏱️.
Balloon Button Match
A balloon hunt is similar to a treasure hunt but also involves a matching activity with buttons.
Steps to do:
- You can choose the same number of buttons and balloons whose colors match each other, which is necessary for this activity.
- Blow the balloons, and hide them around the house for your kids to search and find the hidden places.
- Now, give your kids the colored buttons and instruct them to look for the balloons that match the button colors.
You can let your kids draw ✍🏼 and paint 🎨 on the balloons with acrylic paints and markers and decorate them with paper shapes and glitter with their creativity and imagination 💭.
I would say that this allows kids to experiment with a different medium to create art rather than the usual papers to make it more exciting.
One thing that your kids need to take care of while doing this activity is to be gentle when handling the balloons so that they don’t burst midway.
Balloon Dart Board
Balloon dart 🎯 games, where kids can aim at a board lined with balloons to win gifts, are a common sight at carnivals 🎡 and fests, and you can recreate the same at home for your kids to enjoy.
Steps to do:
- To mark the dartboard, you can use a large piece of thick cardboard or thick chart paper and tape it on the wall or place it against the wall.
- Then, stick colorful inflated balloons in rows on the dart board.
- They can use kid-friendly darts to aim at one of the colors of the balloon and throw them to burst that balloon.
- You can allow kids to throw the darts up to a certain number of tries and pass the darts to the next person.
- When my son plays this game by himself, I set time limits for each round for him to aim at and burst as many balloons as he can.
- When my son plays this game with a group of his friends when they come home, I give each of them three tries to burst a balloon, and the chance goes to the next person.
This game is fun for kids to play, and it also allows them to focus on their targets and work on their aiming skills.
I would recommend you keep an eye on your kids while they play this game, as it involves pieces of balloons after they burst and darts.
Balloon Surprise Pop
I recommend you make your kids play a simple game where they pop balloons, and they will have an exciting time.
You can fill small treats like candies 🍬 or tiny toys 🧸 inside the balloons and let your kids pop the balloons to find their gifts as a surprise.
Creating art 🖼️ and painting with the usual paint brushes can be fun, but you can make it even more fun for your kids with balloons.
You can partially blow a few small-sized balloons to a size not bigger than your hand. Pour paints of different colors into plates and get your kids to dip a portion of the balloons in the paints.
They can use the paint-dipped portions of the balloons to create a painting by lightly pressing or bouncing them on a sheet of thick paper to form patterns and impressions to make unique pieces of art.
Balloon Stress Ball
A balloon stress ball is a compact squishy toy that your kids can squeeze with their fingers to relieve their stress, calm their nerves, and feel relaxed 😌.
The best part is that you can easily make one at home using a balloon.
Steps to do:
- You can stretch a medium-sized rubber or latex balloon in all directions or blow and deflate it once to make the balloon material more flexible.
- Then, insert a funnel or the top portion of a water bottle works, too, into the neck of the balloon.
- Kids can fill the balloon with a choice of filling like flour, which is our favored filling, or rice by pouring them through the funnel until the balloon is of the desired size.
- To finish, remove the funnel and tie a knot to seal the balloon to make a stress ball.
Choice of Fillings:
There are other fillings that your kids can fill their balloons with, like –
- Flour (all-purpose flour) leads to a soft and squishy ball
Or baking ingredients like cornstarch and baking soda
- Sand leads to a slightly grainy-textured ball
- Small dry beans, rice, or lentils lead to a firmer and textured ball, similar to the bean bag.
– this will require additional balloon layers to prevent any tear.
These homemade stress balls have a short lifespan of a few weeks to a month, depending on how much your kids use them.
Balloon Pass the Parcel
You can get your kids to play the classic party game of passing the parcel 📦 but with a twist – balloons.
Steps to do:
- Inflate a medium-sized balloon and carefully wrap it with layers of newspaper or gift-wrapping paper.
- Now, make the kids sit in a circle or across from each other and play the game like the usual pass the parcel following the music.
- The twist and fun part of the game is that when the music stops, the person holding the balloon has to carefully unwrap a layer of the newspaper 📰 without bursting the balloon.
- The game can go on until someone bursts the balloon.
This was another one of the games my son played with his class. This game is perfect for a group of kids, but can also be played with two or more people like my son and I play at home.
Balloon Funnel Catch
Catching balloons with a funnel is a fun game that your kids can try, and it keeps them on their feet.
You can blow up a few small or medium-sized balloons and toss them one by one in the air. Kids can use a funnel or a thick sheet of paper rolled into a cone shape, which is similar to a funnel, to try and catch the balloons.
This game makes your kids focus on the balloons and place the funnel below the balloons they want to catch.
Balloon Glow in the Dark
My son found these balloons that could glow in the dark 🌌 fascinating when he saw them in my friend’s daughter’s room, so we recreated the same for him.
Steps to do:
- You can give your kids a few large-sized balloons and glow sticks, preferably ones that are short in size and various colors of choice.
- Then, get your kids to break their glow sticks into halves and shake them well to activate and light them.
- You can insert the glow sticks into the balloons through the opening and blow the balloons, or inflate the balloons first and then slowly insert the glow sticks into the air-filled balloons.
- Once you have added the glow sticks, tie a knot, and your kids now have glow-in-the-dark balloons to light their rooms during the night after the lights are switched off.
Your kids will love these balloons that glow in the dark, and they are also so simple to make with them as an activity and make for fun decor.
If your kids love playing with yo-yos as much as my son does, then you can make a yo-yo 🪀 at home easily with a balloon.
Steps to do:
- You can fill an unblown balloon with flour, rice, or beans.
- Then, tie the opening of the balloon securely as usual.
- Take an elastic rubber band, make a loop over the neck of the balloon with a knot, then attach and loop another rubber band to the first one.
- Keep looping more elastic rubber bands to create a chain of rubber bands to make the yo-yo string.
- You can adjust the length of the yo-yo string by looping the rubber bands according to your kids’ height.
This simple toy, which is so easy to make, will keep your kids engaged and entertained.
A Note of Caution
I want to share a note of caution ⚠️ with you concerning the use of balloons to ensure the safety of your kids –
Please supervise 👀 and keep an eye on your kids if they are under the age of 8, as uninflated balloons are a choking hazard.
Pieces of broken balloons are also a potential choking hazard, so I recommend you collect and immediately throw away the pieces of the balloons that break.
When I think of balloons, I think of the birthday parties 🥳 I took my son to when he was little, where he would reach for a balloon to play with throughout the party, and writing this article brought back so many memories ❤️.
I’m happy to share that my son enjoyed 🤩 doing these activities with balloons – a thing that he loves, and these activities can help your kids stay occupied while having fun.
I hope you enjoyed reading the list of balloon activities for your kids to do and that you were able to find inspiration for them to try at home.
Please let me know in the comments if you have any more balloon activity ideas to share or any questions for me to solve – I would love to hear your feedback! 😊
I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for creating engaging and educational activities for children. I strongly understand child development and know how to create activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.