Decorations are not complete in a kid’s birthday party without balloons. These items can surely brighten up a child’s special day. However,  balloons should not only cheer up kids during birthday parties.  These essential party items can also bring a smile to our children’s faces anytime through playtime.  Just remember to always be present and supervise your toddlers when playing with balloons for preventing choking hazards. Here is a list of eight easy to do STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) and four fun learning ideas using balloons. The experiments and DIY toys are easy to set up and would not take more than 10 minutes preparation.

Fun Balloon Activities

The list below consists of eight STEAM (#1-8) and four learning (#9-12) activities. These are all simple to set up which is perfect for busy parents and more fun for the little ones!

1. Helium vs air (science)

Comparing a helium filled balloon with an air (by mouth) filled balloon is a simple but great science activity. Point out to your toddlers which type of balloon floats or sinks. Helium is lighter / lesser dense than air therefore helium filled balloons will float. On the contrary, air filled balloons (blown by mouth) will not float since there is no difference between the density of the air inside and outside the balloon.

Tips: To save a dollar or more, shop in a grocery store (like Krogers) that gives away free balloons.

2. Balloon vs ball (science & math)

Compare the speed between a heavy ball vs light balloon with your toddlers. This way, they can learn the basic concepts of speed (fast vs slow). At the same time, toddlers can also visualize the difference of speed created by a heavy vs light materials. This game can be played in your home stairs (with strict supervision) or with the use of a slide.
Figure 3A. Create a zip line for balloons (science “thrust and Law of Action-Reaction” & technology).
Figure 3B. Attach a straw in the stairs.
Figure 3C. Attach a balloon in the straw.

3. Zip line for balloons (science and technology)

How fun will it be to have a zip line in your own home stairs for balloons? First, attach a straw in the top (point A) and bottom (point B) portion of your stairs. Second, fix a string in one straw (point A) then insert another straw into the string. Tie the other end of the string to the straw in Point B. Finally, tape the inflated balloon in the straw (inserted in the string). Let go of the balloon and watch how the air pushes the balloon downwards.

TIP: Be careful with stairs while playing with your little ones; presence of both moms and dads are recommended for safety.

4. Balloons in bottles (science)

This classic science experiment never fails to impress kids of any age! First, fill up the bottle halfway with vinegar. Next, insert a straw inside the balloon’s nozzle to scoop some baking soda into the balloon (if available, flask will be helpful too). Remove the straw and attach the balloon with baking soda in the bottle’s mouth. Assist your toddlers to pour the baking soda inside the bottle by turning the balloon upwards. Carbon dioxide will be released from the vinegar (acid) and baking soda (base) reaction which will then inflate the balloon.

5. Balloon Drum

Who doesn’t love a simple, fast and fun craft? This DIY drum toy is made up of an empty coffee can and a balloon. First, decorate the coffee can (optional). Second, cut off the nozzle of the balloon. Lastly, attach the balloon in the can’s mouth. That’s it!

TIP: create some plastic egg maracas and rainmaker to complete your set of musical instruments!

6. Balloon and hair Dryer (science)

Kids will love how the air from hair dryer blows up the balloon (Law of Action-Reaction). This action-reaction science game will definitely entertain the whole family. Just simply use the hair dryer to blow the balloons.

Figure 7A. Balloon stamping
Figure 7B. Balloon stamping (different view)

7. Balloon stamping (arts)

Since Earth Day is coming up soon, we decided to create our planet by stamping blue and green paints with balloons. This is such a simple idea that generates a beautiful art. Additionally, kids can also count how many “earths” have been painted in one paper.

8. Balloon boat (engineering, technology and science)

Balloon boat is another simple and fast DIY toy that keeps the little ones say “wow”! Show your kids how a balloon boat moves quickly in the water while generating bubbles. First, insert a straw in the nozzle of the balloon, then secure it with a washi tape. Second, poke a hole in the middle of a foam paper then insert the straw/balloon. Blow the balloon then let it go in the water.

Figure 8A. Materials needed are balloon, straw, washi tape and foam paper.
Figure 8A. Insert the balloon/straw into the foam paper.
Figure 8.  Balloon boat is ready to float!

9. Color sorting and recognition

Color sorting the deflated or even inflated balloons with your kids will not only keep them busy but will also help them improve their color recogntion skills. Just always remember to supervise the toddlers strictly to prevent any choking hazards.

10. Letter Recognition

Balloons are great materials for helping your little boys and girls to improve another readiness skill which is letter recognition.

11. Number Recognition

How about writing numbers to the balloons? It is so much fun to identify some numbers before tossing them into the air.

12. Shape Recognition

And lastly, don’t forget the shapes! Drawing shapes in the balloons might not be aesthetically pleasing but well oh well, it is educational.

Alright, I hope these activities can bring up a smile in your children’s faces! Now it is your turn, I would love to hear some fun balloon ideas from you!

Till next time,



Toddler steam


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