Balloons! 10 Easy Indoor Activity Ideas

posted in: Parenting | 15

Balloons! 10 Easy Indoor Activity IdeasWith the chill of winter in full swing, we’ve been getting a little antsy.  The single digit weather requires indoor entertainment.  And on that front, balloons have delivered.  I’m going to share 10 easy indoor activity ideas with balloons.

I’ll add the obligatory notice about not letting balloons get into the hands of babies or younger children who could suffocate on the plastic, and then let’s get on with business!

So, here are our 10 ways to play with balloons inside… toddler approved, but fun for any age, of course (If you don’t have balloons on hand, you can buy balloons online #afflink).

Balloon Paddle Ball

This balloon activity was a favorite, and Toby invented it all by himself.  He found a long cardboard tube (leftover from our Christmas wrapping paper) and asked me to tie his balloon to the tube.  I used a piece of string about three feet long — and attached it to the tube by poking a hole and then tying one end of the yarn to the tube.  The other end of the yarn I then tied to the balloon.

Toby had a blast hitting the balloon with the cardboard tube, and watching it bounce up and away from him.  He tried gently bouncing it up in the air, then swung speedily at it (like a ball player).

At the end of this post, I’ve shared a few more pictures of our balloon paddle ball, both in action, and a detail shot to let you see how it’s constructed.

Keep it Up!

A classic balloon game, probably with many names.  You can play this with one or more individuals, and it’s a cooperative activity.  The goal?  Keep the balloon up in the air, and don’t let it touch the ground!

Sticky Static

One day Toby was bouncing the balloon around on his own… when all of a sudden he got upset.  Apparently the balloon was stuck to the ceiling …giving us an opportunity to learn about static electricity.  After his balloon was rescued, Toby had fun seeing what his balloon would stick to around the house.

Balloon on a String

Toby has, on multiple occasions, asked me to tie a string on his balloon so that he can kick or hit it — without having it run away from him.  Sometimes he will secure the other end of the string to his desk, a chair, or his shopping cart.  This lets him focus on playing with the balloon, while restricting where it can go.  Smart kid!  In this form, the balloon was also “walked” around the house on its string leash.  Wonder what kind of pet it was…

Indoor Kick

I don’t know about all kids, but my son has a strong kick — we’ve had to relegate ball kicking to outside at this point.  But, kicking a balloon?  That’s a different matter.  No matter how hard Toby kicks the balloon, it will only float delightfully through the air.  This activity will keep him entertained for a good half hour.

Hide the Balloon

Hide and seek is fun, but so too is hiding the balloon!  Toby enjoys finding places for his balloon to be hidden, and then asking for my “help” to find it.

Balloon Sounds

My toddler is into music, so we will often talk about the different sounds that objects make.  Balloons are no exception.  Toby has enjoyed tapping and flicking balloons to see the different sounds they make.  If you have a balloon that hasn’t been tied shut, you can also experiment with those fun squealing sounds made by escaping air.

Balloon Rockets + Cars

I’m sure most of us have made balloon rockets in some form or another.  Erica at What Do We Do All Day made a balloon rocket race — attached to a string race track.  But if you don’t mind chasing the deflating balloon all over, you could just blow one up and then let it fly.  Along the same lines, you can make a balloon-powered race car.  Almost Unschoolers shows you how to build balloon powered cars from toilet paper tubes.  Toby would love this activity, I’m sure.

Passage of Time

As time passes, your balloon will start to shrivel and shrink.  This is normal balloon behavior, but kids aren’t always familiar with balloon “life cycles.”  It has been fun for Toby to watch his balloons age… and compare the new ones to the old ones (we acquire a new balloon every week at swim lessons).  You could even make balloon “prints” with paint and balloons of different ages to see the textures transferred to paper.  Also, eventually, your balloon will pop.  Maybe it collides with a sharp object, or maybe it meets an untimely end at the claws of an interested feline.  However it happens, this gives opportunity to talk about the impact balloons and other plastic can have on the environment.  Birds think the plastic is food, and can’t digest it… and the like.

Balloon Basketball

My toddler commandeered our cat play tunnel #afflink… it’s about 1′ x 3′ in size. When turned on end, it makes a great basketball net.  I suppose you could use a trash can or laundry basket if those are easier to procure around your house than mine.  Anyway, Toby used this tunnel as a goal, or basket to shoot his balloon into.  He had a friend over and they spent quite some time playing balloon basketball inthe playroom.  I love that this idea doesn’t require much space (balloons can’t be thrown as far as a real ball).

It’s always interesting to see what games and activities kids will come up with when left to their own devices, huh?  Hopefully these ballon activities will be well received by your housebound kids too!

And now for the photos of our balloon paddle ball, as promised.  Click on any image to open in gallery view mode.

Have more ideas?

If you have more ideas about indoor activities that use balloons, I’d love to hear them. Share in the comments below!

This post is part of an Indoor Activity Blog Hop — Indoor Activities.

Make sure to visit the other blogs below for some fun indoor activities that you can do when the weather’s not conducive to playing outside!

15 Responses

  1. Erica @ What Do We Do All Day?

    Oh, these are great! We’ve had lots of fun with paddle ball int the past, we’ll have to try these other games.

  2. Meeghan

    Thank you for all the great ideas!!! I need to go out and buy a bunch some balloons!

  3. Jodie @ Growing Book by Book

    Oh I love the balloon on a stick idea. My kids love to play keep the balloon up in the air and I look forward to playing the other games you shared.

  4. Betsy Finn

    Yes, I’m so glad I have a creative toddler 🙂

  5. Betsy Finn

    Glad to inspire! And of course, thanks to my toddler for a good number of these ideas.

  6. Betsy Finn

    Thanks Jodie!

  7. Kate

    Great activities! This time of year we all need new ideas for indoor activities. I think our family favorite game is volleyball with a balloon! hehe

  8. Betsy Finn

    Agreed, Kate… sometimes the kids (and us parents) get cabin fever!

  9. Rachael D

    Some neat activities!! Easy to do & frugal 🙂 Can’t go wrong in my opinion…

    Thanks so much for sharing with us on this week’s Mom 2 Mom Link Up! Hope you can join us again 🙂
    Rachael @ Diamonds in the Rough

  10. Betsy Finn

    Thanks Rachael! (and yes, I do look forward to finding lots of fun links every week. Very inspiring!).

  11. Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories

    I love the balloon paddle ball idea and the rocket race. We usually just hit a balloon around and my boys love that but these are so creative! Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday Linkup and hope you join us again this weekend! Pinning to our linkup board.

  12. Betsy Finn

    Yeah, it’s amazing what little minds will dream up. Today he took the balloon “dog” for a walk on a length of string.

  13. […] You can start off with the simple activities such as hide-n-seek and 7 UP. Then if your kids get tired of these games you can get more creative with them! There are so many activities you can do with a balloon and a little bit of space! Here’s a link to some good ideas for these balloon games… Balloon Games […]

  14. Mrs. Bobbi

    my sister and I made a game called keep it up when we were little. we played it with all our cousins and friends now I play it with my kids. the best part is you can play by yourself or with as many people as you want the main rule is the balloon can’t touch the ground. you can add balloons also if you have a lot of people and its an indoor or outdoor type game.

  15. […] There are so many fun things to do with balloons. Toddlers are fascinated by the way they get bigger and bigger and how they float around. Start by blowing up a balloon and letting it go. Your little one is sure to squeal in delight as the balloon whizzes around the room. This activity alone can keep my little ones’ attention for several minutes. But, once your lungs need a rest from all the blowing, tie off the balloon and play some more. You can have competitions to see who can keep it in the air the longest, who can bounce it across a room, make a balloon rocket, or any number of games. For more balloon play ideas, click here. […]