Saturday, April 12, 2014

Balloon Mania

Divide kids into groups of about 4.  At each table have one empty water bottle, a cup with 2 oz vinegar in it, a funnel and a balloon.

Activity: Are You Gassy? Science Experiments
carbon dioxide balloon experiment with vinegar and baking soda
  1. Have kids pour the cup of vinegar into their bottle.  Next, have a couple teen volunteers go around the room with baking soda.  At each table, the kids measure out two teaspoons of baking soda, which they put into their balloon using the funnel.  Next, have the kids attach the balloon to their water bottle being careful not to let the contents of the balloon enter the bottle.  As a group, have them tilt their balloons so the baking soda goes into the vinegar.  What happens?
The following experiments were demonstrated in front of the kids.
  1. Put 2 oz water into the water bottle.  Add 2 tsp baking powder to a balloon.  Attach balloon to the water bottle and empty into the bottle.
  2. One bottle clear soda (Sprite/7-Up).  Add one package pop rocks to a balloon.  Attach balloon to soda bottle and empty into the bottle.
  1. While kids are eating their snacks, have them tear tissue paper into small pieces.  Scatter tissue paper pieces on the floor.
  2. Each person gets a blown up balloon and a bowl.
  3. Have the kids rub the balloon in their hair and use it to pick up the tissue paper and place it in their bowl.
  4. The person with the most tissue paper in their bowl wins.
Game: Balance the Balloon Relay
  1. Divide into teams.  Half of each team should be on opposite sides of the room.
  2. One person gets a fly swatter and must balance the balloon down the room to their counterpart, who must then balance the balloon back to the other side of the room.
Game: Balloon Popping Relay
  1. Use the teams from the previous game and give every person a balloon.
  2. One player from each team places a balloon between their legs and walks it across the room to the finish line.
  3. They then sit on the balloon and try to pop it.
  4. Next they run back to their team and the next person goes.
Craft: Balloon Yo-Yos
Simple balloon Yo-Yo: This springy toy is fun to play with, easy to make, and can be created with things that you may already have in the cupboard. It can also teach children a nice lesson in resourcefulness, helping them understand that toys can be invented from simple objects.
  1. Using funnels, fill a balloon with uncooked rice.
  2. Tie closed.
  3. Use three rubber bands attached together to create the yo-yo string.
This was a super fun program.  The Static Electricity game, while fun, created a HUGE mess.  The balloons didn't pick up as much of the tissue paper as desired, so there was a lot of clean up involved after the programs ended.  Both relays were fun and caused a lot of laughter from the participants.  The science experiments worked well.  We had the kids all do the baking soda/vinegar experiment while one of us demonstrated the other variations.  We then compared the results to see which combination made the biggest balloon.  The balloon yo-yos were also a big hit.

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