Today is the final part in the Learn Through Movement series that I am doing with Train Up a Child. All week, we have been sharing movement activities that encourage learning. I previously shared Math and Reading movement activities. Today's Learn Through Movement activity will teach kids some fun Science lessons using balloons and wind. Kids will love these balloon experiments. You might also enjoy these Movement Activities for Kids at Home.
Start out by blowing up a bunch of balloons. You will be using these later. I inflated them while my kids were napping and hid them in another room until it was time to use them for our experiments.
Provide your child with a deflated balloon and ask them to describe it. My daughter said it was flat. I asked why it was flat and she said "you need to blow it up!"
Next, inflate the balloon and ask your child to describe the differences. After I inflated it, I asked my kids to describe how the balloon looked and felt. Some of the words they used: "round like a ball," "fat" and "full." We talked about how the air I used to blow up the balloon made it change.
Remember all those balloons you inflated before? Now is the time to bring them outside. I was a little concerned our experiments would fail since it was 90 degrees out, but there was still a decent amount of wind in the air.
As soon as I placed the balloons on the ground outside, the wind started moving them all about. The kids had such fun chasing them and trying to catch them. I asked the kids why the balloons kept getting away and they all knew it was because of the wind. We played with balloons indoors as well and they were not getting away so I asked why they stayed in one spot inside. My youngest realized it was because there was no wind inside.
Challenge your child to keep the balloon up in the air by hitting it. Ask them to notice what happens when they stop hitting the balloon. My girls noticed that the balloon would fall to the ground when they stopped hitting it.
At one point, my daughter threw up her balloon and the wind got hold of it and carried it out on top of our shed. This was a great opportunity for her to observe the wind at work.
Next, tie a string to your balloon and see what happens. My daughters were convinced that a string would make the balloon float. They are so used to getting helium filled balloons on strings that they assumed the string was what made the balloon float. We had a brief and very basic discussion about helium filled balloons.
We noticed that even when we tied a string to the balloon, it still did not move when there was no wind.
Ask your child to run while holding their balloon on a string. When my daughter did this, the balloon started to lift up. We noticed that the air would hold the balloon up when we ran. We experimented with different kinds of movement - walking, running, spinning to see what would lift up the balloon.
My kids had so much fun learning about wind and air through balloon experiments. Let's face it, kids love balloons, and using them to teach some basic science concepts help them learn through movement. I hope you've enjoyed our Learn Through Movement series!
Learn Through Movement is a series from Train Up a Child and Mess For Less.
More Learn Through Movement Science activities:
Gross Motor Balloon Games from Train Up A Child
If you missed Learn Through Movement Reading, you can find those activities here:
Gross Motor Phonics Games from Train Up A Child
I Spy Neighborhood Walk from Mess For Less
If you missed Learn Through Movement Math, you can find those activities here:
Gross Motor Addition Game from Train Up A Child
Number Hunt from Mess For Less
For some great Play Inspired by Nature check out these posts from The PLAY Group members Growing a Jeweled Rose and Housing a Forest:
My kids love balloons too -- I hadn't thought of using them for a science lesson. Thanks for the ideas!