This is a collection of a few ideas I’ve seen around the net. Hanging balloons to paint is in and of itself a unique, simple and super fun idea! The second piece of string securing the balloons to the ground came from Meredith at Homegrown Friends and the bird cage came from Piika Street melded together to be one giant process art project. Get out your drop cloth this one has the potential to be messy!
You will need:
- a balloon
- a piece of yarn dipped in white glue
- two long pieces of yarn about as tall as you
- paint & paint brushes
Grown-up Setup 1:
- First you are going to blow up the balloon & tie it.
- Tape the end of the balloon to the table as best your can.
- Place a selection of markers on the table.
- Let your child draw on the balloon as desired.
Many children will easily spend 10 or more minutes experimenting with holds and drawing on the balloon. A sharpie yields the most satisfying results but that is to your discretion. I tend to have a more of an eye on my child when a sharpie is in their hand than I might otherwise, almost like a knife.
Sharpies are dangerous. But satisfying and wonderful to draw with.
Grown-up Setup 2:
- Get a small dish, jar or cup and fill it halfway with slightly watered down glue. Like 1:3.
Or less. We used flour glue and it worked. Stickier the easier.
- Take one of the longest piece of string or yarn and tie the end of it to the balloon.
- Place the balloon and the cup on the table where your child will be working.
For your child to do:
- Dip the rest of the string into a shallow dish of glue.
- Wrap the string around the balloon until you get to the end of the string.
- Each pass should go from top to bottom securing each using the end.
This bit was tricky. I had hoped my little 6 could do it but he doesn’t really like messy fingers. Stickier glue would make this better.
Tuck the end of the string along side another piece and place somewhere to dry.
Grown-up Setup 3:
When the balloon is dry.
- Choose 2 or 3 colours of paint and brushes and set out on a covered clear area in which to work.
- Tape the balloon to the table.
- Let your child paint the balloon.
Instead of brushes you could easily use sponges instead.
They are a little easier to manage along side the challenge of the moving balloon.
Grown-up Setup 4:
When the balloon is dry from the previous activity.
- Choose 2 or 3 different colours of paint and brushes and set out on a covered clear area in which to work.
- Take the second piece of string and tack it or tape it to your ceiling above the work area.
- Tie the other end to the end of the balloon.
- Let your child paint the balloon to their hearts content using brushes or sponges. Preferably not their fingers, that’s cheating!
- Let dry.
Depending on your area you can tie the balloon to the back of a chair or a hanging light fixture or a post. You want the balloon to swing freely without hitting your walls or any uncovered areas.
Because the balloon is going to swing freely.
Maybe do this in your garage. Or in the driveway.
Novel play prompt:
When everything is dry, pop the balloon.
Depending on how thick your child’s paint project is the balloon might not peel away as nicely as it would have before we added all the paint.
But would be a perfect fine motor exercise to keep those little fingers busy wouldn’t it!
Now you have a bird cage – if you add a little paper cutout bird. Or a hanging decoration for your backyard tea party.
Or maybe your child wants to make some bird food for their pet bird.