Balloon Painting

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
  • tape
  • paint & paint brushes
drawing on balloons

Grown-up Setup 1:

  1. First you are going to blow up the balloon & tie it.
  2. Tape the end of the balloon to the table as best your can.
  3. Place a selection of markers on the table.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Take one of the longest piece of string or yarn and tie the end of it to the balloon.
  3. Place the balloon and the cup on the table where your child will be working.

For your child to do:

  1. Dip the rest of the string into a shallow dish of glue.
  2. Wrap the string around the balloon until you get to the end of the string.
  3. 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.

  1. Choose 2 or 3 colours of paint and brushes and set out on a covered clear area in which to work.
  2. Tape the balloon to the table.
  3. 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:

https://capturingparenthood.com/balloon-painting-two-ways/
Painted Balloons from Capturing Parenthood

When the balloon is dry from the previous activity.

  1. Choose 2 or 3 different colours of paint and brushes and set out on a covered clear area in which to work.
  2. Take the second piece of string and tack it or tape it to your ceiling above the work area.
  3. Tie the other end to the end of the balloon.
  4. Let your child paint the balloon to their hearts content using brushes or sponges. Preferably not their fingers, that’s cheating!
  5. 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:

http://prepare2play.blogspot.com/2011/09/our-new-lanterns.html
Balloon Lanterns from Prepare2Play

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.

Woven Butterfly

A beautiful simple project that builds the skill and awareness of wrapping and weaving. This was originally posted by The Craft Train.

You will need

  • 1 Pipe cleaner
  • 2 Popsicle sticks
  • 3 Beads
  • 2 colours of yarn

Step 1 Wind yarn around popsicle sticks to make colourful wings. Use a little bit of glue when you get to the end to keep the string from unwinding. Ask a grownup to help you tuck it in an make it stick.

Step 2 Then take a pipe cleaner and twist it around the middle for the body.        

Step 3 Take your biggest bead and put it through the two pieces at the top for the head. And the two smaller beads go at the bottom for the body.      

When you’re done you can tie a string to your butterfly and put your string on a stick to fly your butterfly all around your yard to help pollinate the plants.

I guess this doesn’t really fall into the category of process art per say…but I would say there isn’t a right or wrong way to do it. You can truly ‘weave’ the yarn around the popsicle sticks or just wrap it. The more materials you offer the more this becomes truly an invitation to create.

A dish of beads.

A pile of pipe cleaners.

A stack of popsicle sticks stuck together.

Many pieces of yarn.

And if your child ends up stringing beads onto pipe cleaners and yarn that’s ok! If they decide to wrap the pipe cleaner around the popsicle sticks, also ok. The purpose is the playful exploration of materials. The point is to experiment & practice to gain confidence and competence.