Let’s take a look at how you can science and sensory play with balloons and water.
Before I share this activity with you – let me remind everyone that there are wonderful opportunities for learning with balloons but you have to be watchful and remind young children not to put them in their mouths while they play. Under the right supervision, this activity is really fun for preschoolers.
Fill balloons with a little bit of water!
This was an exploration of hot and cold, sink and float, as well as a little sensory play in the process. To begin this activity, I partially filled a few balloons with some warm water. As I tied off each water-filled balloon, I handed it off to Wy and he would take it over to the table and place it in a tin foil cake pan filled part way up with cold water.
Squishing the Balloons
While waiting for me to fill up more balloons, Wy explored the feel of the balloons. He tried squeezing them and even flattening them like play dough. Because the balloons only had a small amount of water in them and because they were stronger balloons (not thin water balloons), they didn’t pop or burst.
Transferring the Balloons
I placed a second cake pan of warm water down next to the pan of cold water and Wy transferred the balloons back and forth from one pan to the other. After a little time, Wy placed all the balloons in the warm water. Wy preferred playing in the warm water over the cold water. As Wy played, he used the words “warm” “hot” and “cold” often.
What is the difference?
Towards the end of Wy’s play, I added a few balloons filled with air. Wy dropped them in the water too and noticed easily that they floated on top of the water. He tried pushing them down in the water but they popped right back up. I mentioned the words, “floating and sinking” through conversation as Wy explored the two different types of balloons.
Although we talked about the words float and sink, what Wy preferred to focus on is how the balloons felt squishy to the touch.