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Loads of Toddler Fun with a Simple Balloon

Yesterday I was flipping through my copy of The Toddler’s Busy Book on the lookout for something quick and easy to do. I had the materials on hand for a simple balloon activity I came across and I figured the kids would have fun with it for at least a few minutes so that’s what we went with. Two hours later, they were still playing with their balloons! While I pick my jaw up off the floor, I’ll share some details about the activity and how we made it more toddler friendly.

Be prepared for gratuitous photos of toddler (and five year old) glee. Because while I probably could have gotten all kinds of things done around the house while they played, I spent most of the time taking about two hundred photos. Where are my priorities?!


  • Balloon fun 1 of 16
    Balloon fun
  • Paper plate + large popsicle stick = balloon paddle 2 of 16
    Paper plate + large popsicle stick = balloon paddle
    I used a glue gun to attach the (extra large) popsicle stick because I wanted it to be ready right away. You could use regular glue and just let it dry. Also, a paint stirrer from the hardware store would work in place of the large popsicle stick.
  • First they decorated their paddles with markers 3 of 16
    First they decorated their paddles with markers
  • And stickers 4 of 16
    And stickers
  • The paddles are for bouncing and hitting the balloons 5 of 16
    The paddles are for bouncing and hitting the balloons
  • My almost-two-year-old really tried hard to do it 6 of 16
    My almost-two-year-old really tried hard to do it
  • But didn’t quite get it 7 of 16
    But didn't quite get it
    She mostly held the balloon in one hand and the paddle in the other. Here she finally let go of the balloon but didn't follow through with the paddle.
  • She wanted to do what her big sister was doing 8 of 16
    She wanted to do what her big sister was doing
  • I hung the balloon from the ceiling with embroidery thread 9 of 16
    I hung the balloon from the ceiling with embroidery thread
  • So she could hit it! 10 of 16
    So she could hit it!
  • And hit it! 11 of 16
    And hit it!
  • Where did it go? 12 of 16
    Where did it go?
  • Of course I had to hang a second balloon for the five year old 13 of 16
    Of course I had to hang a second balloon for the five year old
  • I can’t believe 14 of 16
    I can't believe
  • how much fun they had 15 of 16
    how much fun they had
  • with these balloons! 16 of 16
    with these balloons!

You know what I’m thinking? This would be a great activity to set up for a toddler birthday party. They can decorate their own paddles first then have fun batting at some hanging balloons. Hmmm… I have a toddler birthday coming up next month. Perhaps we’ll be doing this again soon.

P.S. You all know that popped balloons are a big choking hazard for toddlers, right? I’m sure you don’t need me to say this, but supervise at all times and immediately dispose of any popped balloons.

Read more of Jean’s writing at The Artful Parent.
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