Balloon Science


I use balloons to demonstrate static electricity.

I tie balloons to the legs of a table and place objects on the table that will be attracted to the charged balloon, i.e. tissue paper, yarn, etc. Also, objects that will not and talk about the difference. The kids also enjoy watching their friends hair stand on end!


Using gas to blow up a balloon

You will need

1 bottle

a funnel

baking soda

vinegar

balloon

pour about 1/4 cup of vinegar into the bottle

use a funnel to put about 2 tablespoons of baking soda into the balloon

wrap the ring of the balloon around the top of the bottle. lift balloon to allow the baking soda to sprinkle in. A chemical reaction between the vinegar and the baking soda will create a gas that will inflate the balloon. the kids think that it is magic.


Balloon Blow – up

Place 1 cup warm water into a soft drink or water bottle. Add 2 tablespoons yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar. Cover the opening of the bottle and shake vigorously. Stretch a balloon over the mouth of the bottle. Stand the bottle on a table. The balloon will fill with air in about 10 minutes and inflate in about an hour. FYI – the yeast and the sugar react in the warm water to form a gas, carbon dioxide. The gas fills up the bottle and then moves into the balloon, making it inflate. Note: It is recommended that you wear goggles whenever you do an experiment that involves a chemical reaction. This is both a safety precaution for you and a positive role model for the children.


Using a funnel, dump some confetti to an unblown balloon before demonstrating this to the kids. Talk to the children about germs and how important it is to cover your mouth when you sneeze. As a group, have everyone pretend that they are going to sneeze (Ah, ah, ah, CHOO!), making sure that everyone covers their mouth as they sneeze. Now explain that you are going to show them what happens when you don’t cover your mouth when you sneeze. Blow up the balloon, as the children say “Ah, ah, ah”; when you get to the “Choo” part, let go of the balloon. It will deflate, flying through the air with the confetti spilling every where. Explain to the children that the confetti represents germs, and that when we don’t cover our mouthes when we sneeze, our germs are flying everywhere.


Here’s a way to give them a concept of air. Blow up a balloon and put one of those party favors that you blow in the end of it. When you let the neck of the balloon go, the party favor will blow out.

Share an idea you have used in your classroom or at home that pertains to this theme.