Learn and Play with Water Balloons

All children love water balloons! At least my children are itching to get their hands on them once the weather starts getting warmer.  There are many ways to take a fun summer pastime and turn it into a learning opportunity for our kids.

Color Sorting – I had a green, a blue, and a pink bucket on hand, so I chose these colors for LM to sort.  Total cost- $1 for water balloons.  If you need colored buckets, you can get them for a dollar each at your local dollar tree.  Another idea- use laminated construction paper.  You can sort more colors this way! 

Number Racing (all ages) – Mark balloons with the numbers 1-5 and place them in a bucket. (Repeat) Your children will race to see who can get all five balloons in the other bucket first.  They must place them one at a time in number order.  Supplies (10 water balloons, permanent marker, 4 buckets)
Adaptation for toddlers– change from a race to a fun activity- help your child to identify numbers from 1 to 5 and place in the bucket. 
Tip: make sure the marker dries before playing. Otherwise it will wipe off onto your child’s hands.

Relay Racing (all ages) – My kids balanced a water balloon on a cup and raced from one end of the yard to the other.  Great for gross motor development and balance.  Also wonderful for family team building!

Math Target (all ages) – Practice addition skills with this summer fun game.  Draw a target with chalk on a fence or sidewalk.  Give each section a value. Each player gets 3 balloons.  Add the total of 3 tosses.  The winner has the highest score!  I was concerned that the chalk would wash off with the first toss, but it actually stayed on the fence.

Hot Potato (all ages):  Pass a water balloon around the circle while singing a song- ABC’s, Twinkle, Twinkle etc.  The object of the game is to not have the balloon once the song is finished. 
Spell Your Name – Put the letters of your children’s names on the balloons.  Mix them up in a bucket.  Have your child pick out a balloon.  Is it a letter in their name?  If so,they can keep the balloon.  If not, put back in the bucket.  Take turns until each child spells their own name. 
Adaptation:  for older children.  Mix up their full name in a bucket.  Have them race to spell out their name.  Whoever finishes first wins!
Parachute Toss (all  ages) – Using a tarp, put water balloons in the center.  Have fun shaking the tarp. How high can you toss the balloons in the sky? 
Adaptation: For older children and large groups… Have two tarps and play keep it up.  Put one or two balloons in the center and toss back and forth from tarp to tarp.
$1 bag of balloons,
Supplies around the house,
Add Water….
Summer Learning Fun!

Written by Jen



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