Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Number Splash: A Water Balloon Number Game

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My boys recently discovered that water + balloons = pure awesomeness.

And the smiles and giggles that result when a water balloon bursts open is simply delightful to see and hear.  It makes me happy when I see those adorable little faces grinning away.  So needless to say, we will be going through a lot of balloons this summer.

Although water balloons are great on their own, I wanted something more educational.  Since J is obsessed with numbers, and K has just recently mastered the identification of numbers 1-10, I decided to make a water balloon activity perfect for working with numbers.

This activity is simple.  It requires three materials: balloons, water, and a permanent marker.  

Using the permanent marker, I labeled ten balloons with the numbers 1-10 on them.  You can write the numbers on the balloon after they have been filled with water, but I chose to do it this way instead for one reason.  I wanted the boys to observe what happened, not only to the balloon itself, but to the number as well, when it was filled with water.  It added another visual element to the science part of this activity.

The numbered balloons before adding water.

J filling up a balloon and watching how the number changes.
Some of the filled up balloons.
More of the numbered balloons.
Once all of the balloons were filled up, the boys carried them into the pool to look at the balloons more closely.  They identified the numbers, as well as lined them up in numerical order.

K carrying a balloon into the pool.
K and his balloon.
J searching for the number on the balloon.
Now to line them up!
Then they started to be little scientists, hypothesizing different ways to break the balloons and trying out their different theories, such as...

Chewing on the balloon.
Stepping on the balloon.
K tries stepping on the balloon too.
After those methods failed to yield the desired results, we took the water balloons to the sidewalk along the side of the house for some throwing and smashing.  Before tossing each balloon, however, the boys identified the number on the balloon and counted up to that number.

Boys vs. balloons.
Watching a balloon bounce off the ground.
K decides it's time to chuck it like he means it.
And it doesn't break!  I guess he'll have to try again.
Then the balloons finally started to break!

SMASH!
And that's how you make a splash with some numbers.