I don't know about you, but every time we have a birthday party, the balloons end up staying around the house for ages. The girls don't want to get rid of them even if they don't always play with them, somehow I feel bad about throwing away something that is still of use. The challenge is that we do not do much with them.
My daughter just turned 5 and this year, I decided that instead of keeping the balloons for too long again, we would simply have fun with them and make it a family play time.
There are many experiments that can be done with balloons and the last two, can simply be the ones where the balloons will... well "POP" :).
Happy kids & Happy mummy! A win-win for all.
Experiment 1: Crazy Hair
Rub the balloon on your child’s hair and make their hair stand on end. Now try it on your own hair to show your child how silly you look! You could try to take a few selfies and have a good giggle about it.
Experiment 2: Wall Decorations
Now try rubbing the balloon on your hair or a woolly jumper and sticking it to the wall.
Here is a little more about the science behind it experiments 1 &2.
You are making a small electric charge by rubbing tiny particles called electrons from your hair and onto the balloon. This gives the balloon a negative charge and your hair a positive charge. Opposite charges attract each other so your hair sticks to the balloon.
Experiment 3: Bending Water
If you run a tap and hold your charged balloon next to it then you should be able to make the water bend. Watch those wow faces!!
The science behind:
The water is polar so part of the molecule has a slightly positive charge. When you move the negatively charged balloon towards the stream of water, it attracts the water's positively charged particles and the stream bends! (This works best with a thin stream of water just a few mm across.
Now, time for The Grand Finale!
The time where those balloons will "POP" and make us laugh so much.
Note: For these experiments, you might want to warn your children that there will be a loud noise (little ones might prefer being in another room) and please do not let the children do these experiments by themselves - the pins and stick could injure them.
Experiment 4: Balloon lollipop
Coat a wooden skewer in oil. Poke it through the end of the balloon where it is tied. It doesn’t pop! Now continue to push your skewer out the other end of the balloon and BANG!
You can also try to insert the wooden stick from the other side, in the middle of the balloon.
POP it goes!
The science behind:
You may have noticed that the part of the balloon near the knot is darker in colour and the rubber is thicker here because it is under less strain so the polymer chains do not tear apart as easily and pop the balloon. On the outer edge of the balloon the chains have been stretched apart and can easily break apart (just like they do when you blow too much air into the balloon and it pops).
Experiment 5: Pin cushion
Lay a few pins all together on the floor. Put the balloon on the top and press it. Amazing - the balloon doesn't POP!
Now try again, but only keep one pin. POP it goes this time!
The science behind:
With one pin all of the pressure is concentrated on the end of the pin, so the balloon is punctured. With lots of pins the pressure is spread out over lots of pin heads so the balloon stays intact.
Have fun experimenting.
We truly believe that children are curious and inquisitive by nature, which makes them natural scientists. This is what WhooshPop — science classes for little ones — is all about. We create a safe and fun environment where children can explore, experiment and discover the world around them with their friends and families. We use plenty of hands on activities, songs, games and stories to bring the world of science alive. The parents love playing with their little ones and get inspired to carry on exploring at home.
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