Yesterday whilst putting away the last of Oscar’s birthday decorations I noticed we still had a big bag of unused balloons leftover and was trying to think of an activity that we could use some of them for. Usually I would blow a few of them up and we would kick and throw the balloons around but we had already done that over Oscar’s birthday weekend and I wanted to try something new out. Then, I remembered an activity that we did at a Bright Minds class a while ago; sensory gloves filled with different things like slime, water, ice etc and thought I could make something similar for Oscar with the balloons.
I had planned on making the sensory balloons just for some sensory play and practice some vocabulary then I thought I would try and add an additional part to it of matching the balloons together, and I fully expected that this part wouldn’t go too well. I thought Oscar would enjoy feeling the balloons but wouldn’t be able to match them up but thought I would give it a go!
Oscar loved the sensory element of this activity and even took the flour balloon to squeeze whilst he was reading a book later in the day, obviously they are very relaxing! He learnt the difference between rough and smooth textures and proved me completely wrong with our matching game! He matched each balloon up perfectly and began testing me to find the matching balloons too!
What you need:
Items/food to fill the balloons (we used rice, oats, uncooked pasta and flour)
What we did:
I used 8 balloons, all the same colour and picked four different food goods to fill the balloons up with. I choose to use flour, uncooked macaroni pasta, rice and oats.
I carefully filled my balloons with the flour, oats, pasta and rice using a funnel and used 2 balloons for each food filling, so I had 2 rice, 2 flour, 2 pasta and 2 oats balloons.
I tied all the balloons up and placed them in a bowl ready for Oscar to discover.
First we spent time just exploring the texture of the balloons by feeling and gently sqweezing them. We then decided which balloons were soft and which ones were rough.
I then explained to Oscar what was in each balloon and he felt them again and repeated the name of each food that was inside.
Then we went onto matching the balloons to each other. I picked up a balloon and said ‘this is the x balloon, where is the other x balloon?’ and Oscar would feel each balloon and find its match!