Balloon Bop Active Math Game for Kids

Mar 24, 2015

While balloons can be dangerous (and speaking of which, so can the long string these are attached to), with proper supervision they are simply too fun to avoid. My little ones enjoyed this activity so much! We spent an entire wintery afternoon downstairs counting, bopping and blowing off a ton of steam.

For this super-fun balloon activity we were focusing on counting, number recognition, and one-to-one correspondence. When my little ones are engaged in an activity, they are super quick to learn AND that learning sticks!

I blew up nine balloons, made construction paper numbers and taped them onto each balloon, numbered one through nine. Then I attached long strings (which is certainly not for the faint of heart—balloons AND string—but I promise I watched them all the time).

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I taped the strings to the ceiling with painter's tape. I did not put the balloons in order by their numbers, I mixed them all up.

I gave the boys some badminton rackets (come to think of it, I must have been feeling extraordinarily brave on this day, adding whacking sticks to the mix).

At first I let them have fun simply bopping the balloons. They were playing with how hard they could bop them before they would fall off the ceiling. Surprisingly hard. And throughout this entire afternoon we only had one pop. Another shock to me.

Once they blew off a bunch of steam, we played three different little games to work on the three math concepts we are working on right now at home.

We started with number recognition. I would simply call out a number and my little one would run to find that number and bop it with the racket. We went faster and faster to make it a little more engaging.

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Next we did counting. I would call out a number, and my kids would run and bop that many balloons (regardless of the number taped on the balloon). This also works on one-to-one correspondence.

Finally, we did trickier one-to-one correspondence. I would call out a number, they would find that number and bop it that number of times. So if I called out "six" they would find the balloon with a 6 on it and bop it six times.

This was an afternoon completely full of fun, and equally full of learning. My little ones were playing, learning, and beginning to understand numbers in a whole new way.

And blowing off a ton of steam. A TON. Which, let's face it, is almost always the number one priority in my house.

Article Author Sarah Noftle
Sarah Noftle

Sarah is a teacher, mama, and wanna-be homesteader. She is home with her kids learning through play, exploring with nature, and surviving parenthood with humour. She writes which is full of creative and playful learning activities for kids, as well as the occasional post on natural living and farmyard antics. Sarah would love to connect with you on Facebook and Pinterest so she can show you pictures of her chickens (and more relevant things too, of course).

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