How to Make Balloon Animals
Making balloon animals is an exciting, fun, and creative activity for children of nearly all ages (although it is recommend for children over 8 years of age on most balloon packages because of the choking and suffocating risk associated with broken balloons–always provide the proper adult supervision ). Finding twisty balloons is relatively easy and many products are sold at stores like Meijer or Walgreens. You can also find supplies online at ShindigZ (Funsational Twisty Balloons Item BLBFST).
Be sure the products your buy are “fresh” because balloons are biodegradable and lose their elasticity over time. If the balloons you order are old, then they may pop more easily when you are working with them. Also, cheap is not always better. I like saving money, but the quality of your balloons can affect how well you can construct balloon animals. Starter balloons work well and are often cheaper than professional entertainer balloons. Either way you go, your children (and you) will have a great time making balloon animals.
What You Will Need
Lots and lots of twisty balloons (these are the long thin balloons) or at least two to make the Flower below
An air pump (often sold with the balloons)
Instructions for balloon animals (see below)
How to Make a Balloon Flower
Step 1: Choose the right color and gently stretch your balloon.
Step 2: Place the opening of the balloon over the end of the air pump.
NOTE: Often there are bumps on the end of the nozzle on the air pump to help hold the balloon in place, make sure you pull the balloon over these bumps to reduce air loss as you pump up the balloon.
Step 3: Gently fill your balloon with air using your air pump.
Step 4: Tie your balloon by pinching your fingers at the end of the balloon, release a little air.
Then A) wrap the end of your balloon around three fingers and B) cross the balloon between the thumb and balloon. C) Feed the end of the balloon through the loop you have just created and D) pull it tight.
Step 5: Straighten out the balloon to soften it a bit.
How to Make the Stem (also a Sword)
Step 6: Fold your balloon so there are three layers in the middle of the balloon.
Step 7: Twist in the center of the three layers.
Step 8: Straighten out the leaves.
NOTE: To make the sword, concentrate the folds near the bottom of the balloon. This will make the guard of the sword closer to the hand. Make sure to leave enough room (about 5 inches) for the grip.
How to Make the Flower Petals
Step 9: Take another blown up balloon and tie the ends together.
NOTE: Leave a little room at the end of the balloon when you are blowing it up to have a small amount to use for tying.
Step 10: The balloon looks like a circle. Push the knot towards the center of the other side of the circle creating two small ovals.
Step 11: Bend the ovals together and grip in the middle to keep all parts together.
Step 12: Twist in the middle of the ovals to create four flower petals.
How to Put the Flower Together
Step 13: Place the end of the stem (without the knot) in the center of the petals to create the stigma.
Step 14: Straighten out the petals and the leaves.
Making balloon animals can be a fun hobby or you can use it as your next entertainment at your child’s birthday party. Be creative and work to make up your own way of creating a new animal. Keep lots of balloons on hand because most of the time, nice projects take more than one balloon.
Do you have questions, tips, or related stories? We would love to hear from you.