Long ago, I was invited to take a hot air balloon ride with my Papa. Floating over the hills and valleys of upstate New York with my Grandfather was one the most peaceful, beautiful experiences I have ever enjoyed.
Then there was the time a hot air balloon came down in the field across from my home. My brother and I were so excited as we watched it land and helped hold the basket to the ground. After the balloon was packed up (we got to help with that too!), the adults enjoyed champagne and were we given sparkling grape juice. Since then, I’ve been fascinated with the colors, patterns, shapes, and serenity of hot air balloons and their seemingly magical way of cruising through the sky.
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Several weeks ago, my family attended a Hot Air Balloon Festival. The boys assisted with straightening the balloons as they were unrolled, then watched them inflate from just 12 feet away. With the heat of the fire on their faces, their excitement and anticipation grew as the balloons did!
If you are interested in learning more about the science behind hot air balloons, click HERE for details. The basic principal that my boys were able to understand was that hot air rises and weighs less than cool air, therefore, hot air balloons rise as the hot air is captured by the balloon.
They both were amazed!
Easy Hot Air Balloon Craft for Kids
Days after the festival, hot air balloons were still on their minds. We read some books, looked at my photographs from the festival, but of course, there is nothing like learning through play.
We took a trip to The Dollar Tree and picked up two helium-filled balloons. We tied the balloons to cardboard baskets to create a toy hot air balloon. The boys played for hours.
Popular activities included tossing the hot air balloons off of the porch and transporting superheroes through the air.
Simple play activities like this enhance learning by encouraging children to make personal connections to their real life experiences!