This simple activity will delight your child! All you need is water balloons, and a bath. It offers a fun sensory experience, and little bit of S.T.E.M. as your child tries to figure out why the balloons float on the water (because they still have a little bit of air, which makes them lighter than the bath water).

At our CEFA Early Learning schools, we can only do this in a sensory table or in the summer in a small pool, but if you have a bath at home, it will be an even better experience for your little one. Remember to supervise every minute of play and give it a try.

Best Ages for This Activity

Zero to five years

How to Make It

You Will Need

Let’s Get Started!

  • Fill the water balloons with water, tie them and put them in the bathtub
  • Fill the bathtub with water and call your child to reveal the big surprise
  • Invite your child to get in the bath and play!

They will delight in playing with the balloons, squeezing them, trying to sink them and watching them float back to the top (wonder with your child: why do they float to the top?). They will spend a long time molding them into different shapes and seeing how they go back to their original shape, popping one or two and feeling the cold water inside them change the temperature of the bath around it, feeling their texture and feeling them brush against their bodies, and so many more fun ideas they will come up with!

  • Make sure you stay with your child at all times to prevent drowning or choking.

Learning Opportunities

Sensory play is an important activity in and of itself in the early years. This particular sensory activity also provides an opportunity for children to practice coordination and fine motor skills (which are needed for writing). Your child will learn about S.T.E.M. while figuring out why the balloons float to the top, and new vocabulary, which gives them literacy skills, including math vocabulary. Use descriptive words to describe how the balloons feel (squishy, slippery, soft) and as much math vocabulary as well: heavy/light, float/sink, hot/cold/warm, how many, numbers, counting, colours, etc.

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