A new STEAM challenge, building a balloon powered car!  This was the first challenge I have done sole with BB.  He wasn’t too interested in building it, although he did like playing with it afterwards.  Thankfully, his siblings came home while we were building it, and they were more helpful with suggestions.

Make sure you follow my STEAM board on Pinterest for more ideas.  Don’t forget to save the pin for later.

To make your own balloon powered car you will need:

  • Empty bottle
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Cardboard
  • Tape
  • Straw
  • Scissors

To build our car we cut out 4 cardboard tyres, trying hard to make sure that they were exactly the same.

Using some scissors, we poked 4 holes into the bottle for the skewers to go through.  It is really hard to make sure that all the 4 holes line up with each other.  But the more accurate you are, the better your balloon powered car will be.

balloon powered car

Once BB had put the tyres on the skewers, I cut of the excess stick.  We used some blue tac to kind of secure the tyres into place.

Next tape the end of the balloon to the straw and tape the straw to the bottle.  Remember the balloon needs to at the front of the car.

These were the steps we followed to make our car, but this is a challenge, so it is totally up to you and your little ones on how you make it.

To make our balloon powered car go, we blew up the balloon (through the straw), pinched the end of the straw over until we were ready and then let it go.  At first it didn’t really go anywhere because it was too heavy at the front.  EC suggested to solve the problem we needed to use a counterweight on the other end.  After a quick search, the best they came up with was a £2 coin.  They taped it to the other end of the car, and we were ready to go.

If you enjoyed this balloon powered car steam challenge then be sure to check out my catapult challenge, cork raft challenge, and wind-up butterflies.

Pin for later:

How to make a balloon powered car steam challenge for kids.