Balloon races are a great activity for a rainy day, especially if you have a house full of children over a wide age range. It doesn’t require much preparation or even equipment, but it is a lot of fun.

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To do your own balloon races you will need:

  • Balloons
  • String
  • Straws
  • Tape
  • Balloon pump (optional)

Start by setting up the string. We tied two lengths to some cupboard doors at one end of the playroom and then had the string do all the way to the other end of the room.

I would recommend threading your straw onto the string and then tying a big knot at the end you will hold to stop it coming off. This will make it easier when you’re attaching the balloon. It also means that if you drop the string, you don’t have to faff with putting the straw back on. We learnt that the hard way.

Either play individually or as teams. If you play individually then you will need to add more strings.

Give each player their own balloon (using different colours makes it easier to identify whose is whose) to blow up.

Don’t tie off the end, just hold it shut and tape it to the straw, it should hang down. If you have a balloon pump then younger children can use that to blow up their balloon.

balloon races

When everyone is ready, let go of the balloons and see which one will get to the end quickest.

The kids all played balloon races for ages. In fact one kept coming up to me for the rest of the day to ask if we could play it again! BB tired of it quicker than the rest, but he was very happy to chase around an inflated balloon.  You could also use it as a science experiment; does the amount of air in it mean it will go faster, how steep the string is.  It is a good example of action and reaction forces.

If you enjoyed this be sure to check out my balloon tennis and string maze.

Pin for later:

Balloon Races: Explore Newton's 3rd law with this fun children's experiment.