20 Balloon Experiments to Make Your Lessons Really Pop

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Balloon experiments

There’s something about the sight of colorful balloons that just makes you feel a little excited, don’t you think? That’s why kids will go crazy for these balloon experiments, whether they’re building a balloon-powered boat or powering a light bulb with static electricity. Plus, balloons are inexpensive, so stock up at the dollar store and get ready to throw a science party!

1. Blow up a balloon … without blowing

This is one of those classic balloon experiments everyone remembers doing in school. Kids learn about chemical reactions by mixing acids and bases. They’re always amazed at the results!

Learn more: Balloon Baking Soda Experiment

Car Science Buddies- balloon experiments
Science Buddies

2. Design a balloon-powered car

Explore the laws of motion and encourage creativity when you challenge students to design, build, and test their own balloon-powered cars. Bonus: Use only recycled materials to make this project green! (Find more cool car activities for the classroom here.)

Learn more: Balloon-Powered Car Challenge

Skewer steve Spangler- balloon experiments
Steve Spangler Science

3. Skewer a balloon without popping it

If you do this one right, you’ll make kids’ eyes pop—but not the balloon! They’ll learn about the polymers that make balloons possible, and even a little bit about how to stay cool under pressure.

Learn more: Balloon Skewer

Boat The craft the train
The Craft Train

4. Float a balloon-powered boat

Discover the power of air pressure and the third law of motion with this fun and inexpensive balloon experiment. Take this one outside on a sunny day and let kids splash away while they learn!

Learn more: Balloon-Powered Sponge Boat

Freezing Dandelion Bouquets- balloon experiments
Dandelion Bouquets

5. Create ice crystal explosions

Fill balloons with water and leave them to freeze overnight. The next day, carefully cut open the balloons to reveal the beauty inside. Kids learn about crystallization and the expansion of water as it freezes. (Get more science experiments involving ice and snow here.)

Learn more: Super Cool Melting Ice Experiment

Balloon Experiments Swim Bladder Science Buddies
Science Buddies

6. Explore the science of swim bladders

Just how do fish manage to float without sinking or rising? Find out when you explore buoyancy with this swim bladder experiment using a glass bottle, balloon, and a few other basic materials.

Learn more: How Fish Sink and Float

Heart Tinas Dynamic Homeschool Plus
Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool +

7. Assemble a heart pump model

Anatomy lessons literally come alive when you do balloon experiments like this one. This working heart model demonstrates how blood pumps through the valves and chambers.

Learn more: DIY Heart Pump

Lungs Surviving a Teachers Salary- balloon experiments
Surviving a Teacher’s Salary

8. Learn how lungs work

Your students might be surprised to learn that lungs have no muscles to make them work. Instead, the contraction of the diaphragm pulls air in and forces it out. This clever model helps explain the process.

Learn more: Lung Science Experiment

Rocket Science Buddies
Science Buddies

9. Blast off with a two-stage rocket

The rockets used for space flight generally have more than one stage to give them the extra boost they need. This experiment uses balloons to model a two-stage rocket launch, teaching kids about the laws of motion.

Learn more: Two-Stage Balloon Rocket

Hovercraft Educationcom

10. Build a hovercraft

It’s not exactly the same model the military uses, but this simple hovercraft is a lot easier to build. An old CD and a balloon help demonstrate air pressure and friction in this simple experiment.

Learn more: DIY Hovercraft

Parachute E is for explore
E Is for Explore

11. Parachute a water balloon

Water balloon experiments make a big splash with kids! In this one, they’ll explore how air resistance slows a water balloon’s landing using a homemade parachute.

Learn more: Water Balloon Skydiving

123 Homeschool for me- balloon experiments
123 Homeschool 4 Me

12. Sink or swim with water balloons

Fill water balloons with a variety of different liquids like oil, salt water, and corn syrup, then float them in a bucket of water to learn about density and buoyancy.

Learn more: Water Balloon Experiment

Balloon Experiments Two Balloons YouTube
Kids Fun Science on YouTube

13. Perform the two balloons experiment

You have two balloons, one filled with more air than the other. When you open the valve between them, what will happen? The answer is almost certain to surprise you. Learn how it works in the video at the link below.

Learn more: Air Pressure Experiment

Lightbulb Happy Brown House- balloon experiments
Happy Brown House

14. Power a light bulb with static electricity

One of the first balloon experiments most kids try is rubbing a balloon on their hair to make their hair stand on end. The next step is to hold the balloon over a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) to see it glow from the static electricity. Wow!

Learn more: Magic Light Bulb Balloon Science Experiment

Balloon Experiments Spinning Penny Steve Spangler
Steve Spangler Science

15. Spin a penny round and round

In this simple experiment, students use kinetic energy and centripetal force to spin a penny inside a balloon. They’ll want to try other objects too, so hold a contest to see which spins the longest.

Learn more: The Spinning Penny

Air Cannon Rookie Parenting
Rookie Parenting

16. Fire up an air cannon

Discover the power of an air vortex with this easy DIY air cannon. To really understand how it works, use some incense to create visible smoke rings that will really impress your students.

Learn more: Air Cannon Smoke Ring

Fountain Learn With Play at Home- balloon experiments
Learn With Play at Home

17. Create a working water fountain

See the power of air pressure when you build a balloon-activated water fountain. You’ll only need simple supplies like a plastic bottle, straw, and putty.

Learn more: Water Bottle Fountain

Hot Cold Posh Lil Divas
Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas

18. Explore the effects of hot and cold air

The concept of expansion and contraction of air can be hard to visualize. That’s where this experiment comes in to save the day. Watch the balloon expand and contract as the air around it changes temperature.

Learn more: Exploring the Effects of Hot and Cold Air

BurningSteve Spangler
Steve Spangler Science

19. Fireproof a balloon

A balloon will obviously pop when touched to a hot flame, right? Not if you put some cold water in it first! Kids will be so amazed they won’t even realize they’re learning about the heat conductivity of water.

Learn more: Fireproof balloon

Pins Stem Little Explorers- balloon experiments
STEM Little Explorers

20. Experiment with balloons and pushpins

A pin pops a balloon in no time flat, so what happens when you place a balloon on a table full of them? Once again, the answer won’t be quite what your students expect until you explain the science of distributed pressure.

Learn more: Pinning a Balloon

Have more balloon experiments to add to the list? Come and share in our We Are Teachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, check out our big list of easy science experiments!

Kids love balloons, so they'll get a kick out of balloon experiments. Make balloon-powered cars, inflate artificial lungs, and more!