Balloon Rockets and Bouncing Planets

R was 18 months old at the time of this activity


The Magic School Bus – Inside the Earth by Joanna Cole & Bruce Degen – We read another magic school bus book today called “Inside the Earth”.  R’s favourite thing to do now while reading is closing the book and saying “the end”.  This book, as is the case with all the Magic School Bus books, has tons and tons of information with added text features such as speech bubbles that make the book enjoyable for older kids.


1.  Bouncing Planet

IMG_1106I attached an elastic to the paper mache planet we made yesterday and R practiced bouncing it!  This is a fun and easy way to help kids develop hand-eye coordination and motor skills.  To find out the details for making the paper mache planet, see the details here.

Extension Activities:
a. Make the whole solar system!  Use the information from the Kids Astronomy website to help the child learn about and make proportionally sized paper mache planets.
b.  Colour Mixing.  While making the different planets, explore how to make new colours by doing some colour mixing.  Offer the child the primary paint colours (red, yellow and blue) and have him/her create new colours in order to paint all the planets.

2. Balloon Rockets

IMG_1096R has so much fun with this activity!  She experienced a mixture of fear, with the sound of the air coming out of the balloon, and sheer delight, as the balloon flew across the string.

Thread yarn through a straw.
Secure both ends of the yarn to two anchors.  We used two chairs to secure the yarn.
Using a piece of double sided masking tape (or a piece of masking tape rolled to have all sides sticky), attach a balloon to the straw.
With the balloon rocket at one end of the yarn, blow up the balloon.
Hold the end of the balloon with your fingers until you are ready to make the balloon fly.
Have fun!

Extension Activities:
a. Explore Friction.  Have the child experiment with different textures of yarn or string to see what material allows the balloon rocket to travel the farthest.  Have the child record him/her observations in a science journal.
b. Explore Gravity.  Attach the yarn at different angles between the two anchors and ask the child the following questions: Does the angle of the yarn affect the distance the balloon rocket travels?  Can the balloon rocket travel up an incline?

3. Planet Match

IMG_1086I made some matching planet cards by gluing coloured circles onto black card stock that was sprayed with Perfect Pearls Mist. It was R’s job to find the match. I handed her one card at a time and told her to find its match.  She didn’t understand the concept, so instead, I hid the cards around the room and R searched for them.

Extension Activities:
a. Play Concentration.  Flip the cards over so that the planets are all hidden. Have the child find a match by flipping two cards over at a time.  If s/he gets a match, s/her gets to keep the two cards.  If s/he doesn’t find a match, then the cards are flipped back over and the next player gets a turn.

Guest Post by Leandra Bramham at Larabee

4. Hammering Constellations

blogger-image--620146650Lara wanted to have a nice and simple space themed invitation to play for her son and decided on doing this awesome activity!  You can see Lara’s original post here and her entire space themed round up here.

Print up these start gazing sewing cards from kids activities blog
Attach the cards to styrofoam blocks using double-sided tape
Allow an older child to insert the golf tees him/herself or pre-insert them for younger kids.
Hand him/her a toy hammer and let the fun begin!

Check out the rest of the Space Theme:
1. Bursting Sunshine in Space
2. Getting Lost in the Milky Way
3. Felt and Food Rockets
4. Spying Glowing, Bubbly Space
5. Bubble Rockets and Slimy Paper Mache
6. Balloon Rockets and Bouncing Planets


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9 thoughts on “Balloon Rockets and Bouncing Planets

  1. Pingback: Spying Glowing, Bubbly Space | Toddler Tales

  2. Pingback: Bubble Rockets and Slimy Paper Mache | Toddler Tales

  3. Pingback: Felt and Food Rockets | Toddler Tales

  4. Pingback: Getting Lost in the Milk Way | Toddler Tales

  5. Pingback: Bursting Sunshine in Space | Toddler Tales

  6. Pingback: Why a Stay at Home Mom Deserves to Be Recognized

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