Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Exploring Sound with Balloons

One thing guaranteed to fill half an hour with giggles for a three year old is a balloon. My son’s favourite thing to do at the moment is to (have me) blow a balloon up, hold it without a knot and then let it fly around the room. He loves trying to catch it, following every movement with his eyes, and he loves the sound it makes. Taking this cue, I decided to spend some time with him exploring all the different sounds a balloon can make.

The wonderful thing about sounds and balloons is the wide variety. There are loud and soft sounds which encourage both belly laughs and quiet patience. It is fun to try to imitate the sounds. This is great for developing speech and giving young children confidence in their voice.

After letting a full balloon fly around the room a few times, I needed a rest from blowing it up. So we made some sounds with a deflated balloon. We made it snap by stretching it and letting go of one side near the floor. Then we made it go "boing" very quietly as we stretched and loosened it quickly.

Stretching the Balloon

Once the balloon is blown up, listening to the air escape is hilarious. We heard the classic raspberry as it flew around the room and made a screech when we pulled the end open.

Screeeeeeeech! (My son took this picture - very proud) 

The full balloon makes a very satisfying "doof" and "boom" when hit on objects around the room. My son enjoyed hitting things he usually can’t, including my head! It was very satisfying for him. Scraping a finger over the surface of the balloon gave an odd scraping noise. He called it "binga-binga"!

Making More Noise on the Balloon

Copying the sounds was fun - slow at first but he soon got the hang of it. Maybe he’ll be more inclined to make an effort when his little brother is giving some noise competition!

I’m sure there are more sounds to be made with balloons. I’d love to read about them in the comments, let me know what you hear.

Balloon on Balcony

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