Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Kids’ Craft Ideas - Growing Your Own Balloon Garden

by Magrietha Du Plessis

Crafts will always be a very important teaching tool for anyone teaching little kids. Kids learn best by "doing." Homeschoolers and especially unschoolers can use this balloon craft as part of a biology lesson. This is a wonderful kids' craft idea, that is fun and easy to do and also a great first lesson about plants. This craft use balloons so watch the little ones, while you are doing this craft, to prevent suffocation!

All you need for this kids' craft idea is a medium or large sized, clear balloon, a little earth and water, some seeds, a small funnel and a piece of string. Radish seeds work well, but you could use almost any seeds that are easy to grow.

Kid's Craft Ideas Step by Step – How to make your first balloon garden

1. Don't blow your balloon up yet! Put the mouth of the balloon over the funnel and hold it firmly in place (this is where an extra pair of adult hands comes in useful!) Tip in around a ½ cup of earth – enough to almost fill the deflated balloon.

2. Now gradually add water, via the funnel again, until the earth is wet through. Don't put too much water in or it will all just turn to mud and start overflowing!

3. Dry your funnel, then add your final ingredients, the seeds, into the balloon, still holding it firmly in its upside down position.

4. Still holding the balloon upside down, so that you don't get a mouthful of dirt, carefully blow it up.

5. Tightly make a knot in the top of the balloon, then tie your string around it and use the string to hook the balloon garden up near a window or other well-lit place.

Making balloon gardens is a fun thing to do at birthday parties, and will keep the kids occupied and happy for ages – as long as you don't mind the mess! On a summer's day, it's best done in the backyard.

Balloon gardens also make lovely gifts, the children can make them for an adult friend or relative and the recipient will be delighted – especially when they hang the balloon garden up and it grows green and lush.

Grandmothers and grandfathers especially love this kid's craft idea – either to do with the kids (especially a granddad who is a gardening enthusiast) or just to receive a balloon garden craft as a gift. They will love that the kids will want to keep coming back to visit them and seeing how their balloon garden is growing.

When the balloon garden slowly dies off, it is a good opportunity to explain to your kids about the cycle of life, and to help them make a new balloon garden! Use this opportunity to teach them a variety of facts about nature, not only the cycle of life. Plants need water, fresh air, good soil etc. to grow. You can also work a lesson about seasons into this craft.

Enjoy your "Balloon Craft."