Developed by:Auryn Inc.
We love this app for its imaginative answer to a common childhood mystery, the child-powered activities within the story such as recording your voice at the Coffee and Helium House and hearing it repeated back in a high-pitched helium voice, making a postcard, and searching for and counting balloons while making them dance.
Prepare to use the app by introducing one of these activities:
Have a balloon-themed storytime with books such as Please Bring Balloons and Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride.
Where Do Balloons Go? The title of the story app is a great discussion starter. Ask your child where they think balloons go if they float away, and what the story will show.
Help your child get the most out of an app experience by trying the following activities:
After your child matches the balloons to their respective countries and individuals on page twelve, have them choose one of the places mentioned to learn more about: Norway, Alaska, Massachusetts, Bolivia, England or France. Visit your local library to check out books, maps, and do some online research about the location they choose.
When your child reaches the page about postcards, encourage them to make a postcard in the app to send to someone by e-mail. When they finish the story, suggest they make the postcard in real life, too, or a different postcard! Perhaps they would like to write a letter to a lost balloon. What would they say? What questions would they ask? What would they want the balloon to know about their own life? Extend this activity by secretly bringing a friend or relative in on the project, and asking them to write a response to your child!
Have your child use the balloon theatre to tell their own story about a traveling balloon. Where does the balloon travel? What adventures does it have? What other characters are in the story?
After the story, help your child make a balloon character in real life! Blow up a balloon for a head, use markers to draw on a face, glue on yarn for hair, etc.!
Extend the app experience with real life activities:
Balloon Dance Party
Create a real life balloon dance party by blowing up balloons, cranking up some dance music of your child’s choice, and busting some human and balloon moves!
Help your child create balloon marbles by filling balloons with water, adding a bit of food coloring to each before tying it off, and shaking it up to mix the food coloring in. Then put the balloons in the freezer. Later, peel off the balloons to reveal giant frozen marbles!
The story in the app is imaginative and fun, and draws upon a question many balloon-wielding children have wondered. Unfortunately, in reality when balloons are released by accident or on purpose they can cause environmental damage. They might travel far, but they usually end up as litter somewhere! Organize a trash-collection date with your child. Clean up your own neighborhood, your town or city’s downtown area, a park, a beach, etc. While you might not pick up any balloons (but you might!), your child will become more aware of the effects of litter. You could extend this activity by having a balloon-alternative party, using festive decorations and celebratory objects such as flags, pinwheels, bunting, kites, and ribbons. Find more balloon alternatives here.
Give your child supplies to create a balloon picture. Supplies should include buttons of various shapes, colors, and sizes, yarn, crayons or markers, and glue. Suggest they color a picture, gluing the buttons on as balloons. Glue yarn on to represent the balloon strings. Or your child could group a whole bunch of buttons together to create one colorful balloon, or a hot air balloon!