Saturday, February 15, 2014

Balloons in the Classroom

Snowstorm!  School is cancelled and everyone is at home.  How fun it is too have a snow day!  But when the snow days turn into what seems like an extension of the winter holiday it can make reinstating classroom routines difficult when school does open again.

To make things worse, (due to the snow) the outdoor play area is too wet to use for recess.  There is a classroom full of students that are out of sync with the school routine and they're stuck inside!  Did I mention that the gymnasium is not an option either?  The teacher is now faced with finding something to do inside.  She could play "7-up".  (That's what they did when I was a kid.)  She could pull out the board games and puzzles.  Another option would be to toss an old 1980's exercise video into the dinosaur-like television/video combo and hope the tape doesn't get eaten.  She could also skip "recess" altogether and have her students brush up on those addition facts.  That option might be counterproductive. 

Here is another choice for you to consider.  Balloons!  Playing with balloons in the classroom gives the children a chance to get up and move.  It builds their upper arm muscles.  It's an opportunity to foster cooperative learning skills when students work with a fellow classmate and play "Keep it Up" with their shared balloon.  Balloons have the potential to become an educational tool!  Write spelling words or rhyming words on them.  The colors of the balloons can be discussed with preschoolers. 
I wrote words that rhymed with pink and drew hearts around the words.
Blow a balloon up and hold it around the neck. Have the children watch. Release the balloon and watch it fly through the air. Repeat the event with the same conditions and have the students predict the balloon's landing point.

Other "Balloon Benefits"  A package of balloons takes up very little space and are easy to store in the classroom.  They're inexpensive.  Balloons are lightweight making them indoor-friendly.  Balloons are fun for kids!
You need a dull permanent marker, a package of balloons, and a good set of lungs!

You will need a dull permanent marker to write words on the balloons with.  Kids also love it when you draw faces and pictures on the balloons.  Allow the ink on the balloon to dry for about 10-20 seconds.  The magic markers will cause smearing.  The sharp permanent markers can poke the balloons.  It will also help if you have a good set of lungs.  You will also need to establish a few rules with the children before starting the activity.

What activities do you engage your students with when outdoor recess is not an option?  Post your idea here.

Lessons by Molly © 2014  All rights reserved.

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