Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Toy Review Tuesday: Balloons

balloonWhy wait for a party to blow up balloons? Thankfully, we're not allergic to latex balloons. We use balloon play for various aspects of development.

Eye-hand Coordination
Matthew enjoys tossing the balloons up as high as he can and catching them as they come down. It's a fun game that keeps him entertained.

Speech & Language
He enjoys tossing it down the stairs. It's just his excuse to have to go downstairs, where we have his ball pool and a few other toys set up. From the baby gate, he watches the balloon go down the stairs and says, "dow, dow, dow" (down, down down). Then he quickly comes over to me and says, "el! ahs! dow!" (help! stairs! down!).

Social Skills
A simple turn-taking game of throwing and catching is a way to encourage interaction with other kids. balloon & turn-takingHowever, it doesn't work as well with pets.balloon and pet

We have two sizes of balloons handy. It's one way to teach the concepts 'big' and 'little'. Matthew also knows his colors - blue, red, purple, green, yellow - thanks to many hours of play with the Melissa & Doug Sort and Stack. Identifying balloon colors is one way to see if he can transfer his color knowledge to other objects, which is validation of his ability to truly recognize colors.

Fine motor
When he's a little older and has developed a tripod grip on a pen, I suppose we can draw on the balloons. Animal faces perhaps?


Rochelle said...

Great idea as always.

Austyn said...

What a great idea!

To Love Endlessly said...

simple, cheap, & portable! love it!

suelmayer said...

Hi Ria,
Thanks for visiting my blog and now I found yours too. Love all the ideas and you have a wonderful blog. Don't worry he'll be saying Mom before you know it and then you will be wondering why you were wishing for that. Enjoy your journey!

Jill said...

even with a baby in your arms, you still come up with such great ideas. Can't wait to try this :)

Bronwyn Shields said...

Do you ever worry about it popping and scaring him? I'd love to give my son a balloon to play with but I just imagine his little face crumpling when he pops it and I chuckle and cringe at the same time.

Ria said...

Brownyn, it has popped but it didn't scare him. He just looked puzzled. I blew up another one for him and he helped me throw away the one that popped. You'll be the best judge for how your son might handle it. I hope he enjoys it and any poppage won't bother him. :-)

ChildTalk said...

What a beautiful demonstration of how a simple, fun activity can be a wonderful place to both have fun *and* develop some new skills along the way! :)