Balloon modeling in Children's ministry.
Being able to make simple balloon models is, I believe, a very useful technique to have at
your disposal for enhancing your lessons. Younger children, in particular, are always thrilled
to see someone make a balloon model.
The main reasons why most teachers do not do balloon modeling is because they think it a
hard (or expensive) thing to do, or because they don't know how they could use it in their
classes. I will endeavor to answer both these points.
A. With just a little practice, most people find it easy to make basic balloon models -
personally I find it a lot easier to make a balloon giraffe (for example) than to draw a picture of
one! There are lots of booklets available on balloon modeling, but I think the best way to start
is simply to get some balloons and try it yourself. Here are some tips:-
1. Probably the most used modeling balloons are Qualatex. If you buy in bulk, these are very
inexpensive http://www.justforfun.co.uk/ . You will almost certainly need a balloon pump
(unless you have very strong lungs!), but again these are fairly cheap.
2. When you blow up a balloon, leave about 3 or 4cm. uninflated at the end - this is for the air
to expand into as you begin your twisting. Then let a little air out before you tie the end of
the balloon. This should ensure that the balloon doesn't burst as you are shaping it.
3. Basic balloon animals have the same shape. They differ only in their dimensions. Thus,
for all of them, you twist a head, two ears, a neck, two front legs, a body, and two back legs -
leaving a little over for the tail. Each animal will simply have a different 'long' section. For
example, Rabbit - ears. Giraffe - neck. Dog - body (a 'sausage' dog). Cat - tail. Practice a
little, and you will soon see how easy it is.
4. The Children's Ministry Today web site ( www.childrensministry.org ) has an extensive
section on Balloon modeling tips - well worth a visit, especially if you are contemplating
making more complex models.
B. Balloon mo