Hot Air Balloon Imaginative Play for Toddlers

Hot air balloons appear a lot in children's books. Gwen (14 months) knows what balloons are, and is always excited to hold one.

When it comes to hot air balloons in her books, she gesticulates excitedly to tell me she recognises them as balloons but looks confused when I tell her they can transport people. So I decided to dedicate an afternoon to

Hot Air Balloon Bookish Imaginative Play!

Hot Air Balloon Imaginative Play for Toddlers

Hot Air Balloon Imaginative Play for Toddlers

Through this activity, I explained that just like helium balloons, hot air balloons go into the air and can even transport people in the attached baskets.

I encouraged Gwen to put her stuffed toys into the basket and even made them mini binoculars. To complete the bookish play, I also created tickets and the stuffed toys handed Gwen the tickets before they boarded the hot air balloons. Then I lifted the balloon and sang, "This is Up, Up, Up" before landing it a distance away and singing, "This is Down, Down, Down." It seemed a good opportunity to teach directions.

Hot Air Balloon Imaginative Play for Toddlers

Hot Air Balloon Imaginative Play for Toddlers

Hot Air Balloon Imaginative Play for Toddlers

How to Make A Makeshift Hot Air Balloon

  • Grab a children's book that features a hot air balloon (I'm using CareBear's What Makes You Happy). Use it as inspiration
  • Plan this activity for when you'll have a helium balloon at home (e.g. after a birthday party, or a trip to Dollar Tree)
  • Procure a small basket that can seat stuffed toys
  • Tie the balloon string to the basket
  • Use washi tape to decorate the hot air balloon
  • Stick washi tape around paper rolls and cut them to make mini binoculars

Hot Air Balloon Imaginative Play for Toddlers

Hot Air Balloon Imaginative Play for Toddlers

  • Find some old parking receipts to turn them into tickets

Hot Air Balloon Imaginative Play for Toddlers

  • Let your imagination run free and play!

Hot Air Balloon Imaginative Play for Toddlers

It's lovely to use familiar books in play for young children because it's like seeing favourite characters and objects come alive. What books are great for bookish play?

Hot Air Balloon Imaginative Play for Toddlers

Let me know your recommendations on @miraculove_sg (Instagram) or join my A Toddler Activity A Day Facebook group to swap ideas!

Hot Air Balloon Imaginative Play for Toddlers

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Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.

Hi! Thank you for taking time to read my blog. I am a stay-home Singaporean mama living in Seattle who is passionate about child-led and open-ended play for children in a conducive home environment.

Discovering Montessori and Reggio has been a life-changer for me. It made me an empathetic and mindful parent who follows my child’s needs and interests in the activities I plan at home. I hope the Montessori-friendly and Reggio inspired baby and toddler activities I share here inspire you too.

Happy reading!