Can I Easily Add Balloons to Any Lesson?
Yes!There are a couple of simple ways to use balloons in your lesson.The most popular is to create a sculpture based on an object or animal in a story or illustration you are using.For example, let’s say that you are teaching on Daniel in the lion’s den.Create a balloon lion while you are telling the story.Or, for the story of Jesus’ Baptism, create a balloon dove.Maybe you have an object lesson based on a basket.Instead of just showing a basket while you talk, make one with balloons while you are teaching.You can also use an animal known for a particular characteristic related to your story.An example of this would be using an elephant, which is known for his memory, in a story on communion, or Jesus’ return, since you would be focusing on the kids’ need to remember. On the Balloon page of Your-Favorite-Places.com (CMIV’s sister site), you will find a link to sculpture archives with 100’s of free ballooning instructions.
When blowing up a 260 balloon, you should first stretch the balloon.This will make it easier to inflate.Inflate the balloon to the length stated in the instructions; then, before tying the knot, release a small amount of air out of the balloon.Some people call this burping the balloon.Most figures are created by starting at the knotted end of the balloon then working your way toward the other end.Ballooning instructions will take you step by step, telling you approximately how many inches down the balloon to make the next twist.
Avoiding Explosions! (Presentation Tips)
So you say, What if it pops? My illustration will be ruined!Not so!There are a few small preparations you can take to help yourself out in that situation.First, have a completed balloon sculpture behind stage, or in a bag.Then, if the balloon pops near the time you have finished your teaching segment, you have the completed balloon handy.There will be no need to talk more or have dead space while re-doing the sculpture.(This also gives you an extra balloon to hand out to a well-behaved student at the end of class.)Or, have a balloon already blown up to the size you need, knotted, and sitting in a nearby bag; if the sculpture pops near the beginning, you won’t have as far to go to catch up on your twisting.Another point worthy of mention is that better quality balloons will not pop as easily as off brand animals balloons bought in the party section of a local discount store.Lastly, humor is always good for diffusing the sudden surprise of having a balloon pop. For example, should a balloon pop, grab your heart and say, Oh, it got me!” or something else humorous that takes the attention away from what happened and focuses it back on you.
Added Incentive for Crowd Control
Balloons are also good as a behavior incentive.Have a secret seat chosen ahead of time (or choose a well-behaved child at the end of service).Let the children know that the one in the secret seat will receive the balloon sculpture at the end of class for good behavior.If they forfeit the sculpture due to bad behavior, have a back-up seat chosen.
Taking the Word Home
Ballooning is an easy way to bring joy to your kids as you do your lesson.Kids love balloons and will love taking them home.Anything as exciting and visual as a balloon is bound to bring questions as to where it came from.That simple, new teaching tool then becomes an effective way for the day’s message from the Word to be shared by the child with family and friends! CMT has wonderful resources for Ballooning in the Ballooning section of the CMTM.
© by Gary & Alisa Linn
Children’s Ministry Today