Balloons are a cheap/accessible item that can easily spice up a family night/gathering. The following activities promote team-work, group cohesion, attunement, communication, problem-solving, conflict-management, etc.
*** If Using this for the purpose of Family Therapy: They can be used to both assess family functioning and teach new skills. Notice patterns that come up, how they negotiate or resolve conflicts, who leads, etc. After each activity process with the family how it went, what they noticed, what they liked/disliked, what they need to work on, etc. Families can also do these fun games at home.
- Juggling Issues: In a family session it is common for the topic of discussion to snowball as family members bring up multiple subjects at once. Have each family members blow up balloons and write an issue on each one. The family then stands in a circle and bats a balloon around without letting it touch the ground. Add the rest of the balloon, one at a time, to demonstrate how ineffective it is to juggle so many issues at once. Afterwards the family decides together which issue to tackle during that session.
- Balloon Pass: Have the family/group stand in a circle and make up (or have them make up) ways to pass a balloon around (ex. using only elbows, feet, etc.). Have them hold hands in a circle and try to keep the balloon from touching the ground as they bat it around without letting go.
- Busy Balloons: Have family/group members partner up and call out different body parts that they must hold the balloon up with (ex. noses, elbows, etc.) If there is an odd number of people than family members can take turns being the person calling out body parts.
- Balloon Waddle: Each person holds a blown-up balloon between their legs. The family/group must come up with a way together to get across the room without anyone dropping the balloon (ex. jumping, waddling, rolling, etc.). Once one slips then everyone must get together to re-strategize and start over. You could also modify this to complete with partners or as a relay.
Links that are related on my blog:
- Click Here to see 100 ways to show LOVE to your child (includes free printable list)
- Click Here for a List of 40 Ways to Keep Children Occupied (especially toddlers) with activities that promote learning and attachment. (sewing basket for kids, pool noodles, pipe cleaners, sensory bins, water tables, etc)
- Click Here for Activities that Promote Learning & Attachment – link to website with activities listed by age (up to age 5 years but you can adapt for older kids)
- Click Here for 4 Fun Games that Promote Self-Regulation and practice listening & following directions skills
- Click Here for Relaxing Road Trip Activities for Kids (most can be fun to play inside at home too! like play dough mats, coloring sheets etc)
- Click Here for 20 Activities and Games to press the “reset” button when kids are getting silly or tough! (whisper game, kitchen stations, color their name, move slowly, read a book, take a bath etc.)
- Click Here for 8 Communication Games Help kids practice listening & following direction skills (Red Light Green Light, Mad Libs, Simon Says, Follow the Leader, Obstacle Course etc.)
- Click Here for 5 Attachment-Based Activities, 15 Attachment Promoting Activities and MANY more Attachment & Connection Promoting Play.
- Click Here for 6 Self-Regulation Activities & Games for Kids (free printable explaining the importance of self-regulation)
- Click Here for 24 Gross Motor Activities that promote Parent-Child Connection
- Click Here for 31 SideWalk Chalk Activities for Kids
- Click Here for Parenting Tips on how to Improve & Grow Your Attachment & Connection with Your Child