I've been making balloon animals for about 10 years now, but it all started at a kid's ministry conference where I took a Balloon Basics class. I learned that there are basic balloon animals that anyone can learn with very little practice. In my experience, kids don't need the super fancy balloons animals that require a master's degree in ballooning. They are just as impressed with a simple dog or sword, so I've been teaching other kid's ministry leaders and volunteers these balloon basics. They're great for outreaches, Easter egg hunts, and any other kids ministry event. It's so simple even a 6th grader can learn. Before I share seven basic balloons with you, I just want to share a few tips I have picked up along the way. I always buy the Qualatex 260Q balloons on Amazon. I love these balloons because they are dependable, and I can always get them shipped to me in two days when I need them. Unless you have insane breath control, you are going to need a balloon pump to blow up your balloons. I have used this cheap balloon pump, and been totally happy with it. I have also purchased several Qualatex pumps that work nicely. Now that you have the balloons and pumps, you're ready to make some balloons! Make sure you stretch your balloons before pumping them up. One last important tip: If you are doing balloons at an outdoor event, your balloons are more likely to pop if it is too cold or too hot (anywhere between 65º and about 85º is a good gauge, but humidity and elevation will be a big factor as well). Always tell the kids to keep their balloons off the grass! Grass will pop balloons like a knife. There will be tears.
Let's make some balloons!
1. Pirate Sword
We will start with an easy balloon that you will probably make a thousand times. I do not make a traditional sword anymore, because I learned how to make a pirate sword a few years back and never went back. The pirate sword is far more durable and looks a lot cooler. Check out the video below for all the details on how to make your own pirate sword.
2. Dog/Cat/Horse/Donkey/Other 4-legged animal
In my experience, the dog is still the most requested balloon animal. I'm not sure why, but kids still love dogs the most. Lucky for us, because it is the most basic animal to learn. Once you learn how to make a dog it is the foundation of learning most other balloon animals. Check out the video below for all the details on how to make a dog.
I prefer to make a two balloon hat. The one balloon hat is just so boring, and tends to fall apart more easily. This two balloon hat is only two twists, and looks much more impressive. For an added bonus, the kids get to pick two colors for their hats. Check out the video below for all the details.
Flowers are (of course) a favorite with all the girls. I like to make a two balloon flower. I usually use a green balloon for the stem and let the kids pick the petal color, but if you are running low on green balloons you can always use whatever crazy colors the kids desire. You can also attach flowers to hats to make an extra special hat. Check out the details below.
The giraffe is my all time favorite balloon animal. It is not the most requested, but it's really cute. It is also basically a dog with a really long neck. Check out the details below.
The bee is by far the cutest, low-maintenance balloon of them all. It does require two balloons, and you will need these Qualatex 321Q bee body balloons, but it is definitely worth the extra purchase. Check out the details in the video below.
I usually only offer this balloon at Easter, but it is cute for any time of the year. You will want some string or extra broken balloons to tie your bunny together. Check out the details in the video below.
Hopefully these videos will help you and your kidmin team learn balloon basics to get you started. Next time you throw a big event, you won't need to hire that fancy balloon maker. You've got this!
What is your favorite balloon animal/item? You know you still love them!