Summer Fun with Water Balloons and Color Theory
Bringing water balloons into the play pool is a summer favorite of ours. Anytime of year my boys love water balloons in the bath tub for bath time play. One activity they never tire of is popping water balloons filled with colored water and watching the bath water change colors. Last summer I filled a bucket of water balloons with food coloring tinted water and let them pop the balloons in the play pool and watch the colors mix together. The photos didn't turn out well, so I never shared the activity. Today the summer weather was perfect for this summer fun color mixing!
How to Fill Balloons with Colored Water
Filling the water balloons is time consuming, but this summer fun activity is worth it. Water play is fun on its own, and the added sensory materials in the play pool make it exciting.
I chose to use yellow and red liquid watercolors, so the result of the mixing colors would be a vibrant orange, perfect for summer. I added a few squirts of watercolors to the balloon pumper each time I refilled it with water. You could also add a few drop directly into the balloons, but be prepared for a mess.
JZ (6) and J-Bug (4) were elated when the first balloon popped, filling the play pool with red coloring. As the color mixed with the water it tinted it a light pink.
My favorite part of the activity was watching their creativity in popping the balloons.
In addition to popping the water balloons, throwing them into the play pool with all their might produced hefty splashes, enhancing the water play experience.
I encouraged them to pick up the balloon trash as they went along, so they were free to swim in the colored water once all the balloons were popped. This was especially important so their toddler brothers didn't find any pieces when they woke up from their naps.
With each POP! the color of the water changed, each color more vivid than before.
JZ's popping method of choice was stepping on the balloons.
J-Bug loved squeezed with all of his might and watching the balloons burst between his hands.
After awhile JZ asked me for a pine needle from a nearby tree.
Watching the colors mix was thrilling even to me.
Once all the balloons had been popped J-Bug and JZ added more water to the play pool and swam for an hour until I had to drag them out for gymnastics. The final color was a gorgeous summer orange.
More summer fun ideas with water balloons: