We did a quick science experiment to go along with our hot air balloon unit that we are working on. To see the effects of the temperature of air on a balloon, we used this fun activity.
- a bottle
- a balloon
- a bowl with very hot water (but don’t let anyone get burned!)
- a bowl with ice
- Put the balloon over the mouth of the bottle.
- Place the balloon in the hot water bowl. You’ll need to hold it if you have a plastic bottle because of the buoyancy of plastic. (Another quick lesson we did!)
- Watch the balloon expand.
- Move the bottle to the ice.
- Watch the balloon deflate.
This was fun for the girls to experience and it added a lot to the discussion of hot air balloons. I also asked a few questions based on the things the girls said. We discussed how the material the balloon was made of would affect it. What would happen if your balloon had a hole in it? What if it was a big hole? What if it was a small hole? What if your balloon did not have a cooling vent? What if the rip cord didn’t work? What if the air outside the balloon was pretty hot or pretty cold?
There are lots of options to expand the questions based on where the experiment goes.
The youngest giggly girl stayed at the experiment station for a while playing with the temperature of the water and seeing what happened. She eventually began adding ice to the hot water to see what happened. Well, she found out what you probably already knew but it was a learning opportunity for her and she enjoyed it a lot.
Hope you have fun with this quick experiment.
Get more ideas from the Homeschool Review Crew in the 2nd edition of the Homeschool Collection.