Groups try to collect all the balloons that have the letters they need to spell their designated word.
- Balloons galore!
Blow up the balloons (could have 26 balloons - 1 for each letter), or have more and have multiples of vowels and other letters. Write a letter on each balloon (or could write two letters on each balloon, so that there are 2 of each letter). Place the balloons in the centre of the activity area.
- Divide participants into 3-5 groups.
- Have all the balloons in the centre of the activity area.
- Have each group stand at a corner of the activity space, or somewhere along the perimeter.
- Give each group a word they have to spell.
- If there is only one of each letter on a balloon, then make sure that the words don’t have the same letters.
- Example of words for 5 different groups: cat, bed, pig, won, fur. If you have more vowels, then there are more options for words.
- The leader (or participants) will go to the balloons and begin to kick them around and spread them out.
- Then they will say, “Go”.
- One participant from each group will run to the balloons and try to find a letter of their word.
- They can only look at 5 balloons. After they’ve looked at 5 balloons, they run back to their group and the next participant goes to look.
- When a participant finds a balloon with their letter on it they take it and run it back to their group.
- When a group spells their word, they sit down on the spot.
- The last group to find their word gets a letter, or loses a point.
- Change the words for the next round.
- Optional: Participants have to hop on one foot when looking at balloons, if their foot that is in the air touches the ground, they go back to their group.
- Optional: Instead of finding a word, the leader will tell participants they have to find the 3rd, 6th, 11th, 14th, 18th, and 22nd letters of the alphabet. The group will have to figure out which letters they have to find (C, F, K, N, R, V).
- Write words on each balloon. Could write words based on themes (animals, months, sports, school subjects, colours, books, food, and so on). Each group has to find all the words for a specific theme (Group A has to find all animal themed balloons, group B has to find all sport themed balloons and so on).
- When participants find a balloon, they bring it back to their group, but they cannot carry it. They have to hit it in the air and bring it with them. When they bring it to their group, they have to continue to hit it and keep it up in the air (with any body part). The other group members that are waiting their turn can help keep it up in the air. If anyone catches it or holds it at any point, they have to put the balloon back in the middle and the leader will mix it up so they can’t find it easily.
- Ensure participants do not pop the balloons.
- Remove any safety hazards and obstacles from the activity area and remind participants to keep their heads up.
No wrap-up is necessary for this activity.
Adapted from: http://activeafterschool.ca/activities/balloon-search-o-rama