1. Put glow sticks in balloons for cool party lighting.
Bracelet glow sticks are typically found in bundles at your local dollar store. Buy some and snap two bracelets per balloon. After blowing up a balloon, insert each glow stick into it one at a time. Air may escape, so you may have to inflate the balloon a bit more before tying off. The average glow stick lasts about 6-8 hours.
2. Identify party guests’ glasses and create a nonslip grip.
First, blow up balloons to stretch them out; this will make it easier to pull them over glasses. Then, cut off the stem and about a quarter inch off the closed end. Pull snipped balloons over glasses.
3. Use a Sharpie and balloons to invite guests to an event.
Blow up a balloon, and instead of tying it closed, twist the end and clip it with a strong chip or binder clip. Use a Sharpie Oil Paint Pen to write your invitation on the inflated ballon, then deflate. Attach your invitation to a card, and wait at least 72 hours for the ink to dry before sticking your balloon in an envelope.
Adapted from Something Turquoise.
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4. Use an old lotion or soap bottle as a water balloon pump.
5. Conduct a science experiment with kids by filling balloons with baking soda and vinegar, then watching them inflate.
Using a funnel, pour vinegar about 1/3 of the way full into an old water bottle. Dry the funnel, and use it to pour baking soda into a balloon. Fill the balloon up halfway with baking soda.
Cover the top of the bottle with your baking-soda balloon, but make sure you don’t let the baking soda spill into the bottle prematurely.
When you and your child are ready, lift the balloon and let the baking soda fall into the vinegar. Since baking soda and vinegar create an acid-base chemical reaction as soon as they’re combined, the balloon will start to inflate, filling up with the carbon dioxide gas created by the reaction in the bottle.
6. Turn a regular glass into a modern vase.
Inflate then deflate a balloon to stretch it, then snip the top lip off. Carefully stretch the rubber over a short glass or vase. Tuck in the end piece and display a stem of your favorite flower.
7. Make marshmallow shooters with toilet paper rolls.
8. Make bean bags.
Blow up and deflate a balloon to stretch it. Using a funnel, pour rice or beans into the balloon.
Cut off the lip of the filled balloon and fold the stem over. With a second balloon, cut off the stem completely and stretch it over the filled balloon. Repeat with a third balloon for extra strength. Make a few more bags, and use them to play catch, juggle, or hopscotch.
Adapted from Flip Flop and Applesauce.
9. Freeze water balloons and use them to keep drinks cold.
When the ice melts, have a water balloon fight!