My all-time favorite art project is one that surprises my family. I really don’t like to get messy or at least I didn’t like this while my OCD was in charge. I have found through the course of getting happier that I really love art, splatters of color and the process of creating things. The art project that has captured my attention is the balloon pop art. I love this activity so much that I’ve done it several times now with the kids even though it’s super messy and can be time consuming.
Gather up your supplies – you will need squeeze bottles of washable paint or a syringe for the paint. Something for the water – I use the ketchup/ mustard squeeze bottles. A bunch of balloons – any size. Something for a canvas. Something to pop balloons.
You start by squeezing some tempera paint in a balloon (about 1 tablespoon). Add some water (about 1 teaspoon) and then blow up the balloon. It is impossible to stay clean during this process so I tend to have a few washcloths on hand for when the paint gets on my face/ or lips, which it always does. You should make at least 4 balloons per person participating. The more though the better.
I place all the finished balloons in our blue kiddie pool to keep them corralled so they don’t pop prematurely. It always makes it easier to move the balloons to the pop zone. The pop zone is any area that you don’t mind covered in paint splatters. Find something you want paint splattered on and secure it to the ground with masking tape. We’ve used foam poster board (works great!), giant newsprint, large sketch pad paper and then decide how the balloons will be popped. We always use the long bamboo kabob skewers.
I have found it important to lay down some ground rules for this activity. As I have done this activity with different groups of guests certain actions have came about such as trying to pop the paint balloons on other people and then a mad rush pop session that ends up a crazy chaotic mess. So yes – lay down some ground rules. Mine are
- Don’t pop the balloons on each other.
- Take turns popping balloons.
- Only one balloon per person at a time.
- Try to get the paint on the canvas
- Don’t whine when you get paint on yourself
I tell the kids if they don’t wish to follow the rules they can stand back with Steven and just watch.
This is a very messy project. I’ve gotten paint in my hair, in my ears, nose and glasses. Definitely paint on my clothes and all over our backyard. I typically have the kids take their shoes off and wear clothes that they wouldn’t be terribly upset if the paint doesn’t come out. I only buy washable paints but it doesn’t always wash out.
If you can get past the mess, this activity produces lots of laughter, huge smiles, great memories and happy people. Plus you get a super awesome, one of a kind piece of art.