Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hot Air Balloon Preschool Corner

M is 3.5 years old
This week one of the great fall events in our area was in town, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. This is an event that brings 700+ hot air balloons together and literally thousands of visitors to our little city. We are so lucky to have it, and so this week I decided to teach a Hot Air Balloon theme. A few of our activities were more "regular balloon" than "hot air balloon" but materials for this theme are pretty scarce!

Preschool Printables
I had a hard time finding some Hot Air Balloon printables, so I made a (very!) few for M in this pack:
Hot Air Balloon Printables
It contains a shape matching printable - match the hot air balloon to it's chase vehicle (which is a crew that follows each balloon around to help in land and pack up after it's flight).

It also has a sheet of small blank balloons which I drew different patterns on, copied, laminated, and had M match.

There is also a set of large blank balloons which we used for our art project below, and a set of colored balloons which I laminated and used as lacing cards.

M also worked on a color by number printable that I found.
Yes, she has "incorrect" pencil grip.  No, I'm not working hard at correcting it.  It's a natural step in the pre-writing process, and she'll grow out of it when she's ready.
Preschool Trays
Lacing a balloon card

Weaving a Gondola (the basket beneath the balloon) at the Balloon Museum

Filling our sensory balloons with a funnel

Sensory Balloons - we filled pairs of balloons with rice, beans, sugar, nuts, and coffee grounds. 
She had to match the pairs just by feeling.  Source.
Painting a Hot Air Balloon printout with an inflated balloon
Field Trip
We went last Saturday to one of the Balloon Glows - a nighttime event at which you get to see all the balloons light up together as they stay stationary on the ground. There was a cool fireworks show afterwards as well.

I also tried taking the kids to a morning mass ascenscion, but unfortunately it was a rainy day and the launch was cancelled. We had tickets to a Teacher Appreciation event in the nearby Balloon Museum though, so we enjoyed checking out the museum and doing some of the activities they had set out for kids.
Exploring a hard sided balloon that was used to travel outside of the atmosphere

Making a hot air balloon using panels of fabric & velcro

Exploring the concept of air lift using cut up paper cups & a large fan

Books & Movies

That's all for this week! To see what other preschoolers are learning this week, check out the official Preschool Corner website!


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  9. Just stumbled across this post while looking for some fun activities to do with my almost 3 year old son. He has a current fascination with hot air balloons after seeing a few land in the park across from out house. Thank you so much for the great ideas...only now I wish we had a balloon festival and explorium near us!

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