In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, I let the kids race balloons with leprechauns on them today. I found the idea from this website. I had looked at the post pretty extensively (I thought) and figured I knew exactly what I was doing. I had the kids color a leprechaun and pick a color of balloon they wanted.
After I blew them up I twisted them a bit at the ends and used clothes pin to hold the end closed until it was time to let the air out. The clothes pins worked very well and they were easy for the kids to take off when it was their turn to race.
I made the rainbow coming out of the pot of gold and taped the string to the wall low so the kids could hold it up to let gravity help get the balloon to the pot of gold. Well I used yarn instead of kite sting (I should have read the sites post better) so the first problem we encountered was getting the yarn into the straw LOL. But the kids were very patient with me because they were super excited to see this work. I got my balloon on the string (with a paper clip :) to demonstrate what they were going to do when it was their turn to race. **It should be noted that kite string is what the original site says they used** Well when I let go of the balloon the air came out and it spun around a few times but it did not go forward like I thought it would. I wasn't sure at first what to do to make it go forward. I stared at the kids for a minute as if they would have a clue. Then I thought I will need something with a bigger hole. I found empty tape rolls and taped them on to the kids balloons and let them try. They did fly a bit more then the straw but did not make it all the way to the rainbow.
I went through all 6 kids that were here today and each one only sailed about 3 feet before it stopped. Even though they did not go far the kids still seemed excited at the idea that they went at all. I told them that we did an experiment and it did not work but it is okay because we can try again another time and see if we can make it work that time. I gave each child a gold coin for participating. They were excited to show them to their parents at pick up time.
We will try this again I am sure. I now where my problems were and how to fix them so that it will work next time. :)