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Pre-K Quick Projects with Balloon Time: Up, Up, and Away!

A child floating in the air with balloons

Learning Standards: Mathematics Foundation 1 - Numeracy

Objective: Early learners develop foundational skills in understanding counting, written numerals, quantity, and comparison.

M1.3: Recognition of Number Relations

  • Infant:
    • Explore objects one at a time.
  • Younger Toddler:
    • Identify which group has more items.
  • Older Toddler:
    • Visually identify sets with significant differences (using terms like “more” or “fewer”).
  • Younger Preschool:
    • Readily identify the first and last items in a sequence.
  • Older Preschool:
    • Identify when two sets have an equal number of items using matching and counting strategies.

Materials Needed:

  • I Have a Balloon by Ariel Bernstein
  • Beach ball or balloon
  • String
  • Tape
  • Small paper cup

Activity Plan:

Part 1: Read-Aloud

  • Begin by reading I Have a Balloon by Ariel Bernstein.

Part 2: Discussion

  • Ask students if they have ever seen a hot air balloon.
  • Inquire if anyone has been in a hot air balloon.
  • Discuss what objects resemble models of hot air balloons (e.g., small beach balls, party balloons, water towers).

Part 3: Balloon Exploration

  1. Blow up a balloon and discuss its shape and color.
    • (Alternatively, use a beach ball if available.)
  2. Blow up another balloon and compare its shape and color to the first one.
  3. Repeat the process with additional balloons.
  4. Instruct students to gently tap the balloon (or beach ball) to a classmate, ensuring everyone stays in their spot to avoid accidents.
  5. Prepare more balloons (or beach balls) for the group to discuss color, shape, and the total number of items.

Part 4: Create a Model Hot Air Balloon

  • Collaborate with the students to construct a model hot air balloon for display.


Today, you explored hot air balloons, learned about their shapes, and practiced working together in a fun tapping game. Remember, you can create models, invent games, and even count balloons and other objects! 🎈✨

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