Sensory play #4 Force

*disclaimer: not sensory at all….sorry! Still lots to learn.

Last week I taught J about items being ‘the same and different’ and this week I wanted to do ‘push and pull’, mainly because a cart horse in one of his favourite books has been pulling loads and I wasn’t sure he understood?

I then remembered a science lesson (originally aimed at 12 year olds) about force that I adapted for this game.

 The picture really explains all…
You will need:

  • Balloons
  • 2 chairs (or trees)
  • Sting, wool or any other kind of ropey stuff
  • Straws
  • Tape (I used electric tape so that it was more visually obviously, you could use celotape or even plasters.

I basically blew up the balloons (which made j laugh…until one popped, which caused a break down) took a straw and cut it in half, taped the straw to the balloon (see below)

 ‘Ta-dar’ and we were ready to race the balloons by ‘pushing’ them along and then ‘pulling’ them back to the start.
There are many variations that you could do with this – dinning room chairs indoors if it’s raining, more than 2 balloons if you have more little monsters at home, or you could even add height to one end to create a little more gravity. Like I said, I kept them flat because I wanted J to specifically push and pull, plus he is only 2 years old and perhaps an older child may like more challenge…you could even get the monsters to create an obstacle course for the balloons.

The best thing about this was it look 2 seconds to create and was a clear visual aid to teach him. I also left it out for several days (until the balloons shrivelled up) for J to explore by himself.

Warning: popping balloons may send your toddler into hysterics, mine is scarred for life (haha)

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18 thoughts on “Sensory play #4 Force

  1. Haha, glad your summer hols is also rather repetitive….when I’ve read the same book to J several times in a row I secretly say to myself “he is sealing in the learning” and then I pour a gin when he goes to bed.

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    1. Many thanks, yes he did return periodically and we accomplished the learning / play I was after. Like I said in the post, I think it has more potential with older monsters.

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  2. I love this idea! How creative! It’s always the quick and inexpensive activities that are the best and it’s so good teaching them to use things in a different way. This looks like so much fun!! 😀 And you can do so much with it. Although I can’t stand balloons banging, worst thing when you have a child who tries to chew them! xx #toddlerapprovedtuesday

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    1. Thank you. We did have a few tears…but he also did venture back outside, so maybe i haven’t traumatised him yet? A chewer of balloons….surely high in carbohydrates?

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    1. Thanks, haha yeah the garden is a tiny world to explore. Playing with others is always good too, but an activity that they can return to helps to enrich learning at the monsters own pace. Give it a go.

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  3. Ahem, I’m pretty sure you can claim pushing and pulling are different sensory experiences. 😉 This is a brilliant idea and I’m pretty sure I have everything except the balloons. I’ll pick some up today. I wonder whether you could slant the strings and create balloon races? #ToddlerApprovedTuesday

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    1. Love your thinking haha, slanting the string only works if the string is more cord like (doesn’t that make sense?) I think it’s a friction thing? I used garden string. Please warn wee girl that balloons pop, otherwise a sensory overload make kill your weekend. 🙂 enjoy

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  4. Another great way (although you may get bored!) to play balloon racers is jut like this but to blow up the balloon but not tie it when you are ready let go and it will zoom down your line! (I saw it on a kids channel and cant remember what!)

    Thanks for linking u to #ToddlerApprovedTuesday

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