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Toddler Talk: Birthday Balloon

My little one, Ramona, turned 2 this past week. In addition to the streamers and presents and birthday cake, I wanted to do something with her that could be carried on in future years as a birthday tradition. Growing up, my dad did a mini treasure hunt. My husband’s family does a birthday parade before opening gifts. We may incorporate some of these fun memories from our past, but she’s a little too young for reading a treasure map now. Plus, my hubby and I parading around for giggles is already a daily occurrence.

Since there’s no such thing as getting too many presents, I decided to find something that increased her bounty without requiring us to spend a lot of money or add much more clutter to our tiny house. Having picked up a pack of balloons at the local party supply store, as well as some teeny, inexpensive trinkets and toys and candies, I decided to combine the two and make her a Birthday Balloon Surprise

A Birthday Balloon Surprise is simply a balloon with a treasure or a piece of candy in it. To get to the item that’s inside, the youngster has to find a way to pop the balloon! Now I know that not all kids will get a kick out of this, so please make sure you read your kid to see if this is something that they would find fun and exciting or if it would scare the pants off of them. My daughter, at least in regards to balloons, tends to get a kick out of these sorts of things (a smoke detector going off because of burnt cookies is a whole other story).

After she opened up her presents (this was, of course, after she gobbled down her favorite breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes and scrambled eggs), we brought her to the living room where we had blown up a lot of balloons. We did not use helium, as we wanted the balloons to be on the chairs and couch and floor. We showed her how to shake the balloons to see if anything was inside. Once she shook a balloon with a mini gift in it, we helped her figure out how to pop the balloon. (Sitting on it was what worked this time around. Another time in the backyard, she found a pointy stick.)

What you need


small toys or candy to stick inside. We did a wooden giraffe, a rubber robot and some small candy. You could also use stickers, gum, small balls, glow sticks, etc.

What you do

1. Open the mouth of the balloon really wide. You may need two sets of hands for this, depending on the size and shape of your object.

2. Blow up the balloon.

3. Knot the balloon.

4. Show your child how to shake the balloon to see if something is in it.

5. Get creative on ways to pop the balloon to get the treat inside.

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