Balloon Connection Game
Entertaining activity improving group interactions.
Meeting new people and connecting with them can be a daunting and difficult task, but what if we can explore this by participating in a fun activity. If everybody puts in an effort to connect with each other, and does it in a positive and fun way, it could make huge difference.
The Balloon connection hello’s activity is a fun and interactive way to get people to get to know each a bit before moving onto further balloon activities. This ‘greeting method’ can easily be used before a main activity or afterward.
First, hand out the balloons to the group, have them blow up their balloon and tie it off. The balloons themselves can be different sizes shapes and colours. Have everybody stand closer, so that you can demonstrate how to do the activity. You can do this by holding the balloon in the one hand, take the other hand and pull on the tail or tied end. Pull and then release the balloon, this will propel it forward. Everybody can practice this technique, propelling the balloon in all directions and distances.
Once everybody has got the hang of it, instruct them to try and collide with somebody else’s balloon. To accomplish this, everybody should move around the room or space provided. While wondering around the room, they could acknowledge another person and then attempt to collide with their balloon. Then these two people will connect with each other with a question such as:
- Is there something that made you curious about me?
- Did something about me get your attention?
- Is there something you are looking forward to today?
Once the conversation is finished, each person will then move on and further around the room, looking for somebody else to connect with. Sometime the balloons will not collide, no worries, you can either just move on or you can attempt to connect again. So as not to waist too much time, it is best to only try about three times to connect the balloons, and then move on to somebody else. Play this activity for about several minutes and then move on to the main activities.
You can also add a number of different variations for this activity, for example:
- Include Questions: Have everybody write a question on their own balloon before beginning the activity. To help everybody think of an appropriate question, ask something like, “Can you come up with a question that could help you learn something about another person. Please write the question you have in mind on the balloon.”
- Swat the Balloon: Using your hand, which is open, ‘swat’ your balloon. When your balloon connects with another balloon or even another person’s body, encourage conversation with that person.
- There are also some fun reflection activities that you can do with all the left-over balloons.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Balloon Connection Game
- Hand out balloons to all the members in the group
- Show everybody how the ‘Balloon connection’ works. Take the balloon in one hand after it has been blown up and tied at the end, take the other hand and pull on the tail end. Release the balloon and it should be propelled forward.
- Have all the members in the group practice with their balloons
- Once everybody is ready, have members walk around the room or space releasing their balloons, in an attempt to connect with somebody else’s balloon.
- On success of two balloons connecting, have the members who the balloons belong to chat with each other. They may ask a question of each other, which was given to everybody before the activity began or just give a general greeting.
- The activity can continue on for a few minutes, about several minutes should suffice.
Facilitating tips for Balloon connection
All leaders and facilitators should join in on the fun, which will also help create connections and build trust among the group. The way you perform the activity is also a great model for everyone else to follow.
You may already have other activities planned, which involve the use of balloons. The Balloon Propulsion activity would then be a great ice-breaker at the beginning of your planned programme. This activity, I think, would be best done indoors, but if you do go outside just be careful of windy conditions. The activity won’t quite have the same results if all the balloons are blown away.
Questions, tips and reflections
You can use these questions with some reflection strategies. These sample questions will help you to get an idea of how your group experienced the interactive activity.
- What did you observe throughout the activity?
- Did you learn something new from somebody else and can you give examples?
- Was it easy for you to talk and connect with others in the group during the activity?
- Do you think connections can be easily made in real life situations? Give reasons why you think it can or why you think it can’t?