It’s very common to find yourself in a situation where you’re looking for the perfect toy for your toddler. Whether it be an activity to keep them busy while you do other chores around the house or just something fun to do together, finding the right thing can be tricky.
One of those toys that are often overlooked is the classic water balloon. Although they may seem like a simple game you could play with just about anyone, there are actually some things you need to know about this toy before giving it a try.
What Do Water Balloons Come In?
Water balloons come in all shapes and sizes; however, most of them are roughly the size of a grapefruit. The most common ones are either yellow or green but sometimes you’ll see blue versions as well. And although these balls have been around since at least the late 1800s, they haven’t always been referred to by their real name.
In fact, if you look up “water balloon” on the internet today, you will still find a lot of information about “pop-up pop” or “pop-a-loaf” which were popular names for these toys back then.
How Can I Use Them To Play With My Child?
So what exactly can you do with these small spheres of foam? Well, when used properly, they are great for games of any kind. As long as you provide the correct supervision, you can safely assume that your toddler will love playing with water balloons. There are several ways you can use these toys to entertain your child.
For starters, you can simply toss them into the air and watch them float away. You can also hide them throughout the house so that they become a surprise when your child gets home from school. They’re also useful for practicing throwing skills because you don’t have to worry about them bursting once they land.
The most common types of water balloons include:
* Basketballs –
These are the most common type of water balloon. If you’ve ever seen one floating down the street or into someone’s yard, chances are it was a basketball. While not as large as a volleyball, it is still a good enough size to cause damage if hit directly.
* Beach Balls –
These are smaller than basketballs and are usually made out of a thick rubber material. Because they are much smaller, they are easier to control and can fly further.
* Soccer Balls –
These are slightly larger than beach balls and also feature a white outer coating. This makes them easier to spot on the ground as opposed to the black color of a beach ball.
* Volleyballs –
Like basketballs and soccer balls, volleyballs are usually made out of a thick rubber material. However, unlike the others, volleyballs are oval shaped and feature two handles. While this allows children to throw them more easily, it also means they take longer to fill.
* Frisbees –
These are similar to volleyballs, except that they are rounder in shape and weigh less than a volleyball. Most frisbees are also decorated with bright colors and patterns.
* Airplanes –
Similar to volleys, airplanes are made out of thin rubber and are typically designed to make it easy for kids to launch them into the sky. But unlike volleyballs and frisbees, airplanes generally aren’t meant to be thrown.
If you want to know whether or not these toys are safe for your child, check out our article on the dangers of water balloons.
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Which Ball Is Right For Your Toddler?
Now that we’ve discussed the different kinds of water balloons, it’s time to figure out which ones would be best suited for your child. Before getting started, it’s important to understand how water balloons work.
When you toss a water balloon across the room, it doesn’t just magically disappear. Instead, it uses the same physics principles that allow us to throw softball or baseballs. When you throw a ball, it gains speed due to gravity. It is only the outer part of the ball (the surface) that makes contact with the ground; the rest of the ball is suspended in mid-air.
Because of this, the amount of pressure inside the balloon is equal to the weight of the air above it. So if you increase the size of the balloon, you will notice that it holds more air. This means that it is heavier than the air outside which causes it to rise.
As soon as it reaches its maximum height, the balloon loses air and falls back down to earth. It does this over and over until eventually, it bursts.
Since water balloons are filled with air, they follow the same principles. Because of this, the amount of air inside determines how high it will go. Since water is denser than air, it will sink faster than an inflated balloon.
This means you can throw a water balloon at your kid, knowing that it will reach its full potential within a few seconds. If you hold it for too long, it won’t get anywhere.
But which ball is the right one for your child? Well, that depends on how old they are. Children between 3 years old and 5 years old tend to prefer smaller water balloons, while older kids enjoy the bigger ones.
If your child is younger than three, consider using a beach ball or volleys. Basketballs and soccer balls are too big and would probably bounce off of their heads. Frisbees are too hard to catch and are too small to be enjoyable.
However, if your child is over five, you should definitely stick with basketballs or volleyballs. Their size makes them easier to catch and they are also more durable.
Once you’ve determined the size of the water balloon you want to use, it’s time to find the ideal place to store it. After all, you don’t want to spend forever trying to retrieve it after it has burst!
You should keep your storage space clean because spilled water will quickly ruin your belongings. Also, make sure your child isn’t allowed to access it. Otherwise, he or she might accidentally break the bubble.
Finally, remember that water balloons will take a little bit of practice to master. That being said, it’s worth the effort because they are lots of fun!