Friday, March 1, 2013

Games with balloons. Guess what I am making from balloons

Balloons pop. Balloons can be a serious choking hazard. 
Adult supervision is required for children
 with balloons at all times.
 Balloons are not for toddlers.

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Materials: balloon twister (artist), balloons, an air pump, permanent marker. 
We use balloons for decorations, entertaining, art therapy, occupational therapy, educational and etc. The most often we use balloons for decorations and entertaining. And when we talk about entertaining, the first thing that comes on my mind it's games. There are many games with balloons that we can play indoor or outdoor. You can find links to short descriptions of some games at www.fewdoit.com Most of the games very simple. Among those games only one that requires balloon twisting skills. I call this game "guess what I am making". The name of this game is self explaining. A balloon twister makes a sculpture of ... something. The players have to name what it is. The first player who names it correct wins and gets the prize-this balloon sculpture. We can play this game with any number of players. If there are too many players then we can make some restrictions: each player can keep only one sculpture. So, if player wins many times then s/he gives the prize to a player who did not win yet. As you can see, it is simple game ... for players. The balloon twister is the one who actually does the hard work in this game. It could be challenge.
We can make any balloon sculpture for this game. Though, it makes sense, for number of reasons, to make simple sculptures. To make the most fun of the game we have to make sculptures fast. And the players should be able to name the sculpture without thinking to much. The fewer balloons we use, the faster we can make the sculpture. So, the best bet is to use one balloon (OK... up to three balloons) for each sculpture. This way it takes up to 1-3 minutes to make a sculpture. Play it in fun ways, make jokes. Or just talk something to keep attention of players. You can talk about the sculpture too. It helps to guide players to the answer you want to hear.
What happens if no one names the sculpture right? Then you keep the sculpture for yourself :) or you may give it to the nicest (cutest, smallest, youngest or whatever else) kid! You are the rule maker. Our kids smart. They are going to name the sculptures fast and often in one voice. You have to decide who gets the prize. Or you can appoint an assistant (the most annoying kid) to help you.
And you can use one sculpture to make different sculptures. You can always ask just one particular player to give you the answer. We can play games in different ways. I like to use two lines of balloon sculptures for this game.
You can find inks to many sculptures presented in this tutorial at www.fewdoit.com Let's start with line that I call "three fold hat line". We are going to use three fold hat as a base sculpture. For purpose of this tutorial we are going to inflate all balloons leaving about one-inch flat tail (Pic 1).

We have to split the balloon on three bubbles of the same size. Fold the balloon three times to find the size of the bubbles (Pic 2).

I like to start with white balloon. Twist the first bubble. Twist the second bubble. Lock both ends of the chain of the first two bubbles in one lock twist (Pic 3). Ask players: Does it look like any thing that you know? It is a hat. 

Work in the same fashion using the same or a new balloon to make a hat-swan (Pic 4 and 5).


Work in the same fashion using a new balloon to make hat-swan (Pic 6 and 7). Ask players: Do you know what I am making know? A hat? It looks like one. A swan? Blue swan?! No.


Make the three fold hat (Pic 8)

Actually, whoever said that I am making a hat, was right! It is just a different hat (Pic 9).

Or that hat (Pic 10).

Or this hat (Pic 11).

Use a red balloon to make a hat (Pic 12). Ask players: Do you know what I am making now? Not a hat again!

Make an orange nose bubble and two white eye bubbles (Pic 13).

Lock all three bubbles in one lock twist (Pic 14).

Split one long red bubble of the hat on two bubbles (Pic 15).

Lock the eyes and nose between the two red bubbles (Pic 16). Ask players: Do you know who it is? Elmo!

Use a permanent black marker to draw the eyes (Pic 17). Use a blue balloon to make the cookie monster.

Use a new balloon to make a hat (Pic 18). Ask players: Do you know what I am making now? It could be the hat, but it is not.

Lock all ends of all bubbles in one lock twist (Pic 19 and 20). It is three petals flower!


Use different color (green) balloon to make the stem (Pic 21).

We can use different color balloons to make different flowers. And there are many flowers  that we can make for this matter. Ask players: Do you know what I am making now? It is not a hat, and it's not this flower. It is two flowers (Pic 22 and 23)


Use an orange balloon to make a hat (Pic 24). Ask players: Do you know what I am making now? Yeah, it looks like the hat, again. Though it is not the hat.

Make the second orange hat (Pic 25). It does look like two hats! Though it is not.

Lock both hats together (Pic 26 and 27). It is a ball! And there are games that we can play with this ball. We can use this sculpture to make a pumpkin.


Or we can lock ends of all  bubbles in one lock twist to make a flower (Pic 28 and 29).


And again, there are many flowers that we can make (Pic 30 through 33).




Use a new orange balloon to make the hat (Pic 34). Ask players: Do you know what I am making now? Yes, yes. It is the hat that is not a hat.

Twist all bubbles at the center in one move to make six bubbles of the same size (Pic 35).

Lock the opposite ends of the sculpture in one lock twist (Pic 36 through 38). It is a smaller size ball, or pumpkin, or flower if you wish.



I leave it for you to find what other sculptures we can make using the three fold hat. 
The next line I call "one balloon line" or "four bubbles chain line". Working in this line we are going to twist all bubbles of the same about thumb nail size. For purpose of this tutorial I am going to use just one balloon to show all sculptures. Though, during the game you should use one balloon to make each separate sculpture. Inflate a balloon leaving about eight-inch flat tail (Pic 39).

Twist a chain of four thumb nail size bubbles (Pic 40). Ask players: Do you know what I am making? Well, it looks a bit as a caterpillar, if you say so. Though it is not a caterpillar (you can claim that is a worm if you let the bubbles untwist ). 

Lock both ends of the chain of the last three bubbles in one lock twist (Pic 41 and 42). Ask players: Does it look like any thing? It looks like a head of dog. And we can make this dog. Or we can lock ends of all bubbles in one lock twist to make a head of a small monkey.


Let's turn the head upside-down. Now it looks like a rear part of the same dog. Or it could be the rear part of some other animal with a tail  (Pic 43).

Let's twist a chain of the next four bubbles (Pic 44).

Lock both ends of the chain of the last three bubbles in one lock twist (Pic 45). Ask players: Do you know what I am making now? It may be a horns of little deer or pikachu ears.

Let's turn the sculpture. We can make it a baby giraffe or a baby dinosaur (Pic 46 and 47).


Twist a chain of the next four bubbles (Pic 48).

Lock both ends of the chain of the last three bubbles (Pic 49). Ask players: Do you know what I am making now? It could be a doll size crown.

Let's fix the bubbles in different positions. Hey, that's the dog that we mentioned before (Pic 50 and 51).


Twist a chain of the next four bubbles (Pic 52).

Lock both ends of the chain of the last three bubbles. Ask players: Do you know what I am making now? Well, it could be a crown for the doll (Pic 53).

It could be some kind of caterpillar or monster dog with six legs (pic 54 and 55).


Twist a chain of the next four bubbles. Lock both ends of the chain of the last three bubbles in one lock twist (pic 56). Ask players: Do you know what I am making now?

We can make it a five points star, or snowflake or flower (pic 57).

Or we can make it two dogs (Pic 58). Why, don't you see two dogs here!

Oh, I forgot to make something. Twist a chain of the next four bubbles (Pic 59). Try to make the rest of the balloon of the same thumb nail size.

Lock both ends of the last three bubbles in one lock twist (Pic 60). Ask players: Do you see the two kissing/ sniffing dogs? Also, there is a different way to make kissing dogs.

Fix the bubbles in different order (Pic 61). Ask players: Do you see the two dogs? What? It is a six points star?!

Lock both ends of the chain of the first twenty four bubbles in one lock twist (Pic 62 and 63). You are right. It is a six points star. And I leave it for you to find what other sculptures we can make using just one balloon.


Game or not game. It makes sense to ask your customers this question: Do you know what I am making? Instead of trying to find what balloon they want to have. Let them find out what you are creating. They will like it. The game that you let them win! 
It takes time to find your line. Look around, learn from others: professionals or beginners. There are links to many talented artists. With regards to the line works, I suggest you to check stage performance of Scott Devis Balloon Routine. It is a highly inspirational work. Have fun and happy twisting:)
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