Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Balloon Racers in the Park

We had our first family science day in the park on Saturday.  It was so much fun.  We had lots of friends show up and make balloon race cars.

Here's J and Big J making a prototype before everyone showed up.  J decided on the recyclable, balloon, straw, and where to attach it.

J's race car:

We got so engrossed in balloon racer making that we didn't get a chance to take photos of everyone making their race cars.  However, we got some shots of fantastic racers:

And the races!

The off-roader

This one won the distance challenge
There weren't rules against double balloons

A 4 yr old friend let's the smallest balloon racer go
It was weighed down by sand.

It decided it wanted to play in the sand

Go, go, go

Lessons learned:
  • Balloon racers don't always behave as you want them to behave.
  • Wheel alignment is a key to straight travel.
  • More balloons = more power!
  • Sweep the ground before trying your racers.
  • Make sure your cars are directed downhill (might as well work with gravity).
  • If your balloon is too powerful, add weight to help drive your car (sand, rocks, etc).
  • Don't eat ranch that has been around 15 little kids who double dip.
  • Kids LOVE cones!

We're so thankful for everyone who came to enjoy science with us this weekend.  I am hoping to make family science day a regular occurrence (hopefully with a snazzier name too).  If you are interested in joining our fun, I'm compiling an email list for our science family days in the park in the SF Bay Area.  Please email me (see link on << side bar) to request to be on this email list.

P.S. Here's a how to for our original balloon racer and why we went with the recyclables we chose.

Related Post:


  1. I like the car powered by two balloons!

    This sounds like a great time - we'd totally come if we were in the Bay Area!

    1. A smart little kid from J's preschool class did the two balloon car. I thought it was innovative. Luckily, he was one of the first to make his car, so others could have followed if they wanted. Some tried.

      I'm hoping to get my shake table made by the May day. I'm thinking spaghetti and marshmallow structures. Wish you guys could join us! I think the kids would enjoy playing science together.