Take balloon gross motor play to a new level with a fun and exciting paper plate balloon tennis activity for toddlers and preschoolers to enjoy!
And get to know Lindsay, in her Member Spotlight below.
More Bonding, Less Screen Time
Lindsay, our Member Spotlight, joined The Activity Room after having her second baby girl.
Like so many second time moms, Lindsay tells us she felt like she was neglecting her toddler. And she also saw screen time was increasing. “I felt like I was starting to neglect my toddler and not getting in the activities that she needed.”
“Before we joined The Activity Room, I think that we would do maybe one activity a week at most. And just kind of had a bit of a free for all.”
Lindsay spent lots of time searching on Pinterest to find an activity that was right for them. “My big struggle was finding activities that I thought were beneficial to her learning while still having fun at the same time. And it was frustrating. It was very frustrating. I would go on Pinterest all the time. And I would find these activities that I think would be fun. But I didn’t really know how to implement them. Or she wasn’t interested.”
She came across a FREE 5-Day-Challenge on Facebook for The Activity Room. She joined it on a whim. After that challenge she had had so much fun she decided to sign up for a year! “I jumped at it. Because I was like this just made our week so much better.”
“I want to do activities to have less screen time. We do have too much screen time here. It has gotten a lot better. And for that bonding time, too. And also so that she can learn some things. Learn her alphabet and numbers and still have fun. But a lot of it is the bonding time. I know that she enjoys that. And I do too.”
Activities with A Toddler & Baby
Lindsay tells us she has created a good routine now and her daughter asks for an activity every day. She has created a system that really works for her with baby and toddler. “In the beginning it was a bit of a struggle. But now we do it right at her sister’s nap time. And as soon as I come down from putting her sister down for a nap, she’s like, what’s my craft?”
She wanted to share her tips for doing activities with your toddler and baby.
First take advantage of nap time for activities that aren’t safe or appropriate for baby. “If there’s painting or things that you don’t want your baby to be involved in, like small parts and stuff, do it during baby’s nap. And then you can have that one on one time with your toddler.”
Secondly look for the activities that you want to let your baby join in on. “Whether it’s mess free painting, or jello digs or things that the baby can also be part of. I know, my baby loves any sensory activities. She’s really into it. And then she wants to join in too. So that’s fun too when we can all do it together as well.”
For example, if you are trying Lindsay’s balloon tennis activity below you can definitely have an extra balloon and even racket for baby to play with. If your baby is crawling encourage them to chase their balloon too! If baby isn’t crawling tie the balloon to the tennis racket and watch them explore both.
A Fun Mom
“I’m more of a fun mom than I was before, just because we are doing these activities and we do them together. And I think that’s a big thing. It’s that one-on-one time with my daughter. That and we’re learning so much about each other while doing this, too. Like I’m learning about her. And she’s learning about me as a mom. I think it’s really changed a lot.”
Not only does Lindsay feel like a fun mom, but she is less stressed and more organized. Doing an activity every day is manageable now. And she feels the support of the Members Only Community to keep her going if she gets down!
“Joining The Activity Room has helped me stay more organized. It’s saved a lot of my time from having to search on Pinterest and other areas. Now I just go on the website and find out what our week’s activities are, and get those ready. And then look and see what other people are doing too and add those into there as well.”
“It’s helped me stay positive too. The people in the community. When you get discouraged, you can just post that, and everybody is always so uplifting. And, it’s helped me. I think that’s one of my favorite parts is just the community that’s in there as well.”
Activities Don’t Have to Stress You Out
“The Activity Room has changed the way I feel about doing activities. I always, always stressed out about it before. And now I’m not stressed.”
Lindsay also tells us she can come up with activities now on her own on a whim. Often times her toddler will come to her later in the day asking for an activity. This used to be stressful and may have just led to more screen time. Not anymore.
“I’m like, Okay, let’s go see what we have. And we’ll throw something together. Whereas before, I wouldn’t have really been able to do that.”
Just like she did with her balloon tennis activity at the end of this post.
“I think it’s just amazing what The Activity Room has done to really bring everybody together. And to create a fun environment for even the parents who are doing this. It’s not just for the children, I don’t think. We have a great time together and a great time getting to know other people as well.”
Let’s Meet Lindsay
How many kids do you have and how old are they?
I have a 3 year old (in April) and a 1 year old both girls!
Why do you love doing activities with your kids?
I love doing activities with my kids because it’s a structured fun time we have together. My 3 year old looks forward to this time and asks for her activity daily! I love seeing her having fun and watching her learn so many new things and new skills.
How long have you been in The Activity Room?
I joined in October 2020.
What is your favorite activity you’ve done in The Activity Room?
I think my favorite activity was the sock snowball fight. We did it as a whole family and there was so much laughing. My daughter has asked for it several times.
What’s your favorite thing to do with your kids when you get a few moments?
My favorite thing to do with my kids is to have a dance party, play tag or hide and seek. These are my girls favorite favorite things to do and always brings them so much joy.
What’s your best tip for doing activities with your kids?
My best tip is to follow your child’s lead. Sometimes they aren’t in the mood for a certain activity, sometimes the activity doesn’t go as planned but in its own unique direction, sometimes one activity can lead into another and another. I am learning there really isn’t any #activityfail. Every activity, successful or not, is a learning experience for both me and my daughter. Which in my books is a win.
If you were to tell a friend about The Activity Room, what would you say to them?
The Activity Room is a game changer for me.
Before the activity room we would do crafts and planned activities occasionally.
Now with the Activity Room we do planned and intentional activities every single day! It has brought me and my daughter closer. It has saved me time and energy. I have seen my daughter learning so much and enjoying it!
Balloon Tennis Activity
This balloon tennis activity is so simple and perfect for developing hand eye coordination while having fun together indoors!
Supplies Needed to Make Your Own Balloon Tennis Activity
- A balloon
- 2 paper plates
- Sticks for a handle: Paint stir sticks, or Wooden spoons, etc.
- Hot glue for extra security (Optional)
- Markers if you want to decorate your tennis racket (Optional)
- A table or string
How to Prepare Your Balloon Tennis Activity
Start off by decorating your tennis racket (paper plate) if you are choosing to do that.
Next glue or tape your handle (stick) onto the back of the paper plate. Make sure it’s strong enough to handle swatting a balloon.
Blow up your balloon to desired size.
Tie a string between two chairs for a balloon tennis net.
You can also tape a line in the center of a table for table top balloon tennis.
Time to Play Your Balloon Tennis Activity
Now that your balloon tennis activity is prepped it’s time for some gross motor fun!
Stand on either side of your net and try to hit the balloon back and forth with your homemade tennis rackets.
Keep score for added counting practice.
Make it even more exciting by having a score board posted on the wall with butcher paper or bring in a white board or chalk board.
Go crazy and make up fun or silly balloon tennis player names.
We did not use a net or table when we played because we were mostly working on hand eye coordination and keeping the balloon in the air.
She wasn’t able to direct the balloon for a back and forth game yet but we ran all over the place.
My daughter won the tennis game since she was really good at chasing the balloon and keeping it off the ground after a few practice rounds.
We learned a bit about static electricity during this activity too! A bit of a balloon science experiment.
Avelyn loved this balloon tennis activity.
A few times Avelyn hit the balloon really high with her tennis racket and it would stick to the ceiling. She was really fascinated by this and kept trying to get it stuck on the ceiling.
She loved running around after the balloon. And, seeing how long we could keep it from touching the floor.
She also enjoyed trying to bounce the balloon off my head!
She loves almost anything that involves balloons.
My favorite part of doing this activity with her was laughing with her. There was a lot of giggles and running around for us.
She laughed really hard when I would miss the balloon or if it bounced off my head.
It gave us both the chance to let loose and just be silly together.
The Activity Room is such an uplifting, encouraging and creative environment. It has been the best investment in my daughter! I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first joined but it has exceeded my expectations.