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Name of Activity:

Fun with balloons

Purpose of Activity:

The purpose of this activity is to reinforce the childrens' concept of laterality (left and right sides of the body) as well as overall body awareness (parts of the body).


Children should have a basic concept of their left and right sides of their bodies.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

One large balloon for each student; extra balloons if one of them pop; the song "Hokey Pokey"; other upbeat song; CD/cassette player.

Description of Idea

Review with students which hand is their "left" and "right". (As a visual aid, the pointer finger and the thumb on the left hand, when held at a 90-degree angle to each other in front of the body, makes a capital "L".) It may be very helpful to show students how your right is their left when you are facing them, because it is like looking in a mirror (this will help when they perform the "Hokey Pokey".

Explain to students they will be using different body parts to strike the balloon with. After students get a balloon and are in a self space, call out challenges such as,

*Show me how you strike the balloon with your (left) hand.
*Lets see who can strike the balloon with their (right) foot.
*Strike the balloon upward with your head!
*Can you use your behind to strike the balloon?
*Strike the balloon with your (right) elbow.
*Strike the balloon with your (left) shoulder.

Once this is completed by touching upon all areas of the body, have the students put their balloons away and make a circle and then dance the "Hokey Pokey"!

Assessment Ideas:

Observe students as they are perform the balloon activity and the "Hokey Pokey" to see if they are using the correct limbs and the correct left and right sides of their bodies. Make a note of those students who are NOT able to readily distinguish between their right and left.

Teaching Suggestions:

As students come into the gym, you may want to put a small sticker on either their right or their left hand. This can help them quickly and easily remember which hand is which!

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Students with limb difficulities can hit the balloon with whatever body parts they have available to move.

A partner can touch their balloon to the other student's (right or left) limb.

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Submitted by Jackie Chase in Frostburg, MD. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 9/23/2001.

Viewed 109607 times since 8/24/2001.

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