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Name of Activity:

Balloon Round-Up

Purpose of Activity:

To improve the skill to strike an object with a paddle.


practice of striking skills - focusing on the following cue words: * Flat Paddle * Stiff Wrist (pretend it is in a cast) * Watch the Object

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

one paddle for each student, 2-4 folding mats, 50+ balloons

Description of Idea

Use paddles and balloons in self-space prior to this activity. Practice the underhand hit (with the face of the paddle to the ceiling). The class is divided into six teams of "farmers" scattered around the room. Each team will have their own "barn" made of two folding mats standing upright and forming a barn-like structure. Fifty plus (50+) balloons will be scattered on the gym floor. On the "go" signal, students use their paddle to round up the farm animals (balloons) and herd them into their barn. Only one balloon can be taken at a time. Once a student has a balloon, other students are not allowed to touch that particular balloon. The game continues until all balloons are in the barn. Students then return to their starting positions and sit with their paddles at rest.


Use koosh balls, a shuttlecock, a foam ball, a dead tennis ball

Assessment Ideas:

Teacher checklist observation of the cues:

1. Does the student keep the paddle flat as a pancake?
2. Does the student keep the wrist tight?
3. Does the student keep his/her eyes on the object at all times?

Teaching Suggestions:

To apply math skill integration, balloons can be worth various points and students can add the points at the end of each round.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities

larger/lighter paddle, balloon tied to chair for continuous hitting

Submitted by Christy Valentine who teaches at Pole Green Elementary in Mechanicsville, VA. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 4/26/2008.
Viewed 107437 times since 3/21/2008.

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Balloon Round-Up

Post a Comment:

Let others know how this idea went when you implemented/tried it with your kids. Include any variations, suggested teaching tips, positive comments, etc. so others can benefit from your tips. Please be helpful and positive with all comments. Look below to see all posted comments.



Previous Comments:

Mike Carney

Regards blowing up 50 balloons,
I use my electric pump with exercise ball needle. I can pump up many balloons in quick time!

Charlita Smith

I am planning on using this activity for my primary students - grades K-2 - to implement our curriculum frameworks unit - sports skills and cooperative activities. This particular lesson utilizes both. By the way, 50+ balloons are easy to air up with older kids. Thanks for a great lesson!


This game was a hit with my 1st graders. I only had about 30 balloons blown up, plus we used foam balls and yarn balls as well to make up for the 50+ balloons. The students had to roll the balls on the floor with their paddle to the barns.
Great idea/game! I will definitely use this one again! Thanks for posting!


blowing up 50 balloons is easy when you have older kids... we had the older kids blow up one balloon each in the morning classes

Christy V

I've done this with double classes and there are 25 kids per class....therefore the 50 balloons were all ready blown up prior to the class period as well as for the striking activities that took place prior to the activity. The balloons lasted for a good two weeks of course with the occasionally pop I had quite a few extras as well! Can be done just with prior planning! :)


blowing up 50+ balloons is a bit unrealistic for such an activity.

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