Tuesday, June 9, 2015

4th Grade Business Day Project - Balloon Stress Balls

Oh to be in the 4th grade again!

Since so many projects come home that need parent assistance, I sort of am in 4th grade again, lol. My kids went to school through June 5 (I know...every other school had already let out!).

My son got to participate in Business Day, it is a rite of passage in their elementary school. He had to create a business plan for a product he wants to sell. Then once approved, the student had to earn "money" thru homework, projects, behavior, and grades to finance their store front. Other grades earn "money" to shop with.

They were limited to spending $15 real dollars to create their product. This year the school did not allow food products so we had to think of a fast, cheap, and easy product to make for business day. So stress balls made from balloons seemed to be a fast, easy, and cheap solution.

We bought $9 in balloons (144) at Walmart, $2 giant roll of curling ribbon, and 14 $1 boxes of cornstarch (yep we went about $10 over the limit the cornstarch per box filled about 12 balloons). I have sharpies at home and I have other filler supplies at home (cornstarch, flour, sugar, and sand). If you make these do not use water balloons they are too thin.

We found that blowing some air and then releasing it from the balloon stretches the balloon a bit and making it easier to fill. We tried normal funnels but the balloon cannot grip anything, the funnel opening was too small leading to clogs, and the small funnel didn't open the balloon up much. I had the idea to cut the top of a soda bottle so there was a small funnel and a large opening. The balloon can grab the ridges of the lid threading making it not slide off. Be sure to rinse the bottle out and dry it really good.

Once you get the balloon secured on the bottle, add a couple scoops of cornstarch from a serving spoon. I tapped the spoon on the inside of the "funnel" to encourage the cornstarch to move along into the balloon, you can also take a straw or pencil and swirl it around in the opening to make the cornstarch drop.

You tie off the balloon, rinse it off to remove the cornstarch from the outside, and let air dry. Add a curling ribbon and a face to the balloon to dress it up.

The nice part was the mess, I had cornstarch everywhere, and I mean everywhere! But it wipes up easily so does the flour.We tried a balloon with sand and it didn't fill up very good and one with sugar  and one with flour but it made a hard to squeeze stress ball. So we stuck to the cornstarch balls.

The great part of this is time flies by and anyone can do this so the entire family was willing and able to jump in to help make these in 2 nights.

My little entrepreneur was excited to get to school to sell his stress balls, he sold out in 1 hour!

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