a peek inside the fishbowl

05 Sep, 2012

Yes, you can make your own balloons!

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy|Oh! Things!

Edited to add: Make sure you read the warning at the bottom of the post!

I bet you never thought it was possible to make your own balloons, did you? Well, I’m here to tell you that you CERTAINLY CAN.

We picked this up at FAO Schwartz in NYC this summer:

Magic Plastic

You see, I was sucked in by a demo. A young lady stood on the side of a busy aisle, like an unassailable rock in an overflowing current of crazed children, silently, calmly, peacefully, tossing a balloon of her creation up in the air, over and over again. It was so Zen.

I couldn’t help myself. I was lured in faster than you could say: WHATISTHATTHINGYOUAREHOLDING. I walked over, we got to chatting, and I left with a small package in my hot little hand.

It’s covered in warnings which obviously means it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s flammable. It’s not to be swallowed (“Not a gum”) or inhaled, and needs to be used in well-ventilated areas. It’s also to be kept away from varnished, plastic, and polished surfaces. (Er, let’s just call this an OUTDOOR TOY ok?)

First, you squeeze out a small amount of this sticky red goop and make a ball about the size of a marble. Then you press the pipe down into the centre of it and pinch it firmly around the edges.

DIY balloon

Then you blow. And then you try again, and again, because there’s a trick to it. (Hint: it’s kinda like blowing bubbles, but you need a lot more air to start you off.)

It will come out a little odd-shaped, but that’s half the fun if you ask me.

DIY balloon

At this point it will stop being so sticky. You remove the pipe and pinch the hole closed with your fingers:

DIY balloon

And there it is, your very own balloon!

DIY balloon

I’ve never seen it locally (please let me know if you have) but I do know that Magic Plastic is available on Amazon.ca* if you’re really keen.

Is that cool or what?

** Sooooo, a helpful reader pointed out that this product is probably banned in Canada. Here’s a link to more info. For what it’s worth I definitely would not recommend kids under 10 play with these kind of DIY balloon kits. And even kids over 10 should be supervised by a responsible adult.


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  • andrea tomkins: Thanks Lynn! I will keep doing it as long as I enjoy doing it. :)
  • Lynn: just chiming in to say how much I still enjoy these weekly reading lists. That Google food one was fascinating!
  • Nick: In February, only one thing is good - this is the last month of winter and spring will come soon and it will be warm)
  • Tannia: I someone today who said he played polkaroo.
  • Tannia: What was the actor's name who played polkaroo?
  • Lynn: Oh man, I can see this as my future in just a few short years. Between you and Allison (who's oldest is off in America for university), I can hardly r
  • Amy: Although what your daughter says makes sense and I'd follow her advice when you can, keep in mind that ride-sharing apps are a very recent way to trav

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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