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Balloon Air Pressure Experiments for Kids

We love doing fun projects that also teach the kids. These Balloon Air Pressure Experiments for Kids are ideal for getting kids interested in science projects and teaching them basic science!

While this is an experiment you’ll need to help with and supervise, it is going to be one you will enjoy as much as the children. It works well as an air pressure science fair project.

We love doing science activities with the kids. Some of our other favorites include the melting rainbows experiment, this unicorn density tower jar, and this candy science experiment. Find all of these and more in our list of 30 Science Activities for Kids.

Learn how to conduct a balloon air pressure experiment at home

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Balloon Air Pressure Experiments for Kids

What can you do with a balloon, a match, a piece of paper, and a jar?

Learn about air pressure, of course!

This fun science experiment shows kids how air pressure works, and what happens when the air pressure inside a jar is changed. 

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This science activity is perfect for preschool and kindergarten children. Even with supervision required, they will love learning with this cool experiment on air pressure!

Safety Note: Because this activity uses fire, children should only observe this experiment, not do it on their own.

Kids will be fascinated with how the balloon is sucked right into the jar.

Supplies for Air Pressure Experiments with balloons:

How to Conduct an Air Pressure balloon Experiment:

  1. Fill the balloon with water so that it is just too large to fit down inside the jar and rests on top.
  2. Show the kids how the balloon won’t fit through the opening. Ask the kids if they think it is possible for the balloon to enter the jar.
  3. Light a piece of paper on fire and drop it into the jar. Place the balloon on top.
    Balloon sitting on top of mason jar at start of air pressure experiment
  4. The balloon will start to shake a bit, then be sucked into the jar. It probably won’t be sucked in all the way, but about halfway into the jar.
    Balloon getting sucked into mason jar during air pressure experiments
  5. Once the fire dies and the jar cools, have the kids see if they can pull the balloon out. It will take a bit of work to get it loose!

If you want to make this even more fun for your children, let them try to draw on the balloons prior to filling with water.

You can assign each child their own balloon and do the experiment over and over.

This gives you a chance to see which balloon worked best or was most difficult to remove.

While they should all work the same, there may be slight differences, and kids will love the competitive spirit.

How to use Air Pressure Experiments to teach children:

The reason the balloon is sucked into the jar is due to air pressure.

When the piece of paper is heated, it creates hot air, which escapes around the balloon.

The hot air escaping is what makes the balloon shake at first.

But because the balloon is made of latex, no new air enters the jar, creating a low-pressure system inside the jar, which sucks the balloon inside.

Teaching your children about this phenomenon with air pressure experiments is perfect for fitting into various homeschool lessons, as well as simple play time.

It goes hand in hand with weather studies for all ages!

Even if you just do this as a fun playtime idea with your kids after school or on the weekends, it is a wonderful education element.

I love teaching with playtime, and this is definitely a great idea everyone will love.

Printable Instructions for Balloon Air Pressure Science Experiment

Balloon getting sucked into mason jar during air pressure experiments

Balloon Air Pressure Science Experiment

Yield: 1
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Intermediate

Have kids observe and learn about air pressure with this science experiment.

Materials

  • Balloon
  • Mason jar
  • Paper
  • Matches

Instructions

  1. Fill the balloon with water so that it is just too large to fit down inside the jar and rests on top.
  2. Show the kids how the balloon won’t fit through the opening. Ask the kids if they think it is possible for the balloon to enter the jar.
  3. Light a piece of paper on fire and drop it into the jar. Place the balloon on top.
  4. The balloon will start to shake a bit, then be sucked into the jar. It probably won’t be sucked in all the way, but about halfway into the jar.
  5. Once the fire dies and the jar cools, have the kids see if they can pull the balloon out. It will take a bit of work to get it loose!

Notes

This science activity requires adult supervision.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

More Science Experiments for Kids:

Fun preschool science experiment with baking soda and vinegar.

Melting Rainbow Preschool Science

Use candy to create a rainbow and get little kids excited about science.

Candy Rainbow Science

This science activity for kids only uses a couple household items.

Oil and Water Color Mixing Lab

Unicorn Density Tower

Ocean zones density jar tutorial

Ocean Zone Density Jar

Demonstrating air pressure with a balloon and a jar science activity for kids.
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Scarlet

Monday 27th of July 2020

I love this type of hands on science learning experiment. My kids will love the air pressure lesson they will get all while playing with a balloon. Big thumbs up. Thanks!

Darcy Zalewski

Friday 31st of July 2020

Thanks, Scarlet! It's a great visual for them! Hope they enjoy this activity.

Raquel

Monday 18th of May 2020

Thanks for this! We are always looking for fun, science experiments to do!

Darcy Zalewski

Sunday 31st of May 2020

The kids think this one is so neat. Thanks for commenting, Raquel!

Melissa Taylor

Monday 18th of May 2020

what a fun idea, thanks!

Darcy Zalewski

Sunday 31st of May 2020

You're welcome, Melissa! I hope you enjoy doing this experiment.

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