This week we’re teaming up with several awesome bloggers to bring you a week of Craft Closet Boredom Busters for Kids! What are those, you ask? Basically, we’ll be sharing simple crafts and activities to keep kids busy using everyday materials that you probably already have at home.

Here’s a fun homemade toy – a balloon yo-yo! I have seen these in various forms – you can make them with small water balloons or with rice in the balloons. We chose to fill ours with play dough.

How to Make a Balloon Yo-yo Toy

The boys thought that these were the BEST TOY EVER! They squished the balloons. They bounced them up and down, swung them around in huge circles, and wrapped them around their bodies.

How to Make a Balloon Yo-yo Toy

They are definitely best for playing OUTSIDE unless you have an extremely childproof house!

How to Make a Balloon Yo-yo Homemade Toy

Here’s a demonstration:

Our balloon yo-yo’s did not last long before breaking (1-2 days), but the boys were very rough with them. Still, the materials are cheap and it was the perfect boredom buster. After hearing, “Mom, will you please make me another balloon yo-yo?” fifty times this weekend, I am planning to make a second round of them today, and I’m going to try a double layer of balloons this time. I’ll update with how that goes.

Ready to make one? Here’s how to do it!

You will need:

  • Balloons
  • Baggies – foldover sandwich bags
  • Scissors
  • Mailing tape
  • Play dough
  • Rubber bands

Step 1: Here’s a neat trick for getting the play dough into the balloon!

Put a ball of play dough inside a sandwich baggie and cut off the excess baggie.

Balloon Yo-yos

Fold over the baggie and tape it.

Balloon Yo-yos

Step 2: Stretch open the mouth of your balloon. Hold the balloon open as wide as possible and stretch it over as much of the play dough ball as you can. Then stuff the rest of the play dough in with your fingers. This is where a third hand would be helpful! I had two hands stretching the balloon while also using my fingers to stuff the play dough ball into the balloon. The baggie broke on a couple of mine, but it was still much faster than stuffing the play dough in a little at a time, and I don’t think it matters if the baggie breaks. It’s just a tool for getting the play dough in there.

Tie a knot in the balloon as soon as you get the play dough in. Otherwise the play dough will start squishing back out the opening!

Step 3: Tie a rubber band onto the balloon. I wrapped the rubber band around the balloon’s neck a couple of times and then tied a knot by wrapping the rubber band around my finger. Slide the knot down so that it is tight around the balloon.

How to Make a Balloon Yo-yo

Add more rubber bands until the yo-yo is the desired length. We used one small rubber band and one large one (really large) on each yo-yo.

How to Make a Balloon Yo-Yo

Be sure to stop by the rest of the posts in the Craft Closet Boredom Busters series!

Craft Closet Boredom Busters for Kids!


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  1. Lisa @ This Pilgrim Life Jun 22, 2015

    Great idea! But really I'm just commenting to say that your son is so cute! His smile caught my eye as soon as I loaded your site. :-)

  2. Amanda Jun 22, 2015

    This is a great activity for strengthening vision when they track the balloon!

  3. Vicki Laidler Jun 28, 2015

    Wonderful idea, thanks! Will keep my 4 grandsons occupied.


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