This cute hippo design uses one 260 balloon and one pink heart balloon. I used a gray 260 balloon, but a silver, brown, or even light purple, light green, or light blue one would work well. This is another neat way to use a heart balloon. (I’ve seen a heart balloon used similarly in a cow balloon design as well.)
To make the balloon, follow these hippo balloon instructions by Bonnie Davis.
When inflating the balloon, you’ll want to leave about a 5 inch tail. (If you leave less of a tail, you’ll run of space for the balloon to expand.)
Near the end, if you find that you’ve run out of balloon or don’t have room to make any additional twists, you can settle for only using four belly balloons (instead of five). Just deflate the remaining bubble that you don’t need, tie a knot, cut off part of the end if it’s too long, and wrap the knot around the body to hide it. Your hippo body will only be made of four bubbles and won’t be as big, but will still look pretty good.
[ Hippo balloon instructions by Bonnie Davis ]
I’ve seen some different frog designs, and here’s a pretty simple one that I like. It uses a green 260 balloon for the frog body, and a bit of yellow or white (you can use a leftover scrap) for the eyes.
See the video here. (The person in the video has also made many other videos which are available from the same site, and are worth a look.)
Comments on the video instructions: You will want to leave about a 4.5 inch tail when blowing up the green balloon. I quickly ran out of “balloon” and had to make sure not to make any bubbles too large. If you do find that you’ve run out of balloon, you can just make the two legs from a second green balloon and then attach them.
To make a simple snake: just make the head of the frog. When blowing up the balloon, leave a smaller tail (around 1.5 inches), as you won’t be making as many twists. After making the head, bend the rest of the balloon into a zig-zag shape. Push the air into the uninflated part of the balloon. I also attached an uninflated piece of leftover red balloon for the snake tongue.
I twisted some simple balloons (heart wands, flower hats, and four-legged creatures) for two special birthday girls at IHOP after our softball game one night. I used to think balloons were just for little kids, but I’m starting to see adults can enjoy them too (to my surprise!) This past summer while visiting family, I twisted some balloons for my little cousins, and I think my grandpa enjoyed them just as much. 🙂
(D commented that my friends aren’t really adults, but I disagree!)
Yesterday was my last SS class with the 4-5 year olds – they’ll be moving on to the Kindergarten class next week! They have grown so much! I made the birds above as a little gift.
Last Day of SS
We didn’t have a formal lesson, so I made up some different activities. After a review game, I talked about God’s creation and showed some pictures I had taken recently of some plants and insects, as well as pictures of my family (they happened to be in the same pile and the kids were interested,) and ended with a picture of the class.
Afterward, I brought out the balloons and made a couple simple animals, which the kids enjoyed. (Some of the kids started repeating “I want a ….” so I put the balloons away. My funny assistant replied “I want a hamburger” making the kids laugh.) I asked if they thought these animals I just made were special, and they said yes, as expected. Then, I reminded them that God created each of them and they were all super special!
Making the birds
You’ll need one 160 and one 260. I followed the directions by Twistina. (Really nice instructions and photos!) It took longer than I expected. Adding detail, such as the legs and beak, adds more time, but they sure do look really nice and colorful. It ended up taking me about 15 minutes a bird after I got the hang of it (and some popped balloons.) I was excited to use my 160s for the first time.
I simplified the design of some of the birds: I didn’t add the pinch twist at the tail for some. Also, if I had just the right amount of air left after forming the head, I didn’t break off the last bit of the balloon. I would hide that last air bubble inside the body, or make it into a little chin under the beak, which also looks pretty cool.
To make the eyes: I drew eyes with regular markers on the leftover white part of a sticker sheet and then cut them out. I added a little color to some of the eyes (although you probably can’t see it in the picture.) You can draw the eyes directly onto the balloon with a Sharpie, but I liked the look of having the white part of the eyes. You can also add eyebrows or eyelashes.
I made all the birds the day before, as I knew I wouldn’t have time to make them all during class (about 12-15 kids).
The birdies here are all packed up and ready to go, and they each survived the trip just fine.
The basic dog is a great balloon to start with if you’re new to twisting.. It is also just a great balloon to start with in general (an easy warm up.)
The basic dog is made up of ten bubbles – one for the head, two ears, neck, 2 front legs, body, 2 back legs, and a small bubble at the end to keep the back legs in place. And it only requires three lock twists – one for the ears, one for front legs, and one for the back legs.
The great thing about the basic dog is once you have it down, you can easily make variations – point the ears down to make a basset hound or make a long body for Dachshund, etc. If you make one with a really long neck and small ears, it’s a giraffe! Make a really small one with a long tail and it’s a mouse! Many other four-legged animals have the basic structure of the dog but just have slightly different legs, tail, or ears… Adjust the amount of air you pump into the balloon for a longer/shorter body.
Another great thing about the dog is that it is one of the most requested items from kids!
I twisted these balloons for one of my good work friends for her son’s doljanchi, a great big Korean celebration for a baby’s one year old birthday (lots of fun!) I’ll eventually post instructions or links to instructions for these!