Balloons are one of the best inventions in the world. They are everyone’s favorite, irrespective of age and walk of life as they lighten up the mood, create a joyful vibe, and spread happiness. Balloons are decorating items that are inflated with air to form an oval-shaped top that floats up in the air. They are tied to strings to hold from floating away.
It is a very common toy among children. They have become an integral part of any celebration, festivity, events, and parties. Balloons bring color and fun to every party and never seem to go out in style. Balloons have a long history and surprising facts that will blow your mind. Let’s get to know them!
22 Balloon Facts for kids
- Balloons are air-tight bags of various shapes made out of light-weighted latex and can be inflated with air or any gas.
- The rubber balloons of today were inspired by ancient lanterns used in 220 AD by the Chinese military.
They used to send these lanterns to send important messages to their subordinates. The lanterns had a small opening at the bottom, and the fire was lit to lift the lanterns above. These were considered the first balloons in history.
- The first balloons ever were made from dried animal bladders. They were inflated and used for cooking and other scientific purposes. Luckily they for weren’t playing.
- Michael Faraday first invented the rubber balloon. Faraday was a scientist who made rubber bags during one of his experiments.
He filled it with gas to study the rubber. The rubber bags were made out of two circular rubber sheets placed together, and the edges were held together, making them stick tightly.
He then lined the two rubber bags with flour to keep them apart. When he filled the bag with gas, the bag expanded like elastic and started becoming transparent. It slowly drifted up.
Thus after a year, Faraday gave the kids the best toy to play with, and rubber balloons swamped the markets.
- Rubber balloons were always assumed to be the miniatures of hot air balloons that saw the light in the year 1783. Scientist Pilatre De Rosier invented hot air balloons as an experiment of faster transportation.
He created them to carry passengers from one place to another and even for carrying goods to palaces. But guess what, the first passengers were a duck, sheep, and a rooster. The big hot air balloon flew for 15 minutes before it unfortunately crashed.
- Two months after the hot air balloon crashed, Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier made the first human attempt. They flew for 20 minutes straight above the prairies and did not crash. This was the start of hot air ballooning in 1783!
- Balloons were used as messengers during world war 2. Tiny papers with coded messages are tied to helium balloons to carry the message in the war field.
- Since the time balloons were discovered, they have been a strong asset to science. They were used to test different types of gases and to understand their properties.
- Helium balloons were used even on other planets too. Russian Space Investigation made use of helium balloons to transport atmosphere measuring instruments to Venus in 1985!
- The pressure inside a balloon is higher than in the environment. That’s why there is a harsh pop sound when it bursts. The air inside expands at high speed and creates a sound wave of a bang.
- Latex and rubber balloons are biodegradable. They take a minimum of 6 months to one year to decompose and degrade.
- The latex used for balloons is obtained from latex tree barks. They are collected around the year. The latex obtained from Hevea trees from Brazil has the best qualities of latex. And today, they are grown all over Malaysia and Africa.
- Farmers make shallow cuts on the tree barks and let the sap ooze out the latex. Large buckets are placed under the cuts to collect the oozing latex. The balloon latex is then filtered and mixed with alkali to avoid coagulation. Later the latex undergoes industrial processes to adjust the thickness, drying rate and fixating other properties required for balloon making.
- Different colors and antidegradants are added to the raw mixture. The dyes can be either oxide powders or organic pigments.
- Different kinds of molds are dipped into the raw liquid latex. The mold looks like a deflated balloon. The balloon molds are heated first and then are dipped into the balloon latex solution. The coagulant in the solution makes latex form a thin sheet around the mold.
- Then the rubber sheets are then cooled immediately, and the balloons are removed from the molds. Balloons are made using automated machines with controlled speeds and precise machines to make the raw mixture for the balloons.
- The coagulant used for balloon making is a solution of water, calcium-based salt, soap, and talc powder. Soap helps to keep the evenness while talc helps in easy removal of the balloon from the molds.
- Balloons are not just for fun but also to save lives. They are used in medicine. Angioplasty uses tiny balloons which are inserted into blocked blood vessels and are inflated to clear the blockage and stretch the vessel lining.
- Hot air balloons used woven material. The material is made up of cane or rattan, and the basket is made up of plywood. All the materials are lightweight and can be balanced in midair.
- Today, toy balloons come in different colors, shapes, and sizes with LED lights around. Natural latex is preferred over synthetic as it has 10 times better stretchability and elastic nature.
- Balloons made of metal films are becoming a new trend. They are made from polyester. Even though they are more durable and reliable, they are harmful to the environment. They can cause health issues if small kids try chewing them accidentally.
- The new polyester balloons can easily be printed in different shapes, sizes, and various colors. The foils are shiny and reflective, making them perfect for parties and celebrations. They last longer and cannot be filled with water.
Balloons are toys that please the small and big, rich and poor, young and old. They have become an integral part of festivity in the world. Today the balloon industry is growing, and there are no limits for creativity and types of balloons available in the market. They come in different forms, materials, and colors to bring joy and set the happy vibe in. Well, let’s grab a balloon and make your day!