Finn has loved balloons since he was old enough to say “LOOOOON” while pointing to anything round and floating. It started as a fascination with any balloon, but for the last year, he’s been especially enamored with hot air balloon. We had several books and movies that showed them, and soon he was pointing them out everywhere from Diego’s Rescue Pack to the tiny Usborne books logo. His favorite “movie” is watching hot air balloon festival footage on You Tube. So, when our little guy turned 2, it only made sense to surprise him with a Hot Air Balloon theme birthday.
I bought a couple of inflatable hot air balloons, but frankly, the ones I made are just as cute if not cuter, and a lot more cost effective. I made them with beach balls! We also printed off a simple hot air balloon picture from online and added his name for the Happy Birthday banner and hung flags made out of construction paper and tie dyed coffee filters from previous art projects.
11 inch inflatable beach balls (69 cents each online). Yellow ductape. Small baskets (I found for 25 cents each). I folded the duct tape over so it was thin with just a little bit of stickiness and lined the bottom circle of the beach ball with it. I attached the baskets to the middle of the circle with another piece of duct tape. I slid fishing line through the closure at the top of the beach ball for an invisible string to hang it by.
Pyrex type bowl or round cake pan (I used this one) and cut part of the bottom, but a half dome would be enough.
Regular cake pan or mini pans for bottom of balloon and basket (I used pyrex bowls with flatter bottoms).
Cake Decorations: Frosting, brightly colored candies like Skittles, Nerds, Airheads Xtremes rainbow striped candy.
Aside from the normal 2 year old playtime, we had a special treat of a real live mini hot air balloon - a sky lantern. We put ours on a fishing line so it wouldn’t fly away and potentially set the neighborhood on fire. After the show, we doused it with water. The kids obviously loved the sky lantern, but we were pleasantly surprised to see how much the parents enjoyed it too!
|2 year old Finn, Enjoying his Hot Air Balloon cake|