Balloon pong: Cheap, easy, and hours of fun!

In many parts of the country (and world), winter time is when kiddos need plenty of things to do indoors as it's too chilly outside. Where my grandsons live, though, indoor fun is a must in the summer as triple digit heat often prevents outdoor play.

Whatever time of year children are stuck inside with little to do—whether it's because the weather is hot, cold or rainy—balloon pong is an easy and inexpensive way to provide hours of play.

balloon games for kids 


  • Paper plates (one per child)
  • Craft sticks, the thick ones that look like triple-wide popsicle sticks or tongue depressors for giants (one per child)
  • Thick tape, such as packaging or painters tape
  • Balloons


  • For each child: Tape a craft stick to the back of a paper plate to form a paddle. Be sure stick is secure.
  • Let child decorate the plate with crayons or markers, if desired.
  • Blow up a balloon and let the kids have at it with their pong paddles.

playing balloon games

You can tell by their smiles (and blurry action shots), Bubby and Mac had a super time swatting the balloons about. For far longer than I imagined they would!

Kids will quickly come up with ideas for fun, but if at a loss, have them paddle the balloon back and forth, trying to keep the balloon from hitting the floor. Whoever lets it fall to floor gets a point. The player who reaches the previously decided on score loses.

OR, encourage the kiddos to bounce the balloon up and off their own plate again and again, counting the hits before losing the balloon, challenging themselves (or one another) to increase their score each round.

OR, play keep away: Two kids bat back and forth while another tries to nab the balloon.

OR, just watch them bat it around the house and at one another, laughing from beginning to end.

Bubby and Mac played for quite some time in the morning, when the paddles were first made (the photos above). Come afternoon, one of them noticed the balloon and the ponging about started up with equal enthusiasm again.

balloon fun

balloon pong

Note: Be sure to have spare balloons on hand for when the original one inevitably pops. Also, keep balloons (filled, deflated, or popped) away from young kiddos, babies, and pets as they're a choking hazard.

Today's question:

What's your go-to idea for indoor fun with children?