mixing up entertainment for fundraisers

Two Frugal Things You Can Do With Leftover Balloons

by Erica Cook

Balloons can add a special touch to parties and special events. However, you may find yourself with a bunch of leftover balloons. Instead of letting them languish in a junk drawer, here are two things you can do with unused balloons that can save you money.

Make Cheap Ice Packs

Instead of buying bags of ice to fill coolers at your next party, use frozen balloons to keep drinks and food cold. Simply fill the balloons with water and place in freezer, and then mix the balloons with the items in the cooler to maximize coldness. Keep some backup frozen balloons in the freezer to quickly swap out with ones that melt.

Using balloons in this way is beneficial for a several reasons. First, your guests don't have to deal with wet cans and bottles from melted ice, and you don't have worry about discarding the water or someone causing a big mess by accidentally tipping the cooler over. Second, you can reuse the balloons over and over again; just pop into the freezer between parties. Lastly, frozen balloons can also be used in place of ice packs for injuries, helping you avoid spending more money than necessary at the local drugstore.

Make a Children's Game

Another thing you can do with leftover balloons is make a simple kid's game where the child matches the expression on the balloon's face to a word on a card. This is a great game that can help kids recognize emotions.

To make this game, you'll need:

  • About 5 balloons but you can use more
  • Black marker
  • Sand or flour
  • Funnel
  • Strips of paper

Fill the balloon with sand or flour using the funnel until it's about two inches in diameter (a little bigger than a golf ball). You want to have enough space to draw a recognizable face on the surface of the balloon using the black marker. Draw different facial expression such as surprise, happiness, and anger. Write the names of the emotions on the strips of paper.

This game is good for very young or developmentally delayed kids who are still learning to express themselves or recognize feelings. You can easily expand the game by using balloons in different colors and/or write numbers on the opposite side of the face and have the child match the colors and numbers to words on the cards. This can help your kid learn about color and number names.

There's no need to let unused balloons go to waste. Use these tips to put extra balloons to good use and save money. If you need some for your next party, visit a store like Life O' The Party.