Balloon animals appear at carnivals, children’s birthday parties, circuses and even at some special restaurant events. Children love watching performers make them, fascinated by how a simple long balloon could turn into an animal or object. They also make fun toys afterward, especially if the children get something like swords or hats. One of the best things about twisted balloons is that when they get boring you can have fun popping them. Many one-balloon objects twist up easily and quickly, giving parents a rainy day activity for children and teachers a fun activity for students.
Inflate a long white balloon with your balloon pump by putting the opening over the end of the pump and pushing in the pump handle. Fill until all but about 4 inches of the balloon are inflated. Tie the balloon off.
Bend the balloon into a circle with the uninflated end overlapping the tied end by about 6 inches. Gently flatten the circle into an oblong shape; the tied end should be in the center of the oblong.
Pinch the oblong in one of your hands so that the knot on the knotted end is pinched securely between the two sides of the oblong.
Press down gently, using your other hand to twist the oblong three times. The result should be two smaller oblong shapes with the uninflated end and about 6 inches below it sticking up between them.
Push one oblong down and back, tucking it up inside the other oblong. This creates the swan’s body and folded wings. Gently bend the straight 6 inches into a curve; the uninflated part is the swan’s beak.
Inflate a long green balloon about halfway with a hand pump. Put the balloon’s opening over the pump’s mouth and push in the handle until the balloon is inflated. Tie off the balloon to secure it.
Hold your balloon with the tied end to the left. Curl your thumb and forefinger into a circle around the balloon about 3 inches from the knot. Pinch the balloon in the circle of your fingers and twist the knotted end three or four times to create a 3-inch bubble.
Repeat Step 2 twice behind the first bubble to create two 5-inch bubbles. You should have three joints between your bubbles. From left to right they are A, B and C.
Bend joint B so that joint A and C meet. Twist joint A and C together. Your 3-inch bubble with the knot should sit on top of the two larger joined bubbles.
Bend the two joined bubbles so they point down. Push some of the untwisted balloon behind your bubbles down and into the space between the joined bubbles to form the cobra’s chest. The small bubble forms the cobra’s head and tongue while the joined bubbles are his hood.