Play ideas and activities Balloons — He poihau Stages: 3 to 5 years

Why do it?

Whakatipu booklet Te Māhuri 1, ‘Physical play’, p. 13.

Why do it? — He aha e mahi ai?

We can play with balloons with our tamariki so that they:

  • can use their big muscles and strengthen their ball handling skills when indoors
  • get practice at taking turns
  • can talk about and agree on rules for the game
  • can have fun at very little cost.

Balloon play is especially good so that tamariki get regular physical activity when it’s too wet to be outside.

How to do it

How to do it — Te tikanga mō tēnei mahi

  • Move any precious or fragile things out of the way.
  • Blow the balloon up, but not too tight.
  • Bat the balloon up with your hands as many times as you can. Count how many bats before the balloon drops.
  • Try hand-batting between you and your tamaiti.
  • Play hand-batting the balloon over a string between two chairs — lounge volleyball! How many times can you get the balloon over the string before it touches the ground?
  • Add a challenge by using a cardboard tube, like an empty cling-wrap roll, as a bat.

Using more teo reo Māori

A bat


To bat



Ki runga


Ki raro

To the side

Ki te taha


Ki tua


Ki raro





You batted the balloon 4 times!

Nāu i haua te poihau mō ngā wā e whā!

Over the string

Kei tua i te here

Behind the chair

Kei muri i te tūru

Bat the balloon over the string

Haua te poihau ki tua i te here