Fireproof Balloon – Kids Experiment

It’s about time we introduced fire into a few of these experiments! Which of course means (before any red flags are raised), an adult helper will is highly recommended this time around. This is the ‘Fireproof Balloon’ experiment and only requires 3 things to work:

You will need:

  • Water
  • A balloon
  • A lighter of any kind

Method:

  • Despite this being a very simple experiment, as mentioned above an adult will need to take part as well since this experiment involves fire. But before we get to that, let’s focus on the balloon. Firstly, take your balloon and stretch out the material so that it’ll be easier to blow up and tie at the end when inflated. After that, you’ll want to fill it up with as much cold water as you can.
  • With your balloon now filled with water, the next step is to inflate it and of course, tie up the end. This should result in a blown up balloon with a pool of cold water inside of it.
  • Time to tag in your adult helper, because now it’s time to play with fire! Before you go any further, be aware of your surroundings just in the case the balloon pops and the water spills out! Grab your balloon in one hand and your lighter in the other. What you’ll want to do is hover the balloon over the lighter so that the flame is directly under the pool of water inside the balloon. Gradually bring the lighter closer to the balloon and see what happens.
  • If your balloon pops, it means something went wrong! Try again with more/colder water. However, if everything has gone correctly, the balloon should be unaffected by the lighter, even when the flame is touching the outside of it. But why is that? Let’s find out in ‘The Science Bit’ segment!

The Science Bit:

To figure out why the balloon isn’t popping, we first need to understand why a balloon would pop when exposed to fire in normal circumstances. Balloons are made of rubber that gets stretched thin when inflated. When heat is applied to this rubber, it begins to melt and the air inside the balloon starts to push against the weakened rubber – causing the balloon to burst!

So how does having water inside the balloon change this? Essentially, the water inside the balloon absorbs the fire’s heat, making sure it doesn’t weaken the balloon’s rubber. Which is why cold water is recommended for the experiment, since it counterbalances the heat radiating from the flame. Anyway, we hope you enjoyed the Fireproof Balloon experiment.