Floating House Challenge

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If you’ve seen the movie Up, then you’ve seen the iconic scene when Carl escapes the city in his house using of thousands of balloons. You will have your guests try to guess how many balloons it will take to lift the birdhouse in this activity. You can make the birdhouse a prize for correctly guessing how many balloons it will take to lift the birdhouse if you like. This is a fun activity for any party. It’s a new take on the how many gum balls in the glass jar activity. It may cost about $60 and the party activity will take about 15 to 20 minutes to take place.

Materials Needed:

  1. Birdhouse
  2. baby pink paint
  3. baby blue paint
  4. canary yellow paint
  5. lime green paint
  6. light orange-pink paint
  7. slate colored paint
  8. pencil
  9. ruler
  10. hook
  11. a bowl of some sort to record guesses
  12. helium filled balloons with strings

Painting Instructions

Put old newspaper over the crafting area. Put some paint on a palette. You should have either bought acrylic paint or some other sort of paint that will be able to survive the harsh outdoors. Use pencil markings to draw lines on your birdhouse that will divide it into 5 sections. Divide the birdhouse in a straight line that divides it into left and right. Next, divide your right hand side into two sections. Next, measure about three to four fingers from the roof. Mark it and then use your ruler to draw a straight line across. Use the image below for inspiration:

pixar-s-up-house-by-jarrod-joachim-dribbble-vshyrn-clipart

Paint the roof of the birdhouse first with the slate paint. Let it dry for some time and then paint the 4 quadrants. Wait for that to dry and then carefully paint the windows as you see fit. If you have the extra time and the inclination, then buy some white paint and paint on the trim.

The sides of the house are painted one of the four colors in the front of the house. Go crazy.

Once all of the paint has dried, then you should screw in a hook at the top of the birdhouse unless it already comes with one.

A normal party balloon may be able to about 4.8 grams or 0.17 ounces. One of the unfinished bird houses that I saw on Amazon weighs about 1.6 ounces. If we assume that adding the paint and hook adds enough weight to get it up to 2 ounces, then it should take a little over 12 standard party balloons to lift the bird house, but don’t share this information with your child or party guests. The fun is in guessing how many balloons it will take to lift the house.

When the party activity occurs, tie a balloon onto the hook one to two at a time as the crowd cheers on. Stop once the birdhouse has been clearly lifted off of the ground. Announce the winner at the end.

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