Sunday, November 13, 2011

Balloon Animals

Behold! An animal's likeness, created from an ordinary balloon!

It's a neat trick. Like a lot of people, I've watched, impressed, as skilled hands twist and shape a long balloon into such caricatures.

And I was even more impressed recently, when my daughter began making her own balloon animals.

I'm not sure exactly where she picked this up, but I think it was at school. There is no balloon animals class, naturally. But that's where this interest of hers seems to have begun.

She started making balloon animals just a few days ago, at this writing. Or at least, I just learned of it a few days ago. She brought home a few long balloons and, in effect, said, "Look what I can do!"

And look I did, like any proud papa would.

She's always been artistically inclined. That's how she expressed herself at a very young age. If she was happy about something, it came out in her drawings; likewise if she was sad.

There is no linkage, but when she and her brother were still very small, I went through a period of making balloon animals myself. Bought a book with some of the basic steps, and began twisting away.

Most of the balloon animals I made looked pretty much the same. There's a basic a balloon animal form, and the balloon animals I made were all variations on it.

I learned to make a dog. Want to see a balloon cat? Just like a dog, but with a longer tail. A balloon giraffe? Identical, nearly, but with a longer neck.

And so on.

In a very short time, though, my daughter has surpassed my puny balloon animal abilities. I've been considerably impressed.

She's made a balloon animal monkey, a balloon animal swan, and a balloon animal mouse (or rat, we're not sure which).

She's made a balloon animal elephant, and as you perhaps can tell by the progression of photographs accompanying this text, a balloon animal teddy bear.

She made a balloon animal for me. She made a balloon animal for her mother. And for her brother, she made a balloon animal sword.

Unfortunately, the teddy bear balloon in these photos popped before she finished it. This is a hazard of twisting balloon animals. They break oh so easily!

But my daughter is not easily deterred. Gamely, she started another balloon teddy bear after this first one popped.

She finished it in about five minutes. Then she made a reindeer. And after that, she twisted a cat. The cat is in the photo at left, chasing one of her balloon animal mice (or rats – as I said, we aren't sure which).

Not too far from where we live, there is a three or four block long pedestrian mall. It's just a shopping district, really, but buskers are permitted to ply their trades for the entertainment of shoppers. You'll find musicians and jugglers and magicians, even during the winter. There's one mainstay, a contortionist, who for years has entertained onlookers by squeezing himself into a plexiglass box. (I can't stand watching him.)

Anyway, there are also balloon animal artists. Some of these people are incredible; their work far exceeds mere balloon animals. One guy, for example, twists these spirals, and somehow gets a knotted up balloon bit inside the spiral, which then spins down the inside like a toy. Quite remarkable.

I only mention this because I need to fill in some space to accommodate more pictures. For the present, I don't think my daughter aspires to the high level of balloon artistry as on that pedestrian mall ... although you never know.


  1. It was one of the first device creatures that I thought out when I was creating balloons at dining places.

  2. I like this site to make the animal balloon ant its too difficulty thats way i like very much to make this type design.Balloon Animals Thank you.