Find a really nice person at the grocery store who will help you stuff and blow up balloons and will take pictures with her camera… in case you leave yours home.
Fill a few balloons normally with helium. We have 5 kids so we filled 5 normal helium balloons.
Fill the same number of balloons with helium and a little somethin-somethin. I chose:
- 100 dollar bill – this was in a black balloon and not visible
- 1 dollar bill – the dollar could be seen.
- candy wrappers and a granola bar wrapper – oh the pain this caused.
- 5 balloons – too heavy to float, but some balloons are like that.
- chap-stick – It’s what I had in my purse – some balloons are definitely not worth holding onto!
Carefully escort the balloons to the car. This is not the time to release them heavenward.
Ask the children to describe what they see. Some of our observations were:
- Looks mysterious
- They look normal except for the polka dot one. There’s seven up top and and two below.
- There’s something inside them. There’s three yellow ones. One black one. red one.
- I think there’s candy inside. I think there is different stuff. Balloons inside the balloons.
- I saw the picture (That was from Burton who saw the text from the balloon-lady come in showing the 100 dollar bill).
Have children choose an un-filled balloon. Discuss how easy it is for balloons to get-away from us. Ask, “what should we do if we don’t want to lose it?” Let the children come up with ways to hold onto it.
Go outside and help the children write down a hope they have on their balloon. Explain that God cares about us and we can trust Him. Our balloons are like prayers. When we free them to heaven we can focus on following Jesus and doing the will of Heavenly Father. He will take care of us and our balloons.
Release the balloons.
Come back inside and play a game to decide which filled balloon each child gets.
Write the color of each filled balloon on a piece of paper (red, black, yellow) fold the papers to hide the writing.
Use dice. When someone rolls a double they can choose a paper and find out which balloon to take.
Discuss their feelings about the balloons they were given. Here were some of ours:
- Jack- good because I got the one I wanted. I wanted it because it had candy in it and I like candy.
- Max – I’m happy because it was the one I wanted. I like it. I wanted it because I saw what was inside. A dollar bill.
- Simon – Good. “Why are you pouting?” I asked. It just seems like Burton doesn’t want me to have it. I wanted the black one because it had something in it.
- Ollie- It’s flat, it doesn’t float. It has something in it – like a scroll wrapped around a dollar bill. I wanted the white one (the one Jack got) but ended up with this little guy.
- Burton – I like how it’s big so I can suck in the helium. I know what’s inside of it. I kind of wish I got the black one because I sort of think we might be trading.
Ask: What if you only got to hold onto the string forever?
- That would be boring. It would be sad because you wouldn’t get to get what’s inside.
- You might let go of it when you sleep. If you were sleeping outside it would go in the sky.
- Mine would drop on the ground.
- I would be sad because I really want the thing inside there.
- I wouldn’t be too disappointed in mine… but the black one…
Discuss that holding onto balloons may seem nice for a while. But, sometimes we have to let go so we can receive even more. Sometimes our pretty balloons will pop.
If your kids are old enough give them pins, if not you be the popper. We tried a fan to simulate wind – it wasn’t necessary. Pop them one at a time so that you can work through the results with the kids (if you don’t intend for the child to keep the $100.00, use a five instead and let them keep it! Save some pain and anguish.)
- Dollar bill – satisfying but could be traded for possibly more if given to God.
- The weighed down polka dot balloon- filled with 5 new opportunities that could only come from the balloon being popped.
- The chap-stick – a disappointment that we don’t understand. God will help us work through all that is unfair. Keep trusting.
- 100 dollar bill – sometimes what at first seems ugly and unappealing turns out amazing.
- The candy wrappers- sometimes things are not what they seem. Be careful what you hold onto. Trust Heavenly Father, He sees what we can’t. All that is unfair will be made right through the atonement.
This picture makes me so sad. I took it when I thought Jack was being playfully dramatic. He was devastated and clutched his empty wrapper that he looked so forward to. I ran to the cupboard for the stash of Halloween candy and tried to comfort him. A powerful but difficult teaching moment for him and for me.
Teach: As we rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, He can help us endure our trials, sicknesses, and pain. We can be filled with joy, peace, and consolation. All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. All that is unfair
Give each child something you know they would like. Heavenly Father does this for us as tender mercies. It could be a 30 minute screen time session, a few candy wrappers with candy inside, or 30 minutes of a game with Mom or Dad. Remind the kids that things work out for the best when we trust Heavenly Father.
“Men and women (and kids) who turn their lives over to God will find out that he can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life to God will find he has eternal life.” Jesus Christ -Gifts and Expectations