Kipper the dog is 30 this year and, to mark the occasion, Hodder Children’s Books are re-releasing his first adventure: The Blue Balloon by Mick Inkpen and we are thrilled to be kicking off the blog tour to celebrate.
When Kipper and his companion find a blue balloon in the garden they think it is just a normal, soggy old balloon, until they blow it up that is. This balloon is a little different, for starters when you blow it up it gets bigger and bigger and doesn’t stop growing.
They soon find that the balloon is indestructible, and no matter what they do to it it never pops. Our favourite part is when it’s revealed that one day the balloon finally does disappear… only to return square shaped.
The two friends have so much fun with the balloon until one day it floats them all the way up into space for an adventure on the moon. This friendly pup and his imaginative tales have been delighting young readers for over a generation and this new edition is proof that he certainly hasn’t lost his charm.
With the same gorgeous illustrations that are now so well known and loved, the anniversary edition also includes some new bonus material. This story is brilliantly playful with fold out sections that extend the story and are a delight every time.
Buy Kipper The Blue Balloon from Wordery with free delivery.
Balloon Touch and Feel Sensory Activity
At the end of this story the reader is given the advice “So if you find a soggy old balloon… whatever you do don’t throw it away. Especially if it’s a blue one. You never know what it will do next.” And with that in mind the theme for this blog tour is finding creative ways to play with a blue balloon.
Our activity is based on a game we played at a brilliant STEAMM class that we go to called The Fern Club. Lots of balloons are filled with different items and it’s then up to the children to try and guess what’s inside just by feeling them. It’s brilliantly simple, easy to set up and creates so much opportunity for play and learning.
I chose 10 different things to fill our balloons up and included some that might feel similar to each other, then took photos of them all to print off. My three-year-old was the first to have a go at this guessing game and I laid out the photos of all the items so he could match them up as he felt each balloon.
It was really interesting to see which items he found trickier to work out and it provided lots of opportunities for language development as he used different words to describe what he could feel as well as explaining why he thought which item was which. “This feels soft and squishy so it could be wool.” “The things in here are flat so they must be the coins.”
For my six-year-old, I made it a bit trickier, I gave him the balloons without the pictures to see if he could figure out what was inside each one only by feeling them. There were some that were quite easy and others that he found harder and really made him think. Again, it was really interesting to hear him try and work them out based on his experiences of things he recognised.
My children loved this game so much they then started to devise their own rules for the game, asking each other to guess which balloon they were holding by telling them the properties of the item they could feel.
What would you do with a blue balloon? Be sure to check out the other posts on the blog tour for more creative ideas to do with a blue balloon.
Many thanks to Hodder Children’s Books for sending a copy of this book for review.
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