Full of Hot Air: Hot Air Balloon Building

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In this activity, learners create a model of a hot air balloon using tissue paper and a hairdryer. Educators can use this activity to introduce learners to density and its role in why things float. This activity page features a fun how-to video that shows learners and educators how to make the hot air balloons.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue (UHU all purpose glue)
  • Ruler
  • Hot air source (good hairdryer will work)
  • Paper clips
  • Cardboard (optional to make cutting templates)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
  • Mathematics
    • Geometry
      • Plane Geometry
    • Measurement
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
    • Chemistry
      • Solutions
    • Motion and Forces
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Model Building
  • Toys
  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Children's Museum of Houston, 2010