Science Fun

Balloon Pop! Not!



  • A Balloon
  • 2 pieces of tape, each about 2 inches in length
  • Small needle or push pin (with adult supervision)


  1. Blow up balloon.
  2. Use the the two pieces of tape to make an “X” on your balloon.
  3. Carefully (with parent supervision), push needle through the middle of your “X”.
  4. Leave needle in and see how long it takes your balloon to pop.

How it Works:

What causes a balloon to pop is called catastrophic crack propagation. This really complicated sounded phrase means that the hole in the balloon widening is what makes it pop, not the fact that air is slowly being let out. When the balloon’s hole gets bigger, it rips and eventually the balloon pops. In this experiment, the tape slow down this process.

Extra Experiments:

  1. Try blowing up the balloon in different sizes. Do the bigger, smaller, or medium sized balloons last the longest?
  2. Try using different kinds of balloons. Water, regular, skinny, round, etc. Which one works the best?
  3. Try doing it without the tape. What is the difference in time of it popping compared to the one with tape?