When you blow up a balloon yourself, it just hangs from the string. But party balloons from the store float straight up. Why? They have a lighter kind of air in them, a gas called helium. So those balloons can float about 20 miles up into the sky, almost to outer space. And they can lift things: In the craziest record ever set, 300 8-foot-wide helium balloons lifted a whole 4,335-pound house into the sky! We hope the owners weren’t in there…

*Wee ones:* Party balloons come in all different colors. See if you can find 1 thing of each rainbow color: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. How many things do you have?

*Little kids:* If you have a whole bunch of balloons, and you pop balloon number 1, then balloon number 3, then balloon number 5…which number balloon do you think you pop next? *Bonus:* What number balloons in between did you skip?

*Big kids:* If just 1 of the 300 balloons lifting that house had popped, how many balloons would have been left? *Bonus:* About how many of those 300 balloons would it take to pick up YOU? (Shortcut if needed: You can estimate the 300 balloons could lift 4,500 pounds.)

Answers:

*Wee ones:* See how many colors you can find! If you can find an item for each, you’ll have 6 things.

*Little kids:* Balloon number 7. *Bonus:* 2, 4, and 6.

*Big kids:* 299 balloons. *Bonus:* Different for everyone…300 balloons lifting about 4,500 pounds means each balloons can lift about 15 pounds. So divide your weight by 15 to solve for the number it would take to pick you up.