Happy Birthday! What do you mean it’s not your birthday? Well, let’s pretend it IS your birthday. That way we can have a party with hats and cake and our favorite craft of all time. What are we talking about? Balloon animals, of course!

Balloon animals are created by people called balloon artists, balloon benders, or twisters. They have a special talent in a skill called balloon modeling or balloon twisting.

Balloon modeling is the art of twisting special modeling balloons into almost any given shape. Balloon animals are particularly popular. However, all sorts of other balloon creations are possible, from balloon hats to balloon buildings!

Balloon artists create their crafts in a variety of locations. You’ll often find them at popular children’s restaurants, birthday parties, and fairs. Watching them work is just as much fun as playing with their finished creations.

Some balloon artists practice single balloon modeling. This means they create their crafts out of just one modeling balloon. Others like multiple balloon modeling, which means they use more than one modeling balloon to create more elaborate balloon sculptures.

Advanced balloon artists have developed many different types of special techniques to create more complicated balloon sculptures. Like all art, balloon modeling is limited only by the imagination of the artist!

If you want to give balloon twisting a try, you’ll want to get some special modeling balloons. These balloons have been developed to be easier to twist. They also come in special sizes that make them easier to turn into popular shapes.

If you’ve ever blown up a lot of balloons for a party, you might remember feeling lightheaded after blowing up your third or fourth balloon. Can you imagine how lightheaded a balloon artist might feel after just a few minutes? To avoid this feeling, many balloon artists now use hand pumps or compressed gas tanks to blow up their balloons.

So how did all this balloon artistry get started? No one knows for sure. Several historians believe the art may have gotten its start with Herman Bonnert from Scranton, Pennsylvania, who some believe started twisting balloons into animal shapes at magicians’ conventions in the late 1930s.

Others believe the ancient Aztecs may have been the first balloon artists. Of course, they didn’t have the kind of balloons we have today. They created their own homemade balloons from the dried and inflated bladders of dead animals. Yuck! We wouldn’t want to blow up one of those!

28 Join the Discussion

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  1. Question: Why does he make the dog balloon like that, and not normal with just balloons or is he just fooling around?

    I think: I think tomorrow’s video will be about elephants, because today it was about balloon animals. (laugh out loud) So, I think it will be a little bit similar.

    • Hello, Byancah-LaN’aye! Yes, we think he was just fooling around. 😉
      Be sure to check out the Wonder article that goes along with the video. We think you will find it very interesting! Keep WONDERing with us!

    • We agree with you, Bryce! That is a fascinating fact from today’s Wonder. We are so glad that you learned something new today! :-)

  2. Wow, that is really weird that the Aztecs would use inflated bladders as balloons. I think it is really interesting that we still don’t know who first invented balloon animals!

  3. Dear Wonderopolis,

    We predict that tomorrow’s wonder of the day will be about planets Or going into outer space.

    Thanks so much,
    Ms. Davidson’s Science B

  4. The animal the boy made wasn’t out of a balloon. We thought it was going to be that way.
    Whose dog was in the video? Was it the boy’s, or was it someone else’s dog?
    It looked like the boy had a lot of fun blowing up the balloons!
    What was the boy’s name?
    Why did the boy say stop laughing?
    Tucker liked the dog with the balloons sticking to him.
    Arthur thinks the boy is silly.
    Toren thinks it’s cool how the balloons stick to the dog.
    Kaci liked it when the boy put balloons on his head.

    • Happy Wonder Wednesday to Mrs. Goneau’s Class! Today’s video was certainly a funny one! Do you think you could create your own Wonder video? It looks like it would be a lot of fun! Thanks for WONDERing with us, today! 😀

  5. Hi Wonderopolis. I really thought today’s article was very cool and awkward. I can’t believe the Aztecs made the first balloons with dried animal bladder. That was TMI though. Try not to dig deep into the facts, it could get embarrassing.:D XD wellllllll BYE!!!!!!!

    • Hello, Wonder Kid! We like your use of the word “awkward”! What a great Wonder Word! We also agree that discussing animal bladders may be TMI. 😉 Thanks for WONDERing with us Wonder Kid!

  6. Funny video!
    Can you teach me how to make a happy face that you did with Tammiah and
    I think the next wonder is going to be about chocolate! I just did a wild guess. :)

  7. Awesome article, I think this is very interesting that they used dried animal bladder for making balloon animals. BTW i think the video is very funny!

  8. I love making balloon animals and I was wondering if you could make more articles about balloon animals? Thanks

    • We are so glad that you enjoyed this Wonder, Carolinel1780! Do you think you could come up with a new question about balloon animals? If so, please be sure to post it to the “What Are You Wondering” section of Wonderopolis for an opportunity to become a written Wonder of the Day! Thanks for sharing, Wonder Friend! :-)

    • We agree, Aaliyah! We think that is kind of creepy! We’re glad you enjoyed this Wonder! Thanks for WONDERing with us today! :-)

  9. I have never have thought of how ballones ever came to be to be. Today’s wonder really made me wonder a lot. I really liked the wonder..It was strange. :)-

    • It’s awesome to WONDER and learn new things, Jaclyn! We’re glad you are hanging out with us in Wonderopolis! We hope you have a SUPER day! :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Who invented balloon animals?
  • What can you make with balloons?
  • Can you make your own balloon animals?

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Try It Out

Ready to learn even more about balloons? Find a friend or family member to help you explore one or more of the following activities:

When you’re finished, upload a picture of your balloon animal creations to Facebook, so all your Wonder Friends can see what you made. We can’t wait to see how creative you are!

Still Wondering

Science NetLinks’ Properties of Air lesson demonstrates that air takes up space, and puts pressure, or pushes, on everything around it.

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