How to make a Hot Air Balloon Glitter Sprinkler & “Just Add Glitter”

Just Add Glitter book with pink and silver glitter strewn about

A Playful Book & a Hot Air Balloon Glitter Sprinkler!

After reading Angela DiTerlizzi’s “Just Add Glitter” we decided to create our own hot air balloon that could sprinkle glitter as it sped across a zip line. We were inspired by a particular page in the book that shows the little girl riding in a hot air balloon tossing glitter everywhere. I’m excited to walk you through our experiment and how it turned out, so let’s get started…

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Summary of “Just Add Glitter”

Just add glitter book opened to page of main character tossing glitter out of a hot air balloon

“Just Add Glitter” by Angela DiTerlizzi and beautifully illustrated by Samantha Cotterill is a playful book that was recommended to me by one of our Instagram followers! It is about how adding glitter to things just makes everything better. Fun rhyming text paired with out of this world illustrations that are mesmerizing. Did I also mention that you can feel the texture of the glitter on the pages! I would definitely recommend this book. Hide the glitter before you do though, lol. 😉

Hot Air Balloon Glitter Sprinkler?

You might be wondering… “What do you do with it?” or “How is this not just going to be a sensory mess?” There are many ways to answer these two common questions…

hand watercolor painting a white lantern

First, the most basic answer to “What you could do with a Hot Air Balloon Glitter Sprinkler?” is… have Very Messy Fun. Sensory play at its finest is not about “doing” something specific. It is about exploring, feeling, listening, watching, problem solving, creating, etc… This is an open-ended activity. Just as each child has their own unique personality, experience, and preference in play, the outcome of this activity is just as special.

As for the second question, Yes, this is definitely a very messy one! But, I hear you. I’ve been asked that question many times. Therefore, a detailed answer, along with strategies for successful messy sensory play, can be found by reading, “What about the Sensory Mess?”

What We Did with Our Hot Air Balloon Glitter Sprinkler…

a lantern and dixie cup hot air balloon glitter sprinkler

We tend to keep the activities as simple as possible around here. We’re not interested in complicated or costly. We are also all about fostering independence. This activity was more involved than our usual activities. My daughter & I talked about how we would create a hot air balloon. I had saved an awesome hot air balloon craft from @artcampla on Instagram, so we had an idea for the balloon. We brainstormed what we were going to use as the hot air balloon basket. And how it was going to sprinkle the glitter?

dimes glued to a dixie cup to be a hot air balloon basket

After thinking long and hard, we decided to try using a disposable dixie cup. Acknowledging that it would need some weight to help pull it on the zipline my daughter got to work hot gluing 4 stacks of 2 dimes each onto the bottom of the cup. Next she poked a hole in the center of the dimes for the glitter to pour out of. Now that we had the “basket” all ready & had our glitter ready, we needed to complete our balloon & build a zipline for it.

hot air balloon glitter sprinkler on zipline headed toward girl laying in grass with dog next to her

We purchased a white lantern & used watercolor paints to create vibrant art. My daughter and I worked together to attach yarn from the lantern “balloon” to the dixie cup “basket”. We decided to use fishing wire to make the zipline. We tied it from our deck to our geodome, from higher elevation to lower.

Did it Work?

girl holding hot air balloon glitter sprinkler

We put our finger over the hole on the bottom of the dixie cup, poured the glitter into the cup, hung it up on the zipline & got into position. My daughter did not want to be the one to let it go, she wanted to lay on the grass and have the glitter spray her. So that’s what we did.

girl holding hot air balloon glitter sprinkler

While it did work, we learned an important scientific lesson. The hot air balloon flew great, zipped right down the line, but the glitter stalled every time. We evaluated the results and determined that it really should have been funneled to work effectively. So next time we will use a funnel cup, like the kind you find on a water cooler.

I would suggest a Hot Air Balloon Glitter Sprinkler if you’re looking for a captivating & super fun outdoor activity to connect with your child.

Materials We Used

  1. “Just Add Glitter” by Angela DiTerlizzi (from the library or buy one here)
  2. White lantern
  3. Watercolor paint
  4. String
  5. Hole puncher
  6. Funnel cup
  7. Glitter
  8. Fishing wire
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

How to Make a Hot Air Balloon Glitter Sprinkler?

  1. Paint the white lantern with watercolor paints.
  2. Allow time to dry.
  3. Get a funnel cup.
  4. Punch 3 holes equal distance apart on the open rim.
  5. Tie a string of the same length from each of the 3 holes to the metal part of the lantern.
  6. Tie fishing wire from two places one higher than the other to create a zipline.
  7. Cut a small hole at the bottom of the funnel cup.
  8. Hang the lantern on the fishing wire zipline holding it from sliding.
  9. Place a finger over the small hole at the bottom of the funnel cup.
  10. Pour glitter into the funnel cup.
  11. Remove your finger and let the hot air balloon fly.
  12. Enjoy the sprinkling glitter & when its empty…Add More Glitter!
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

Wait, There’s More…

Sample of “Communicating & Connecting FREE Bonus Printable.

I believe you can easily strengthen communication skills and foster independence all while playing and connecting with your child. To help you do this; I’ve created a FREE printable for each activity called, “Communicating & Connecting”.

It will give you a list of suggestions I’ve found very helpful as a Mom & as a special education teacher; to help you build lifelong skills. Please don’t feel obligated to do everything on the list (but if you do, you’re a rockstar 😉 ).

As a Thank You for subscribing; this is a special FREEBIE for our Email Subscribers Only. 🙂 Click here if you’ve already subscribed. Otherwise, Sign Up below to get the password & access to our entire FREE Printables Library today! 😉

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