Many years ago, before I fully realised the impact we were having on the environment with our disposable lifestyles, we would buy Jake those cheap single-use water balloons that went onto a hose. After several uses, I came to realise that a.) they were a complete waste of money and b.) that it was impossible to pick up every tiny piece that had broken away and I was left finding them in flower beds, in the grass etc for months afterwards. I very quickly put a stop to us purchasing them and I felt incredibly guilty for it each time he would see them in the shops and ask for them. I mean, I get it, it is so much fun for a child and you don’t want to let them down, but I knew I couldn’t allow this needless waste to happen in our home. So, when The Clever Cactus showed reusable water balloons on her social media channels a little while ago, I knew I had found the perfect solution! Here is a little more on what they are, how they work and what we think of them.
What Are Reusable Water Balloons?
Reusable water balloons are simply crocheted ‘balloons’. You can purchase them ready-made online or you could even have a go at making them yourself. You just need to use Bernat Blanket Yarn (according to my Google sources!) The yarn is amazingly absorbent, yet soft and light meaning it is the perfect eco solution to those plastic ones.
How Do They Work?
You simply place them in water, allow the yarn to absorb as much as required and throw!
How Can You Use Them?
They can be used in the same way as traditional single-use water balloons– in a water fight– but the great thing is, you won’t have to stop because you will never run out! Just keep a bucket of water nearby and allow your children (or adults) to dunk as required. Of course, they can also be used on targets, to knock down cans, in a game of water dodgeball, a game of tag, as a challenge to wash chalk from a wall… The list could just go on and on because children will come up with so many inventive ways in which to use them.
We drew a target on our wall using chalk and the kids had to see if they could get a bullseye (excuse the state of the garden, this was during lockdown and the regular garden games took their toll on my grass!)…
Do They Hurt?
My children are 2 and 6 and they have played with them with their cousins (5 & 7) and nobody complained that they hurt. I would probably avoid eyes and heads as you probably would with the other kind of water balloons as well as taking extra care when toddlers and babies are around.
I purchased 4 balloons from The Clever Cactus** and the first thing I noticed on opening was how lovely and soft the balloons are. They are made to a very high standard and come with full care instructions. I love the fact that they have a piece of yarn around the top to make it appear as though they have been tied, it really completes that balloon look. The boys immediately got stuck in and they had great fun. We drew a target on the wall for them to practise using them and to get used to how much water they can hold. They both did well and could easily throw them (as you can see in the photos above). William quickly found out that they were also fun for washing his toys! As I mentioned before, neither said that they hurt and they have asked to play with them all through the heatwave coming up with fun ways of cooling themselves down.
Once used, I rinse them under a warm tap just to remove the debris, mud etc that they have picked up in the garden and then I leave them to air dry. They do take a quite a while to fully dry but that isn’t an issue because their only use is to be wet so if they are damp the next time you want them, you don’t have to worry about that.
I haven’t yet washed them because they seem to come out lovely by hand but the care instructions do say that you can pop them in the washing machine at 30° with just powder (conditioner will affect absorbency) and then leave to air dry, do not tumble dry.
I think the best thing about these has to be that they are eco-friendly, we will never run out, they are zero waste and that the kids had great fun with them and will continue to do so.
Have you used reusable water balloons yet? Let me know your thoughts if you have.
**The Clever Cactus closed in 2021 but you can purchase Reusable Water Balloons over on Etsy
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