Building small breaks into your schedule is a great way to help children stay focused and keep active throughout the day. You can go for a short walk, do a few quick exercises, or do a brain break activity. Brain breaks are an easy way to get your preschooler moving and allow them to get out some energy. This Brain Break: Balloon Tennis Game for Preschoolers also doubles as a fun gross motor activity for your child!

Balloon Tennis Craft & Game for Kids

Recommended Grade Level:

Balloon Tennis Craft Supplies:

  • Two 4 inch paper plates 
  • 2 jumbo craft sticks 
  • 1 balloon 
  • Paint pens or markers 
  • Hot glue

Brain Break Tennis Craft

Brain breaks for preschoolers can be a good way to help them get refocused on an activity that they have become uninterested in or distracted from. Once they are finished their brain break activity they may feel refreshed and ready to tackle the activity again.

This super fun balloon tennis game just requires a few materials that you probably already have lying around your home.

It takes just a few minutes to get set up, and you can easily involve your child in the activity of creating the rackets.

Balloon Tennis Benefits For Preschoolers:

Balloon tennis is the perfect gross motor activity for preschoolers! Their attention and muscles will be engaged as they work to hit the balloon back and forth with a partner.

Gross motor activities are activities for kids that get their large muscle groups moving and help to strengthen those muscles. They can also help with coordination.

Gross motor games for preschoolers not only make great brain breaks, but can also be good occupational therapy activities.

More Activities and Games To Develop Gross Motor Skills:

  • Obstacle courses are a great physical activity for strengthening gross motor skills.
  • Bean bag toss games require children to use their larger muscle groups and hand eye coordination.
  • Have outdoor scavenger hunts where your child has to run, walk, skip, or hop to get to the clues!

How To Play Balloon Tennis with Paper Plates:


  • Two 4 inch paper plates 
  • 2 jumbo craft sticks 
  • 1 balloon 
  • Paint pens or markers 
  • Hot glue

Instructions For Assembly:

Using paint pens or markers, decorate the inside portion of both paper plates. You can make the designs match, or they can have two different unique designs.

Decorate the craft sticks or popsicle sticks to match each plate. (Letting your child help decorate and assemble are both fantastic activities for fine motor skills!)

To assemble the balloon tennis racket, use hot glue to attach the craft stick (handle) to the paper plate. Make sure the decorated side of the stick and plate are facing forward.

Blow up your balloon and you are ready to play!

Balloon Tennis Instructions:

One of the best things about balloon tennis is there don’t need to be very many rules! You can make the game fit whatever space you have available.

Each player gets a paper plate racket. Players hit the balloon back and forth!

This is an awesome indoor game for kids since it gets them moving and helps to get some energy out. Plus the balloon is a great alternative to having a ball flying through your house!

Other Ways To Use This Balloon Tennis Activity For Toddlers:

  • Have the children count how many times they can hit the balloon back and forth without it touching the ground. This is a good counting practice activity!
  • Play Minute to Win It Style! See how many times can you hit the balloon back and forth in one minute.
  • As you hit the balloon back and forth practice counting or saying the alphabet. Each player says a number or letter before they hit the balloon.
  • Take a step back after each time you hit the balloon to your partner and see how far apart you can get.
  • For another way to play, check out my friend Sarah’s fly swatter balloon tennis activity here.
paper plate tennis craft for kids

Find even more engaging activities in the Life Over C’s shop!

We now have interactive thematic lesson plans for toddlers (18-35 months) and preschoolers (3-5 years)! Get ready for fun and learning with unit lesson plans for the MOST POPULAR THEMES. Explore a variety of themed hands-on activities! Easy to follow lesson plans include activity modifications and adaptations to meet the needs of all learners. For more information, click on the graphics below:

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author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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