Looking for a fun making and engineering challenge to try at home or in the classroom? Take the Balloon Car challenge and race your air-powered creations.

Balloon car activity


You will need:

  • Cardboard
  • Scissors 
  • A balloon
  • 2 round sticks (try wooden BBQ skewers)
  • 4 bottle lids of the same size
  • Tape
  • Anything you want to add to customise your car! 


1) The car is made from the craft materials, using cardboard as your base.

2) Poke the bottle lids through with the sticks, to make 4 wheels. The challenge is to find a way to  stop them flying off without stopping them spinning! Quite a challenge. Stick the cardboard base to your sticks.

3) Tape or glue a balloon on the top of the car – this is your wind-powered engine. Make sure you can either pump or blow the balloon up once it’s fixed. A trick is to insert a straw into balloon to make it easier to blow up.

4) Blow up the balloon and hold down the end so the air doesn’t escape.

5) Take your car to a flat surface and let the balloon go – the airpower should move your car along the track. 

Like all our activities, we’re giving you the basics but it’s over to you to work out how to get your balloon car moving. Follow these steps as a basic guide and it you find a snag, or a challenge, use it as an opportunity to iterate and experiment. Can’t get the balloon to blow up? Think about how the air is getting into the balloon. Can’t get the wheels to turn? Think about how they’re connected to the stick axels or whether there’s enough air power to push the weight of your car.

We hope you enjoy trying out the activity and share pictures of videos of your cars on the move with #makember on social media.