Editor’s note: Today, I’m honored to welcome our newest contributor Mary Kate Wallace. Mary-Kate Warner blogs at Christianity Cove, where she writes on Christian Motherhood, Homeschool Teaching, Bible Study and Sunday School Activities, and Faith and inspiring children to love God. She is also the creator of the popular “Mom Challenge” series. Enjoy this wonderful post and please join me in welcoming Mary-Kate to the CatholicMom.com family! LMH
This experiment shares the dynamics of helium and what makes a helium balloon float (and what makes a regular balloon float down). It will help children understand what happens when the Holy Spirit fills us.
Two helium balloons and two air balloons
Have four children of various ages release two helium balloons and two air balloons at the same time. They will see that the helium balloons go up and stay up when they reach the ceiling. (Be sure the strings attached to them are long enough to pull them down.) The air balloons will not rise up.
The two balloons that rose to the ceiling are filled with helium. The air around the balloons is filled with oxygen. Helium weighs less than oxygen, meaning that the helium balloons will try to rise above the air.
The other two balloons are filled with carbon dioxide, which is what you exhale after breathing oxygen in. Carbon dioxide weights slightly more than oxygen, which is why a balloon that is blown up by mouth will float to the ground.
Let us pretend that the helium represents the Holy Spirit, which Jesus promised at the end of his life, and which actually filled the disciples at Pentecost. Their spirits soared! They felt lighter than air! They were able to preach the gospel and be good and help others without feeling any burden. That’s because the Holy Spirit was doing the work inside of them.
Now let us pretend that the balloons blown up with our mouths represent negative thoughts, foul moods, meanness and lack of faith. The balloons filled with carbon dioxide will fall to the ground.
People who don’t have the Holy Spirit in their lives often “fall” into sin. They don’t feel very buoyant and happy.
Helium is like the Holy Spirit. It fills us, lifts our spirits, lifts our moods, gives us hope, and brings us closer to Jesus. Let’s be rising balloons like the Apostles on Pentecost, by letting the Holy Spirit fill our lives.
Copyright 2013 Mary Kate Warner