SES Volunteer's Association of Western Australia Incorporated

One Association - Many Values

Balloon Tower


Small teams are asked to build the tallest, most cost-effective, free-standing tower using just balloons and some sticky tape within a set time.


This training resource is also available as a PDF.

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People Required:
Participants: min=6 max=50


Set-up: Up to 15 min
Running/De-brief: 15 min – 30 min
Pack-up: Up to 15 min


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Hazards and Risks:

Specific Safety Notes: In addition to standard safety practices:

  • Specific Safety Notes: In addition to standard safety practices:
  • Check that the space you intend to use is safe i.e. flat, free of furniture and glass etc.
  • If the group size exceeds 12 consider running the activity with several teams at the same time.

Key Learning Points:

Equipment and Layout:

  • One packet of multi coloured balloons (20) and a roll of sellotape per team.
  • 1 Tape measure.
  • Sufficient table space is needed for each team to work on their tower.


  • Split the group into small teams (of 2 – 4)
  • Introduce the exercise by stating that the challenge is to build the tallest, most cost-effective freestanding tower
  • Explain the 10-minute time constraint
  • Explain the costs involved for the materials i.e. cost for packet of balloons, Sellfotape.
  • Assign each group their balloons. Also provide each team a briefing.
  • Reinforce the rules that the tower must be unsupported and freestanding after 10 minutes.
  • Start the activity and the timer. Give the teams a time check after five minutes and a one- and two-minute warning.

Additional Notes:

Review and Conclusion:

  • Ask how it felt to be asked to carry out the task?
  • Ask who were the leaders?
  • Ask how each participant’s confidence felt at the beginning of the task?