Balloon pop is a fan favorite game for carnivals, big events, and even parties. It’s the age old decision of which dart to use for the big day. It boils down to really only two options for darts when it comes to balloon popping.
You can either use plastic tipped, or metal tipped darts. The most important reasons for using a plastic tipped dart over metal tipped ones are that plastic tipped darts are cheaper, and potentially safer than metal darts.
Now the only question that remains is, can soft tipped darts pop balloons? The answer to this question is yes. Darts that have a plastic tip will be able to penetrate and pop a balloon almost as easily as a metal dart.
Although metal tipped darts have a small edge over the soft darts, there are a few things you can do to help increase the chances of a balloon popping while you are throwing a soft tipped dart.
What is the Balloon Pop Game?
Have you ever tried to host a party for children or adults, and wondered what kind of fun activities or games you could do to keep them entertained? Balloon popping is a fun soft tip dart game for all ages and is very easy to set up. All you need is balloons, a package of soft tipped darts, thumb tacks or tape, and a large, thick poster board.
Blow up as many balloons as you need to fit on the poster board. Using thumb tacks, attach as many balloons as you can to the board. Be sure to space the balloons out enough so that they are not touching one another. Once all the balloons are in place, you will need to find a place to set up the board.You can lean the poster board on a large tree, or place it on top of a chair depending on how big your game is.
Depending on the age of your audience, mark a space on the ground several feet away from the balloons so they know how far back to stand before throwing the darts. If you have both adults and kids playing, it may be a good idea to have two different markers.
It will be much harder for the younger audience to hit the balloons from a far distance. Have your guests line up and give them each three chances to throw a dart.
Make sure to keep a scoreboard of all the people playing. You can have your guests each throw multiple times, and once all the balloons are popped you the game is over. Tally up the points, and award the winner with some sort of price.
Tips for a Successful Balloon Pop Session
There are a few measures you need to take to help create the best experience for your guests.
Make Sure the Balloons Are Properly Inflated
Making sure all of the balloons are properly inflated is one of the most important steps to having a successful balloon pop at your party or event. Why you ask? Have you ever played balloon pop at a fair or carnival? Since prizes are on the line, the house has to make the game more difficult, and they do this by under inflating the balloons. This is a nice little carnival trick that many people aren’t even aware of.
Filling balloons with air to about 30% of their maximum inflation will make them much more resilient to being popped by darts, and this is especially so if you are using soft tipped darts. Having a low amount of air gives the balloons a more spongy and bouncy feel which will cause a higher chance of darts bouncing off the balloons.
Make sure to fill your balloons with enough air so they can easily be popped with the softer tip darts. The more inflated the balloon, the easier it will pop when a dart strikes it. This will help create a more fun and rewarding environment for you and all of your guests.
Have Backup Plastic Tipped Darts Ready
Soft tip darts are cheap for a reason. They are meant to be disposable. They won’t last very long being thrown constantly at a balloon wall. Eventually, after a few throws, the tips may start to either bend or break. This is completely normal and you should be prepared for this.
Be sure to purchase enough darts for the entire amount of time that you and your guests will be playing. The cheapest and most efficient way to do this is to buy one or two sets of darts, depending on the amount people that will be throwing darts at once. This soft tip dart set from Amazon comes with 12 darts and 50 extra tips.
When a dart tip breaks or bends, simply unscrew the tip and screw on a new one. It’s that simple. This will keep your costs low, all while being able to play hours of balloon pop.
Just because the darts are plastic doesn’t mean they can’t injure people. A plastic dart can be just as dangerous a metal dart. The primary difference is that metal darts will break the skin more easily if it were to come in contact with someone while being thrown.
If your guests are mostly kids, and safety is your main concern, you may want to have second thought about having them throw darts. There is a safer alternative to dart throwing, and it’s pretty darn creative.
Dart-Less Balloon Pop: A Safer Alternative
Did you know that there’s actually a way to play balloon pop without using any darts at all? I was amazed when I first learned about it as well. The best way to do this is to take your balloon pop board and insert either screws or nails through the backboard into the front of the board. Leave just a small amount of nail or screw exposed.
Once you have the nails or screws in place, you gently attach the balloons to the board with the nails ever so gently so they don’t pop. Once all the baloons are mounted in front of a nail or screw, you can use bean bags to toss at the baloons. The impact of the bean bags will push the balloons onto the nails causing the balloons to burst.
This is a much safer alternative than dart throwing, and can be a lot of fun. Depending on the person, this may also take more skill since you really have to aim the bean bags before throwing.
Using soft tipped darts are just about as effective at popping balloons as metal tipped darts. The benefits of using soft tip darts pretty much outweigh metal darts in every way.
Plastic darts are cheaper, safer, and will pop the balloons just fine. Just make sure that the balloons are properly inflated with enough air since too little air can cause the darts to bounce off before having a chance to penetrate through.