1. Loosen the balloon by stretching it in all directions.
If you stretch out the rubbery latex of the balloon with your hands first, it becomes much easier to blow it up by mouth afterwards. Stretching the balloon will loosen the latex, making the inflation process less resistant.
Stretch the balloon in all directions, being careful not to tear the latex. Just make sure not to stretch the balloon too much, or you risk it popping when you inflate it. A few stretches here and there will get the job done.
2. Pinch the neck of the balloon with your index finger and thumb.
This will keep the balloon in position when inflating. Grasp the end of the balloon about a quarter of an inch (1 cm) below the lip of the opening. Your index finger should be on top and your thumb on bottom.
3. Take a deep breath and “kiss” the balloon.
Use your lips to form a seal around the opening neck section of the balloon. Your lips should be just beyond the lip of the balloon opening, and pressed against your thumb and forefinger.
4. Blow air from your lungs into the balloon.
This is the same action used when puffing your cheeks with air, but the air should pass into the balloon and your cheeks should be relaxed.
- Try to keep your lips puckered and tight as you blow into the balloon. Your cheeks will fill with some air, but they shouldn't be getting really big — the balloon should!
- Think of how a trumpeter blows into his or her horn: Maintain good embouchure, or facial muscle tension, especially if your lungs are weak or you're having trouble getting the balloon to fill with air.
- Keep a tight seal between the lip of the balloon and your lips to maintain pressure.
5. Work to overcome the initial resistance.
For reasons that are up to greater scientific debate than you might think,the first blow into a balloon is always the hardest.But it will gradually expand after the initial resistance. This takes some getting used to, so keep blowing until the balloon inflates, then use that experience to guide you for the next balloon.
- If you're still having trouble blowing up the balloon after the first attempt, try tugging on the spout of the balloon gently as you blow into it for the second time.
- If you are struggling, stretch the neck of the balloon, then seal the neck of the balloon with your thumb and index finger when breathing.
6. Pinch the balloon shut if you must take a break.
If you need a breather in between blows, seal the balloon with your thumb and index finger. Then release your grip after you place the balloon back into your mouth.
7. Stop before the balloon risks popping.
When you feel the balloon is resisting further expansion, the inflation process is complete. If the neck of the balloon inflates to a significant size, this means that you have overinflated the balloon, and you'll need to let a little air out until the neck is flat again.
8. Tie it off.
When the balloon begins to strongly resist further expansion, it is time to tie the balloon. You've officially inflated your balloon. Now you can start inflating the next one — or 99!
- Pinch the balloon at the base of its neck between your index and middle fingers.
- Stretch the neck and wrap it around that index finger and your thumb.
- Feed the mouth of the balloon through the loop you’ve just created, and pull the knot tight as you pull your fingers free.