Specific Heat Capacity
Properties of Matter

Flame Balloons

Enrichment Activity for 5-11 11-14

What you need

  • An adult (only do this experiment with a responsible adult and only hold the balloon over the flame for a short time*)
  • Two balloons
  • Some water
  • A tea light
  • Matches


  1. Place the tea light on a flat surface and light it. Make sure it is away from anything flammable or electrical.
  2. Blow up one of the balloons and hold it over the flame. The balloon will pop!
  3. Add some water to the second balloon and then blow it up. What happens when you hold this balloon over the flame?

Results and Explanation

It doesn’t pop as the heat from the candle is transferred to the water. Water takes a long time to heat up, so it stays relatively cool and stops the rubber from getting so hot it bursts.

These experiments have not been specifically safety tested for home use but we believe them to be safe if the instructions are followed. Adult supervision or direction is recommended as appropriate. All experiments are carried out at your own risk.

Specific Heat Capacity
appears in the relation ΔQ=mcΔθ
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