By: Rebecca Michelsen, M.Ed., MCHES, Community Outreach & Education Specialist, Penfield Children’s Center

Looking for a fun safe alternative to fireworks for children to use at an upcoming celebration. Consider making confetti poppers. This is a fun activity for 4th of July celebrations, birthdays and even New Year’s Eve parties.  Children will work on fine motor skills while decorating the toilet paper tube, scooping material into their confetti popper and pulling on the knot of the balloon to launch their confetti. These activities will aide in the development of small muscles groups that will assist with holding a cup, spoon or future writing skills. Children’s problem solving skills will also be put to the test and they experiment with the amount confetti and how far back to pull the knot of the balloon in order to launch the confetti.


  • Empty toilet paper tubes
  • Balloons
  • Scissors
  • Tape (masking tape or duct tape would work best)
  • Markers, crayons, glue, construction paper, paint, stickers, etc. – anything fun to decorate your toilet paper tube.
  • Confetti
    • Make your own confetti – use a hole puncher to make dots out of construction paper or tear up pieces of crepe paper. Leaves and flower petals also make great confetti and are environmentally friendly if using outdoors.


  1. Decorate your toilet paper tube using any fun supplies you might have at home.
  2. Take your balloon and tie off the open end of the balloon.
  3. Cut off the top third of the balloon (the side without the knot).
  4. Take the lower half of the balloon (the side with the knot) and stretch it over the end of your toilet paper tube.
  5. Add your confetti to the tube.
  6. Aim your confetti popper up and then pull back on the knot of the balloon. When you let go of the knot it will send your confetti flying!

What other types of materials could you use to make confetti?

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