Balloon twisting is one of those impossible skills that turn out to be
not so impossible after all. It's downright easy, as a matter of fact.
You just need the right materials, the right projects and the right
teacher. Who better than the folks that brought you Face Painting?
We consulted with several balloon twisting professionals (a bunch of clowns, if you want the truth) and narrowed their repertoires down to the ten coolest projects ever. These aren't the same old static sculptures everyone's seen a million times, but rather toys, hats, props and costume pieces that inspire imaginative play.
Fairy wings, Viking helmets, magic wands... they're all here, and they are all amazingly simple to make. 40 balloons in 8 colors give you plenty of practice material, and the included balloon pump is a life-saver. Like painting faces, twisting balloons makes you a hero, at least for an afternoon.
There's nothing more gratifying than hearing a kid breathe '...awesome...' while watching you do something. It's a rare thrill, and it's your free gift with every purchase of Balloon Twisting.
Klutz was incorporated in 1977 in Palo Alto, California, by three friends from Stanford University. They began by selling sidewalk juggling lessons along with a trio of no-bounce bean bags. A week's effort earned the group $35. 'It was then we realized the sky was the limit.'
John Cassidy, the English major of the group, put the instructions in book form and titled it Juggling for the Complete Klutz. Darrell Lorentzen, the business major, wrote up the original business plan and the other partner, B.C. Rimbeaux, was assigned the task of getting a bank loan. Mr. Rimbeaux was a psychology major.
The first 3,000 books were distributed via bicycle and backpack, and sales grew from there. 'It really was a failed scam,' explains Cassidy, who remains the creative force of the company. 'Our dream was to do a book on juggling, sell a bazillion in a couple of days, buy an island and retire. It didn't work out. After a year of steady, unspectacular sales, we found ourselves staring down the barrel of a career.'
Today, how-to books from Klutz come packaged with the tools of their trade (from juggling cubes to face paints to yo-yos), and are designed for doing, not just reading. 'We think people learn best through their hands, nose, feet, mouth and ears. Then their eyes. So we design multi-sensory books,' Cassidy says. The appeal of this hands-on approach is borne out by sales figures; Klutz is a fixture on U.S. book and toy bestseller lists, and is available in 24 countries around the world.
Having expanded the offerings to include Klutz Toys, Klutz Kits, Klutz Buckets, Klutz Guides and, in 2001, an educational product line, Cassidy seems to have an unlimited supply of ideas. The inspiration? 'I marinate myself in children,' he says. 'Some years ago, I created a few. With the help of my wife' (Nancy Cassidy, the voice behind the gold-record-winning KidsSongs recordings).
In 2002, Scholastic Inc., the largest children's book publisher and distributor in the world, acquired Klutz. For those of you who collect corporate mission statements, here's the Klutz credo: Create wonderful things, be good, have fun.
For Ages: 8+ years old
For Grades: 3+
Format: Combined Pack with 2 or more items
Number Of Pages: 66
Published: 1st January 2010
Publisher: Scholastic US
Dimensions (cm): 23.9 x 22.8 x 4.4
Weight (kg): 0.42