Squishy Sensory Balls
These are so super simple and fun to make. They've been a favorite of mine for years to make with my own kids and my clients.
It's perfect simple project that is hard to put down once you create them. All you need is balloons and play dough. Super cheap playdough is the way to go for this project. You can use homemade play dough, but but I have found that the high salt content usually crystalizes within a couple months making hard rocks within the balloon. One of normal size container can fill a regular sized balloon.
Once you have the supplies, have the kids roll out the playdough into a “snake” and then hold the balloon open for them so they can stuff they playdough in the balloon. An older child, or an adult, can do this on their own, but it’s still kinda tricky to stretch the balloon open and stuff the sticky playdough though. It can take some hand strength and practice to get the technique down!
Next, squeeze out any air and tie the balloon. Kids can then take a permanent marker and make a face (or whatever) on it. I have found, however, that the squishy balls get so well-used that the face tends to rub off pretty quickly.
The squishy sensory balls to help relieve anxiety and give the client something to fidget with. You can also create different feeling faces to discuss emotions … or write a word/name/thought that they are struggling with so they can squish and squeeze their anger out! Variations of the squishy sensory stress balls can be made by putting flour or water beads/orbees - however, those can cause much more of a mess when broken.
Give it a try! Post a photo of your own squishy stress ball or comment on the ways you like to make them.
A version of this post was originally posted on my blog, PlayDrMom in 2011.