Connect with us
  • Advertisement
  • Mental Health

    Create Your Own Sensory Balls (aka “Stress Balls”)

    Published

    on

    Untitled 6 copy

    Supplies

    • Water bottle (the small 8 oz ones are the perfect size)
    • Funnel (optional)
    • 2 Balloons
    • ~1/2 cup filler material (see below)
    • Scissors

    IMG_6224

    Step 1: Fill the Bottle

    • Provide lots of options for sensory substances to select from (corn starch, flour, salt, rice, quinoa, gel, etc.)  My favorite are the soft fillers.
    • Then fill the small bottle half way (a funnel is sometimes helpful).

    Untitled 7

    Step 2: Blow Up Balloon

    • Blow up the balloon while practicing slow, deep breaths.
    • For children that are working on controlling anger, this is also a good time to teach the “anger-balloon analogy.”
    • One person pinches along the base of the neck (as to not let out the air too soon), while the other secures the balloon to the top of the water bottle.

    IMG_6227

    Step 3: Fill The Balloon

    • Pick up the bottle and flip it upside-down to fill the balloon.
    • Then pinch the balloon’s neck and  remove it from the rim of the bottle.
    • Alternatively, instead of blowing up the balloon and using a water bottle, you could put the funnel directly into the balloon (this is a little difficult if you want a larger ball)

    Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 10.35.09 AM

    Step 4: Let the Air Out

    • Pinch the neck and let the air out very slowly.  If you do it too fast then the filling may fly out (especially if you are using a soft material like cornstarch or flour).
    • Squeeze out all of the remaining air.  If there is still air inside when the balloon is tied, the second balloon will not go on correctly.
    • If the ball is not your desired size, you can blow a little more air into the balloon and put it back on the bottle to dump more filler in or out.

    IMG_6234

    Step 5: Secure The Balloon

    • Run your fingers down the neck of the balloon to push down any filling.
    • Then tie off the end of the balloon.  At this point you can be finished if you don’t mind your stress ball looking clearly like a balloon, or use a second balloon to create a rounder/sleeker look and make a rupture less likely.
    • Cut off the balloon’s tail, just above the knot.
    • Cut the neck off balloon 2 (red in the photo below) and stretch out the opening.  Put balloon 1 inside (knot-side first), and wrap balloon 2 around balloon 1.
    • Another method is to cut both ends off of a balloon, which you use to cover the tied-off end of the balloon and create a stripe down the middle. This will hide the knot and give the ball a round shape. Depending on the size of the ball, the stripe may have a tendency to slip off.  I like to double bag the ball no matter what and then add a stripe on top of that if desired.

    Untitled 7 copy

    Finished Product

    • Round out the ball with your hands and you are finished.
    • Stress balls are great because they can be used in a number of ways to meet the specific needs of a client (developing body awareness, as a sensory activity, mindfulness task, anger management, teaching progressive muscle relaxation, etc.).

    Untitled 6 copyb

    The Creative Social Worker is a child and adolescent mental health therapist with special interests in trauma, play therapy and school social work. Her blog is dedicated to sharing interventions, resources, and activities with mental health professionals, as well as raising awareness about the social work field and assisting prospective MSW students with graduate school applications.

    Advertisement

    Connect With SWHELPER

    Twitter
    Flipboard Instagram
    Advertisement

    Trending

    Advertisement
    °F
    ___
    ______
    • Low Temp. ___°F
    • High Temp. ___°F
    ___
    ______
    December 3rd 2020, Thursday
    °F
       ___
    • TEMPERATURE
      °F | °F
    • HUMIDITY
      %
    • WIND
      MPH
    • CLOUDINESS
      %
    • SUNRISE
    • SUNSET
    • FRI 4
      °F | °F
      Cloudiness
      %
      Humidity
      %
    • SAT 5
      °F | °F
      Cloudiness
      %
      Humidity
      %
    • SUN 6
      °F | °F
      Cloudiness
      %
      Humidity
      %
    • MON 7
      °F | °F
      Cloudiness
      %
      Humidity
      %
    • TUE 8
      °F | °F
      Cloudiness
      %
      Humidity
      %
    • WED 9
      °F | °F
      Cloudiness
      %
      Humidity
      %
    Advertisement

    Trending