DIY Snowman Stress Balls

Nov 28, 2016

My kids love to fidget with small objects, especially anything they can squish or squeeze. My oldest son in particular craves deep pressure (or proprioceptive sensory input if you are familiar with the term), so I often find him squeezing and squishing things with his hands or even his feet. That's why we use stress balls as a fidget for him.

These homemade snowman stress balls are the perfect sensory fidget for him and he finds them calming, they're also so easy to make!

Three white balloons that have yet to be inflated, a black Sharpie and an orange Sharpie on a blue table

Here's what you'll need:

  • white balloons
  • black and orange permanent markers
  • funnel
  • materials to fill the balloons (rice, epsom salt, play dough, aloe vera gel, beans, water beads, or anything similar)

Slide the end of the balloon onto the funnel and start adding your fillings to the balloons. Make sure you choose fillings that can fit through the hole in your funnel. If you are going to fill the balloons with a liquid like aloe vera gel, and the bottle has a pump, simply slide the end of the balloon onto the end of the pump. Then pump the liquid directly into the balloon!

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I made three snowman stress balls and used rice, epsom salt, and aloe vera gel for them. The aloe vera gel one was a favorite for the kids. Although I highly recommend not using aloe vera for younger kids that might be tempted to squeeze it too hard as it may explode and get everywhere. I personally enjoyed the feel of the epsom salt stress balls the best. Experiment with a variety of textures to see which ones your kids prefer to squeeze.

A child's hand squeezing a snowman stress ball

Once you've filled the balloons with the fillers of your choice, tie the end of the balloon. Then draw a snowman's face on the stress ball using permanent markers. Let the marker dry a few seconds before squeezing to avoid the color rubbing off on little hands.

Then let the kids squish and squeeze the stress balls!

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Stress balls like these adorable homemade snowman ones are great for strengthening hands and providing proprioceptive sensory input. They're a great fidget for kids who need to fidget. Or if you have an anxious child, you can use these DIY stress balls as a calm down tool. Just add it to a calm down kit for your kids!

A child squeezing a snowman stress ball

We also like to use some of these homemade stress balls as an alternative to bean bags (just not the ones filled with liquids!) For instance, my kids enjoy tossing them back and forth to work on hand-eye coordination or throwing them up in the air and trying to catch them.

Article Author Dyan Robson
Dyan Robson

Read more from Dyan here.

Married to her high school sweetheart, Dyan is mom to two boys, J and K, who also teaches piano out of her home. On her blog And Next Comes L, Dyan shares her story of raising a child with hyperlexia, hypernumeracy and autism, amongst a variety of sensory activities for kids. You can find out more about their story on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.


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