Every classroom needs stress balls! These magical little balls of goo can do wonders to remind you to relax, breathe, and get through a tough moment. Oh, and they’re good for students too! 🤣
We made our original stress balls with a baking soda and conditioner recipe, featured in the first video. This is still a great recipe and an easy way to make your own stress balls, but since then, we’ve been testing different methods. So be sure to give those a try too.
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1. Make traditional stress balls with baking soda.
You probably already have most of the ingredients for this one on hand—balloons, baking soda, hair conditioner, a funnel, and markers. All you’ll do is combine 2 cups of baking soda with 1/2 cup of hair conditioner. Then you’ll have your mixture. But our two biggest must-haves are:
Why pick this one? Because it’s super easy and the texture is nice and soft. Plus, the balloons are easy for students to color on so they can create their own design.
2. Make Orbeez stress balls—just add water!
You can do this one completely on your own using Orbeez and thick balloons. However, we’ll admit that we used a kit on this one and it was 100% worth it. The balloons that came in this kit were better than any other balloons we can find as one-offs. They are incredibly thick, durable, and have a really wide opening, making them super easy to fill. They’re kind of amazing. Here’s a link to the kit:
For this, you use about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Orbeez or any water beads. Then you fill the balloon with water to the desired size. We tried to keep them smaller for little hands, but you could definitely go a bit bigger. One word of warning though: Make sure you use thick balloons or just stick to the ones in the kit because if you don’t, you’ll have quite a mess if the balloon bursts. (We learned this the hard way.)
Why pick this one? Because this was the favorite of the students who tested them out. They loved squishing the Orbeez. Also, they would be the easiest for students to do because there’s no stuffing slime down into balloons. You just put the water beads in while tiny, and then add water.
3. Make slime stress balls.
We prefer the simple three-ingredient slime recipe—glue, baking soda, and contact solution.
You’ll take 1 cup of glue and mix in 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 to 2 tablespoons of contact solution, adding more as needed. Once you have the consistency you want, put the slime in the balloon, and then tie it off.
Why pick this one? Because the consistency of this one is a fan favorite. Plus, slime is just a lot of fun to make.
4. Make mesh stress balls.
This one is oh-so addictive, and you can use it with any of the methods above. Find a piece of mesh fabric to place over your balloon. We picked some fabric up from the local craft store, but we’ve also seen people use leftover fruit bags or other material. We find that this one tends to break easily if the mesh material is too tough, so to keep that from happening, look for a softer fabric or increase the amount of conditioner in the overall mixture.