- Balloons - ideally with printed designs and/or different colours
- White Flour
- Pressure and Force
- Fine motor skills
- Social Emotional
Step 1: Collect all materials in advance.
Step 2: Have each child choose a balloon.
Step 3: Assemble (See instructions below)
Introduce the activity with the following instructions:
“Anybody know what stress is? It is when you are worried or uncomfortable about something. Today we are going to make a balloon stress ball. This is something that is fun to play with in your hands and can help you relax when you are stressed. To get started everyone pick a balloon of your choice. Once you have your balloon, grab a funnel. Fit the opening of the balloon around the tip of the funnel. Then use a measuring cup to pour flour into the funnel. You may need one person to hold the balloon attached to the funnel and a partner to pour the flour. Use your finger to push the flour into the balloon. Once the balloon is filled as much as you’d like, make sure there is still space to tie it shut. Then pinch the balloon at the top and remove it from the funnel. Tie a knot at the top of the balloon to seal it off.”
Ages 3-5: If you work with this age group I would have the teacher hold the balloon and funnel and let the child pour the flour into the funnel. I would work in very small groups as each child will need help from an adult in the classroom for each stage of the activity.
Ages 5 and up: Have multiple funnels available so you can have the class do it all together. You can also fill a balloon up with air and have the children compare the two balloons when they’re done.
Compare and contrast the balloon filled with air versus the balloon filled with flour. How are they similar and how are they different?
1. What does the balloon feel like with flour?
2. How did the balloon shape change when you added the flour?
3. Did the balloon's color change when you added the flour?