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5 Minute Stress Ball or Focus Object Craft

Today’s craft is a twofer–stress ball and/or focus object.

We have a fidgeter at our house. Her hands are a constant blur of activity. She fiddles. She fusses. She plucks and picks and drums and strums. Her hands are always moving. This is only annoying when her chosen fidget objects make noise, like when she crumples paper or makes a comb into an instrument. 

So that she does not drive us mad with tiny immutable noises, we provided her with a variety of what some teachers call “focus objects.” Many students, including those with ADD or ADHD, find these objects soothing and helpful at maintaining attention. 

With the holiday quickly approaching, many of us feel the stress of making the experience memorable for our families and loved ones. Running about town, forgetting that one ingredient after an hours long grocery store haul, the flurry of parties and events can overwhelm.

If you have a fidgety student, or if you need an object to ease some minor daily tension, this craft is for you. 

You will need: 

>> two balloons

>> scissors

>> flour or cornstarch

>> a spoon

>> a work surface

>> helpful fingers

Cut the stem off of both balloons, close to the bulb. With one hand, expand the opening. Using the spoon, scoop small amounts of flour or cornstarch into the balloon. Use the back of the spoon to smash the flour into the balloon, packing it in so that you can add as much flour as possible. Continue until you can no longer pack in anymore flour. 

Grab your helpful hands and have them open the other balloon. Place the filled balloon inside the unfilled balloon, opening first, so that flour does not spill out. See from the photos that we chose two colors; the 7 year old boy thinks it looks like an alien. 

This little project is perfect. It’s a five minute job that can be done with supplies on hand. The supplies are inexpensive and easy to find. Add a permanent marker, and you could make a set of teacher’s or office mate gifts in an evening. To spruce it up, choose holiday or team colors, or use a series of primary and intermediary colors to teach young ones how the colors blend to make new ones. 

What could be better? 


[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.primeparentsclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/JenniferBioPic.jpg

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[author_info]About the Author

Jennifer Luitwieler is the Prime Parents’ Club regular arts and crafts contributor. She likes to sew, knit, embroider, crochet, papercraft and make jewelry. She also enjoys watching kids find their own style as they play with arts and craft supplies. Jennifer’s book, Run With Me: An Accidental Runner and the Power of Poo, is available on Amazon. Find her on her blog at http://jenniferluitwieler.com, or on Twitter as @jenluit and on Facebook. [/author_info][/author]

I'm a Pittsburgh transplant in Tulsa, OK, where I live with my husband of 17 years and our 3 wild things. They are 14, 12 and 8. I keep my feet, fingers and head busy running, crafting and writing. My first book, "Run With Me: An Accidental Runner and the Power of Poo," is available on amazon and b&n.

3 Comments

  1. Jen

    October 12, 2011 at 9:15 am

    I have to say, this is one of my all time favorites. Just yesterday I used it to teach one of my children about letting go. She was frustrated about something. I asked her to grab the ball and just squeeze, as hard as she could. Told her to put all of her energy into holding on to that ball. Then I asked her to release the ball. Her fingers relaxed, her hand relaxed. Her entire body relaxed. I could see this working in birth, for chronic pain sufferers, for we who like to carry around anxiety.

    • Prime Parents' Club

      October 12, 2011 at 9:20 am

      That’s so great! It’s such a healthy way to teach kids to get rid of anger. I wish someone would’ve taught me about this. ;)

      I live in the house of ADHD all around me. I’m definitely going to make a few of these and leave them around.

      /jackie

  2. Prime Parents' Club

    October 12, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Love this idea and how easy it is. This would be a great homeschooling craft, too–teach kids about healthy ways to release stress.

    /jackie