Sunday, January 31, 2016

Years ago, my daughters were avid jugglers.  They made their own juggling balls called "hacky sacks."  More recently, I've discovered these cute little balls can be really helpful in calming an anxious or unregulated child.  I've named them "Squeezy balls" or "Stress balls."
To make them you need: 
-coffee grounds (I let the grounds dry out a day before I use them)

-plastic liter bottle

 Place funnel in bottle and spoon rice or coffee grounds into bottom.
 Stretch balloon over the top

 Invert bottle and squeeze until balloon in filled
 Tie securely and squeeze.
Ahh!  I feel more relaxed already.  

 Now try the same procedure using coffee grounds.

I use the Squeezy balls to help settle a wiggly child at circle time meeting or to help calm an anxious or angry child. The rice filled balloons and the coffee filled have a different feel to them.  Some children prefer the smooth, supple quality of the coffee.  Some like the slightly bumpy, harder feel of the rice.  You can also fill balloons with lentils.  Try all and see which you prefer.
These can be made with children.  They love the process!  And then they get to use the fruits of their labor.
Have fun!
- Eileen

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