We have an upcoming 6 hour drive and my daughter is in that stage where she refuses to sit still. She just wants to run. To make the trip go a little easier I have been researching some new activities fit for a 16 month old that we can take in the car with us. I will be posting several of them here in the next couple of weeks. First up... discovery balls.
To make your own you will need:
filler (beans, rice, flour, etc.)
My only cost was a pack of 20 helium quality balloons I bought for $1. Helium quality balloons are nice because they are thicker and less likely to pop a hole, but any balloon would work.
Now fill your balloons up one by one. If you do not have a funnel, it is easiest if you have a helper who can shove the stuffing in while you hold the opening open. If you do have a funnel, simply stuff the spout in the opening and fill the funnel with your filler a little at a time. You'll need to continually push the filler inside the balloon down to create a little well and stretch your balloon out. Also you'll probably need to shake the filler down the spout because it tends to get a little jammed up in the spout.
When you reach your desired size, tie off and enjoy.
I have seen these balls decorated with hair and faces and it comes out pretty cute. Also one blog suggested filling with playdough which I think would be a cool substance to play with.
***Also, if you decide to make these and let young children play with them, be careful not to let them use the discovery balls as a chew toy.