Friday, March 16, 2012

Discovery Balls

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.
They are just like stress balls, but filled with different substances so she can discover the different textures and squishy-ness levels. So far the one filled with beans is definitely her favorite. These were a very quick project and cheap too.
To make your own you will need:
balloons
filler (beans, rice, flour, etc.)
funnel (optional)

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.

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