Anxiety,  Calming Down,  DIY

How to Make Stress Balls for your Kids in Just 3 Minutes

DIY Stress Balls with Balloons: 3 minutes is all it takes to prepare a homemade stress ball for your kids!

In this post you will learn:

  • Different benefits of stress balls 
  • Two different ways to prepare your own homemade stress balls for kids using balloons

And don’t miss my SMILEY stress balls at the end of the post ?.

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What are Stress Balls?

Stress Balls are hand size ductile balls used as manipulative and/or therapy objects.   

Squeezing and releasing the ball in your hand helps relieve tension and strengthens the muscles.

There are many types of stress balls.  Textures and shapes vary depending on its intended use (therapy, stress relief, fidget toys, sensory inputs)

Stress balls used for physical therapy may be presented in different resistance levels that help gradually improve hand strength and grip.

Stress balls are also a very popular DIY / craft activity.

Homemade stress balls may be filled with flour, water beads, rice, play dough, dry beans, or lentils, just to mention some examples.

Related Reading: How to Use Fidget Toys to Help Focus in the Classroom

Benefits of Using Stress Balls

Stress balls are a lot more than stress relief tools. They are also a useful hand therapy tool used by physical and occupational therapists.

These are some benefits of stress balls:

  • Stress relief
  • Tension relief (tense and relax muscles by squeezing and releasing a stress ball.)
  • Hand, wrist, finger rehabilitation / Assist post-injury or surgery recovery
  • Improve muscle strength
  • Improve muscle tone
  • Reduce stiffness and joint pain
  • Improve grip strength
  • Improve fine motor skills
  • Sensory input (ADHD and autism)
  • Fidget toy (Improve focus)
  • Distraction Strategy (manipulating the ball in your had may serve as a distraction strategy when worried or anxious)
  • Arthritis / Stroke rehabilitation

How to Make DIY Stress Balls for Kids using Balloons

DIY stress balls are a very popular kids’ activity.

We used them years ago to help my kid improve fine motor skills. And, they are also great fidgeting toys.

3 Minutes!

That’s as long as it will take you to produce your own homemade stress ball.

I’m going to share with you two different techniques to prepare your anxiety ball:

  1. Using a plastic bottle
  2. Using a plastic bag (my favorite – it can’t get any easier!)

I will also use a variety of ingredients (just for fun!)

  • Flour
  • Rice

And, as I mentioned before, you may use lots of other types of fillings.  You will have an assortment of interesting textures for fun sensory inputs.

  • Dry pulses (lentils, chickpeas, beans)
  • Playdough
  • Water beads

Flour Stress Ball (using a Plastic Bottle and Balloons)


  • 3 Balloons
  • Flour
  • Plastic bottle
  • Scissors
  • Funnel (to fill the bottle with flour)
  • Balloon Pump (optional – you can easily inflate the balloon yourself)
  • Glue (optional – just in case you fear the flour may spill out)


  • Inflate the balloon, twist the top and hold it close so that the air doesn’t come out
  • Fill the plastic bottle with flour using a funnel
  • Attach the balloon neck to the bottle neck
  • Turn the bottle upside-down and let the flour fill the balloon
  • Carefully let the air come out of the balloon
  • Cut off the neck of the balloon
  • Take another balloon and cut the neck off too.
  • Push the first balloon inside the second one, making sure you cover the hole in the first balloon
  • And, I repeat this step with a third balloon, just to be extra careful and prevent any flour spillage
  • (Optional) You may also add a little bit of glue to the balloon hole.

If you have any doubts, check out the video tutorial at the end of this post ?

Homemade Stress Ball with Rice (using a Plastic Bag)

Making stress balls using a plastic bag is easy and fast (probably the easiest and fastest way to do it!)

You’ll have your own homemade stress ball in just three minutes.


  • 2 Balloons
  • Rice
  • Small plastic bag
  • Scissors
  • Glue (Optional)


  • Cut off the neck of both balloons
  • Put the rice inside the plastic bag
  • Shape it as a ball and close the bag by twisting it (this will be obvious in the video below)
  • Put the plastic bag inside the first balloon
  • And now place this filled balloon inside the second one making sure you cover the open hole in the first one.
  • (Optional) In the video below, I repeat this step one more time but it is not essential.
  • (Optional) You may add a bit of glue to the balloon hole – but it is not absolutely necessary. I’ve also prepared this without adding glue at the end.

Voila! Your DIY Stress Ball is ready! 


 You can make them as fun as you want. These are my smiley stress balls? 

smiley stress balls

I prepared these ones with smiley balloons (the one with the pom-poms was just for fun, you can ‘t really squeeze it). I bought mine at my local supermarket, but they are similar to the smiley balloons here.

Would you like to buy them instead? There are some really fun squishy balls out there?


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