Squeezy stress balls and thinking putty
Learn how to ground yourself, little one, and even when the world is spinning beneath your feet - you’ll stay still.
Worries be gone! With the aid of these simple sensory tools, your child will be better equipped to deal with any possible stresses that the upcoming September term brings. Make them together, breathe, and watch the malaise melt away.
Squeezy stress balls: Instructions
- Gather your materials together. You will need: four balloons, a funnel, a pencil, and a sharpie pen (optional), flour and/or rice.
- Start by blowing up one of the balloons, then allowing it to deflate again.
- Once deflated, get your child to attach the balloon to the funnel.
- Using the funnel, work together to feed your flour or rice ‘filler’ into the balloon. If the funnel clogs, gently insert the pencil into the funnel to clear it.
- When the balloon is full up to its neck, remove it from the funnel, taking extra care not to spill the contents. Tie a knot in the balloon to keep your chosen filler inside.
- Then, take another balloon and carefully cut the end of it off with the scissors, to the point where it can be easily stretched over the first balloon.
- Do this again with a third balloon, and again with a fourth. These layers will provide extra security, and help to avoid any bursts or spillages.
- Together, take it in turns to squeeze the stress ball to your heart’s content.Tell your child to imagine that any negative emotions or worries are disintegrating and turning to dust as they squeeze.
- When you’re done, pop the stress ball into your child’s school bag so that they have it to hand during tough times.
Top tip: We recommend drawing the silliest of silly faces on your stress ball – using the sharpie pen. This will bring back funny memories from the day, and further add to the comfort and familiarity of the object.
Thinking putty: Instructions
- Gather your materials together. You will need: one cup of cornstarch, a bowl, a spoon, half a cup of scented or unscented lotion, two drops of essential oil (optional), and one drop of food colouring (optional).
- Start by helping your child to add one cup of cornstarch to their bowl.
- Next, get them to squeeze half a cup of lotion into the bowl of cornstarch. They should mix this with their spoon, and then with their hands – kneading the dough until smooth.
- If you like, you can personalise the putty by adding 1-2 drops of food colouring. Calming and grounding colours like blue, violet and green work particularly well in stressful situations, as do colours that are considered comforting favourites by your child.
- Add two drops of your chosen essential oil. Soothing scents like chamomile and lavender will induce a sense of calm, while zingier, earthier scents such as lemongrass, pine, and eucalyptus, will help to clear the head and to increase concentration.
- Has your child ever noticed that people tend to scratch their heads, or stroke their chins, or play with their hair when they are dealing with something sticky or tricky? This is a thinking (wo)man’s putty, and it works in much the same way. Your child can roll, stretch and squeeze the putty whenever they feel fidgety, or whenever they are faced with a big problem they are not sure how to solve.
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- 30 minutes
- Four balloons, a funnel, a pencil, a sharpie pen (optional), flour and/or rice; 1 cup of cornstarch, a bowl, a spoon, half a cup of scented or unscented lotion, two drops of essential oil (optional), 1 drop of food colouring (optional)
- Confidence, creativity, mindfulness, resilience, logic