Stress Balls

Stress Balls

Enjoy a stress-busting activity with this stress ball craft, blending the practical with the scientific! Learn how to craft a stress ball using Oobleck, a non-Newtonian fluid that adds a fascinating twist for a science-meets-crafting experience. Feel the stress melt away as you squeeze your way to relaxation with this simple yet scientifically intriguing project.


  • Cornstarch
  • Water
  • Funnel
  • Balloons
  • Confetti 
  • Yarn
  • Sharpie Marker
  • Scissors
  • Chopstick or Pencil

Step 1: Choose a balloon and stretch it out by blowing air into it and then releasing the air. 

Step 2: Place the rim of the balloon around the small end of a funnel.

Step 3 (optional): Add a tablespoon of confetti to the inside of your balloon using the funnel. 

Step 4: Add a tablespoon of water to the funnel/balloon.

Step 5: Add a tablespoon of cornstarch to the balloon. You may need a chopstick or pencil to tap the cornstarch down into the balloon. Gently squeeze the balloon to help the cornstarch dissolve in the water.

Step 6: Add another round of cornstarch and squeeze again. Add a little more water, then more cornstarch. Keep doing this until the stress ball is the consistency you want. However, do not overfill your balloon. If the balloon is too full, pour some water out. The goal is for your balloon to feel hard when you squeeze it quickly, but it should feel like liquid when you apply gentle pressure.

Step 7: Use markers and yarn to decorate the balloon. 

Ideas to take stress balls to the next level:

  • Infuse the stress balls with calming scents like lavender, chamomile, or eucalyptus. You can add a few drops of essential oils to the filling or use scented materials.
  • Experiment with different textures for the outer layer of the stress ball. Combine smooth and textured materials or add sensory elements like beads, rice, or small rubber spikes for a unique tactile experience.
  • Use materials that glow in the dark to create stress balls with added visual appeal. This can be particularly calming in low-light situations.

Learning and Discussion Questions:

1. We made Oobleck! In this activity, we created a stress ball using a non-Newtonian fluid. What does that mean? To learn about non-newtonian fluids, watch this video.

2. Benefits of Stress Balls:

  • Have you used stress balls before? What benefits did you experience?
  • How do stress balls contribute to physical and mental relaxation?
  • Are there other tools or activities you find helpful for stress relief?

3. Mindfulness and Stress Reduction:

Mindfulness is a mental state characterized by awareness, attention, and presence in the current moment without judgment. It involves paying deliberate attention to your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and environment. Mindfulness is rooted in various contemplative traditions, including Buddhism. Still, it has gained widespread popularity in secular contexts, such as psychology and wellness.

  • How can mindfulness and deep breathing be incorporated with the use of stress balls?
  • Have you tried mindfulness techniques for stress management?
  • What are some obstacles to practicing mindfulness regularly?

Thank you to our sponsor, PNC Arts Alive!, for helping to make this video possible!

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