Living the kid life is hard, especially over summer break. All that staying up late and playing in the sun can really wear one down, and deciding what flavor ice pop to slurp on or what movie to go see really is stressful. That’s why Squoosh-O’s DIY Stress Balls, from Horizon Group, can be a true lifesaver at this difficult time.
Kids can make their own squishy stress balls with a variety of sets to choose from, including neon, galaxy, metallic, scented, jelly, and rainbow crunch. Some of the kits make a ball of pure squish, with ingredients such as soft expanding water beads, while other have more texture and crunch to them from materials like instant snow and hard plastic beads. My personal favorite is the galaxy kit, with balloons covered in starry patterns that stretch out like constellations in the night sky when filled with the silver glitter and blue and purple expanding water beads.
Recommended for ages 6 and up, each box includes everything kids need to make three or four Squoosh-O’s, making it an easy arts and crafts activity to occupy an afternoon. Each set includes four latex balloons, the ingredients (like glitter, paint, beads, etc.), and a funnel. Like any DIY project worth doing, making the Squoosh-O’s can get a little messy, which makes it all the more appealing for kids. They’re not too difficult to make—just follow the instructions to pour the ingredients into the balloon using the funnel, then fill the balloon up with water at the sink. If kids are too small to do it on their own, an adult can help knot the balloon. It only takes 10-15 minutes to complete, or maybe a little longer if the kids want to take their time. We wouldn’t want to rush it because the whole point of this is to de-stress, after all.
Depending on the kit, the finished Squoosh-O’s have to sit for one or two hours to let the beads expand before kids can squeeze them. Once the Squoosh-O’s are ready, they are little round blobs of jelly goodness that kids can mush and squish like they would with slime or squishy collectibles. It’s important to keep in mind that they are made with balloons that can pop, so kids probably shouldn’t throw them or put them in a backpack or travel bag where they can get punctured.
If kids have multiple sets, they can get more creative by mixing different ingredients, to make hybrids, like a scented neon or metallic rainbow crunchy ball. Or, kids can always add in extra tidbits they have laying around at home, like smiley face glitter or glow-in-the-dark beads.
A helpful hint is to add a drop of antibacterial soap or vinegar to keep the stress ball clean inside. Certain water sources can cause the Squoosh-O’s to mold so it is suggested to use purified water to avoid this. It’s also recommended to dispose of the Squoosh-O’s after ten days, which isn’t anything to stress over since each kit is only $5.
My stress melts away from the second as I squeeze these glorious blobs of squishable sparkles. BRB while I make a few dozen to cover my desk!