Squeezy play-dough balloons – fiddle, squeeze and stretch


Inspired by Somewhatsimple’s Wacky Sacks I made a few squeezy play-dough stress balloons for my class today.

I have a few kids in my class that find it very difficult to sit and listen attentively. So I’m always looking for fiddle toys that I can use during carpet time. I’m a big fan of fiddle toys (not for all children, but for some…), because for many of my kids the biggest challenge is “to sit”, without wiggling around, jumping up, continuously uncrossing their legs – … 5 skills to become a good attentive listener? Definitely IEP goals for many of them.

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I love to give my fidgety kids something to keep their hands busy – because if their hands are busy, most often their legs are not. Maybe they are not giving a lot of attention at the beginning, because they are so excited about the toy, but eventually they will shift their focus to the activities I’m doing, even join in, while this little fiddle toy does “my work” of keeping them seated.

So here they are … my version of squeezy sensory stress balloons filled with play dough (less mess than balloons filled with flour or water!)


I made a batch of non-sticky play dough. Honestly, I don’t use any certain recipe to make play dough, it is always a mixture of salt, water, flour and corn-starch – I mix until I’m happy :)!

Today I used
1 part salt
5 parts water (dissolve salt in water)
X parts flour (I added flour, until I got a soft, almost non-sticky dough)X parts cornstarch (I added cornstarch, until the dough wasn’t sticky anymore)


Squeezy balloons preparation

And now the messy part: Stretch the balloon as wide as you can and stuff the play dough inside. It helps a lot if you have a second person to stuff the play dough / stretch the balloon.

You can add a face using a sharpie, but I  prefer to keep most of the balloons without it, because some of my kids will try to chew or bite them (I know them…the surprise will be salty ;)…).

The balloons feel super soft, and it’s very calming and relaxing to squeeze and stretch them into all directions!

I’m so exited to try the balloons tomorrow! Let’s see how many of them will survive the day.



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