Every classroom needs stress balls! These magical little balls of goo can do wonders to remind you to breathe and relax and to help you get through a tough moment. Oh, and they’re also good for students, too! 🤣

Here’s our favorite stress ball recipe as well as some awesome ideas for decorating them. Challenge your students to come up with their own creative ways to decorate their stress ball. You could also borrow some ideas from these painted rocks.

Here’s a quick video so you can see how we made and decorated some of these stress balls.

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What You Need

Stress Balls Supplies WeAreTeachers

  • Balloons
  • Baking soda
  • Hair conditioner
  • Spoon
  • Bowl
  • Scissors
  • Funnel (made from a plastic bottle)
  • Dry-erase markers

Mix, fill, and tie.

Stress Balls Funnel WeAreTeachers

It’s easy to make the mixture for these classroom stress balls. Mix 2 cups of baking soda with about a 1/2 cup of hair conditioner. (You can add more conditioner to make them more squishy or less to make them more firm.) Once it’s all mixed together, cut off the top end of a plastic bottle. You’ll use it as a funnel. Attach the balloon to the bottle opening and fill it with your stress ball mixture. Once the balloon is full, make sure you don’t have any air bubbles and then tie it closed. Wipe your balloon clean, and then it’s time to decorate!

Here’s a quick decorating tip: We tried lots of different markers, including permanent, and many of them smeared or didn’t hold the color for more than a few squeezes. Then we read a tip on a clown forum (yes, there’s such a thing), and we learned that dry-erase markers are the way to go. That worked for us, and we hope it works for you, too!

Make emoji stress balls. Emoji Stress Balls WeAreTeachers

Emoji stress balls are easy to make. Just grab your phone and click into your text icons. For your students, make large copies of emoji images to hang up in the front of the room. This way they’ll have something to follow without insisting they need their phones.

Make ninja stress balls. Ninja Stress Balls WeAreTeachers

This one is so awesome because it’s so simple! You just need a white mask, a few markings, and—bam!—you’ve got yourself a ninja. We like using a black balloon for this one, but you can really use any color.

Make baseball stress balls. Baseball Stress Balls WeAreTeachers

This one takes patience and a steady hand. You could also do other sports themes. Make sure you let the lines on your baseball dry before you touch them. Otherwise, you’ll see a lot of smearing.

Make mesh stress balls. Netting Stress Balls WeAreTeachers

This one is oh-so addictive. Find a piece of mesh fabric to place over your balloon. We picked some fabric up from the local craft store, but we’ve also seen people use leftover fruit bags or other material. We find that this one tends to break easily if the mesh material is too tough, so to keep that from happening, look for a softer fabric or increase the amount of conditioner in the overall mixture. If it does bust, just wash your hands and make a new one!

Share your best classroom ideas with us. Submit your photo on our WeAreTeachers Chat group on Facebook. 

Plus, get more design ideas for your stress balls from our painted rocks article

DIY stress balls for your classroom