I've seen this project on a couple other blogs and thought it would be a great way to teach my son about emotions. I found a bag of all yellow balloons at Target and it reminded me of the classic smiley face. I thought this would make the perfect canvas for all of our different faces/emotions.
All you need to make stress balls are flour, a funnel, a black sharpie and balloons. I couldn't find our funnel (figures) so I cut the bottom off of an empty water bottle and it worked just as well.
I added on colored yarn to make some fun crazy hair. The hair is just an untrimmed pom pom. Google "how to make a yarn pom pom" for simple tutorials. The colored hair came in handy because I also printed out each balls emotion in its coordinating color. This made it easier for my son to match up the ball to its emotion.
I asked him which ball feels "happy" and then explained, when we are happy, we smile!
Our little game worked well and we played it over and over again. When we were done, I threw out the little pieces of paper, but ended up having to print more out when he wanted to play again later that evening - I should have known better :o)
When not talking about emotions, these little guys are fun to squeeze, squash, smash and smoosh. Perfect for sensory play!