The week after Labor Day feels like the start of a new year when it means Back-to-School, back to work and, sadly, the end of summer. Even though summer’s not officially over, and sunny, warm days may last through fall, I often sense a switch has been flipped and the atmosphere knows the date.
This year, that after-Labor-Day-feeling is one of uncertainty, anxiousness, and worry. How is it almost Fall and we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic? What will happen when it’s too cold and snowy to socialize, study, and exercise outside? So many questions and no clear direction has left me searching for beauty, color, patterns, humor, and cuteness (any small animal video will do). When I find them, I have to share them. Maybe the small joys will soak into our pores and in some way cleanse the filth that is our politics, divisiveness, inequality, race relations, antisemitism, economy and, yes, the virus.
Are you anxious about a new school year? Know any kids that are dreading homework? Not in school, but could use something besides yoga breaths to release stress? My daughter made her Stress Ball at camp and, since I liked it so much, she taught me how to make my own. It’s sooo fun to squish!
When my daughter was helping me fill the balloon, I said, “Wow, I didn’t think it could fit that much flour.” My teen daughter replied (visualize an eye roll and sarcastic voice), “Mom, it’s a balloon.”
DIY Stress Ball Supplies:
Stress Ball Directions:
Two people are needed. One person holds the balloon open and one spoons in the flour. Flour will get everywhere, so fill over a bowl or plate. We used a lot of flour, filling until the balloon reached a squishiness we liked.
Knot the balloon closed. Draw a face. Tie a pom-pom around the balloon knot, making sure the pom-pom knot is secured under the balloon knot.
–yarn or string, same or different colors
–cardboard (we used an old cereal box)
Fold a piece of cardboard in half. Trace a circle around a glass. Draw another circle inside, about 1 to 11/2 inches from first circle. Cut out circles.
Starting with about 2 arm spans of yarn, wrap yarn around doubled cardboard circles. If you run out of yarn and/or want to change colors, attach a new piece of yarn to old one and continue wrapping.
When yarn has been wrapped around cardboard circles several times, slip a scissors between the circles. Cut the outer perimeter of yarn.
Slip a separate piece of yarn between the cardboard circles. Keeping that piece of yarn taught, draw it to the center of circles.
Hold pom-pom yarn still while bringing taught yarn ends completely around circles. Tie tightly and knot. Remove pom-pom from cardboard.
Keep ends of knotted yarn hanging out. They will be used to secure the pom-pom to the balloon Stress Ball.