Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Super Bouncy Fun

Ava and Lola love super bounce balls. In fact Ava loves them so much they made it onto her Christmas wish list last year. As much fun as super bounce balls are I wasn't really keen on buying her a box of them for Christmas. I just knew that I had to come up with something a little more creative than that. Imagine my delight when I came across The Bouncing Ball Factory kit a few months back. It was absolutely perfect!

Home made super bounce balls



As soon as Ava unwrapped the Bouncing Ball Factory on Christmas morning she was keen to start making them. Of course, Christmas morning isn't really the best time to start on a science project so she had to wait a little while. Every day throughout the holidays I was met with "Can we make the super bounce balls today?". Finally we managed to find the time and squeezed it in on her last day of holidays.

Here's a look at the girls making super bounce balls...

Everything you'll need to make super bounce balls: one Bouncing Ball Factory kit and one eager child!


The Bouncing Ball Factory comes with six packets of special crystals and a ball mould. All you need to add is a glass and some water. It's pretty simple to use and only needs minimal supervision - depending on the age of your children, of course.




Start by snapping the ball mould together. It's now ready to start filling with the crystals. You can be as creative as you like and add the colours in any order. We made thick stripes, thin stripes, we mixed colours together to make new colours before adding them... We even made a few multi coloured balls by carefully shaking the crystals together after adding them to the mould. As you add the crystals you'll need to tap the mould down gently to help them settle. This will ensure that your ball comes out firm and round.

A little bit of pinky orange

Now for some yellow

A little more pinky orange

Lola helps Ava add some blue

After a little trial and error I discovered that to get your ball completely round you need to fill the mould until it is almost overflowing. Each time I thought that the mould was full I'd give it a little tap on the table and the crystals would settle creating a little space for more. We kept on adding crystals until this no longer happened. The first few balls that we made were slightly flat on the top as we didn't add quite enough of the crystals.

Once your mould is completely full it's time to immerse it in a glass of water. Carefully lower it into the water until it is completely submerged. Make sure it stays upright.

Carefully lower the full mould into a glass of water

Now wait for one minute for the crystals to work their magic and join together. Ava liked how much bigger the mould seemed when it was submerged in water!

Leave the mould in the water for one minute

The mould seems to have grown!


After one minute take the mould out of the water and leave it to rest a while. The instructions didn't give an actual time for this so I just left the ball in the mould for a few minutes. A couple of times I got distracted and left the ball in the mould for ten minutes or so. This didn't seem to cause any problems. In fact it actually made the ball a little easier to remove as it was less sticky.

Leave the mould for a few minutes before removing the ball


Carefully pull the mould apart and remove your brand new super bounce ball! You can now start the process over and get working on creating your next ball.

One brand new super bounce ball


Leave the ball to dry out a little for a few minutes and then it's ready to bounce. It's best not to leave your ball to dry on paper towel or a tissue as the wet crystals will stick to it picking up fibres. I learnt this the hard way and had to de-fluff one of our balls!

Lola and Ava show off some of the balls we made


The kit makes six balls all up. We ended up with six and a half as we didn't use quite enough of the crystals in the first few balls and had left overs. As you can imagine the half ball doesn't bounce straight but it is fun to play with! The round balls bounce really well though. Just like a store bought super bounce ball.

These home made super bounce balls will need to be stored in an airtight container to keep them from drying out completely. We've already lost a few somewhere in our apartment and courtyard so I imagine they'll be pretty dried out when (or if) we find them.

Here's a look at the girls playing with their super bounce balls out in our courtyard.

Throwing super bounce balls in our courtyard


It's kind of tricky to capture the bouncing balls clearly in a photo so here are links to a few videos...

Super Bounce Balls
Ava and Lola bouncing their new super bounce balls.

Don't throw them at me!
Ava and Lola get a little cheeky with their super bounce balls.


3 comments:

  1. Wow! That looks like so much fun! The bouncy balls are so pretty with so many colours!

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  2. Where did you get this kit at? My boys would be in Bouncy Ball Heaven!!

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    Replies
    1. I found this kit in the gift store at Curiodyssey, a science museum/wildlife park south of San Francisco, but you can also get them on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Copernicus-DIY-Bouncing-Ball-Kit/dp/B001BLGZKG
      There are a few other brands around as well that are pretty similar.
      You can also make your own bouncing balls from scratch with borax, cornstarch, glue and a few other ingredients. I've been meaning to try it but haven't had the chance yet. You can find a recipe here: http://formulamom.com/diy-bouncing-ball-craft/

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