With pools across the city closed for the summer, we’re all looking for ways to beat the heat. Why not cool off while learning a little bit about absorption by making your very own Sponge Balls? Forget water balloons! These sponge balls are easy to make, reusable, and don’t leave all those little pieces of plastic lying around your yard.
Materials you need:
- 2 or 3 kitchen sponges per ball
- Rubber band or string
1. Cut each sponge into 4 equal strips. You can cut the sponges crosswise for smaller sponge balls or lengthwise if you wish the sponge ball to be larger. You should have at least 8 strips of sponge for each ball.
2. Gather all the strips together and bunch them in one hand while you tightly wrap a rubber band several times around the center of the bundle. Alternatively, you could tightly wrap and tie a piece of string or yarn around the middle if you do not have a rubber band.
3. Spread the strips evenly apart and trim any longer pieces to form a ball shape. (Larger sponge ball pictured on the left and smaller sponge ball pictured on the right.)
Sponge balls are not only some serious summer fun, they also teach younger children that some materials are able to absorb water.
Have an Absorption Race:
Set up two buckets separated by 15-20ft. Fill one bucket with water and leave the other one empty. Have children fill up their sponge ball with water and run to the other bucket to squeeze the water out. Have them predict how fast they think they can transfer the water from one bucket to the other. This could also be done in teams to see which team can fill their bucket more quickly.
- Fill a large bin or maybe a baby pool with a layer of water. Label plastic or Styrofoam plates with numbers or letters and float the plates in the water. Let the children toss the sponge ball onto specific plates for number or letter recognition.
- Play the traditional balloon toss game with each person taking a step back as they catch the ball. See how many times you can catch the sponge ball before someone drops it.