What's better than water Balloons... Sponge Balls!!!

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Every summer we make a large batch of sponge balls for the kids to enjoy in stead of water balloons. We do this for several reasons. Once made they can be enjoyed all summer if taken care of properly. The clean up is real easy since there aren't any little rubber balloon pieced to hunt for and pick up. The set up is also really easy. It takes under 2 minutes to make 1 sponge ball. We usually make around 40 sponge balls every summer. Once the sponge balls are made we split them into four 5 gallon buckets filled with water strategically placed around our yard. The kids grab the sponges and start attacking each other. After a couple of throws when the sponges aren't as saturated with water, the kids dip them back into the 5 gallon buckets and continue with their sponge ball fight. They can be used every day if desired, and it's a great way to cool off in the summer. We regularly have kids in the neighbor hood with ages ranging from 4 to 17 playing with these things, and we have yet to have an injury due to the sponges themselves. We have had kids slip on the lawn and run into structures we have in our yard, so I still recommend playing with caution. Also, we regularly have friends ask to borrow them for parties. Everyone who uses them seems to prefer them over water balloons.
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Step 1: Material And Supplies

Picture of Material And Supplies

Wire Ties

A pack of 4 sponges cost me .99 cents at our local grocery store. One pack of sponges will make 2 sponge balls. The wire ties can be found at your local hardware store for around $5.00 for a pack of 100. One wire tie is used per sponge ball.

Step 2: Assmebly Begins

Picture of Assmebly Begins
Take 2 sponges and rest them on top of 1 wire tie.

Step 3: Wrap The Sponge

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Wrap the wire tie around the sponges, and tighten the wire tie just enough for it to engage and not disconnect.
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The Dollar Tree by my house has 10 packs of foam sponges which are weaker for scrubbing but still make great sponge balls. After making a couple batches by your instructions I switched to half sized. The 7 year old just cuts em in half and we do the same exact thing only since they are smaller they can be held together with 2 of those tiny rubber band hair bands, triple tied. Three of the kids are out on the curb selling them for a quarter each (like a lemonade stand!). They'd sold 48 when I snapped this photo.
Thank you again for the idea. I will never tie a water balloon again. I've been giving batches away to my friends with kids. Best summer toy ever. V'd, F'd.
ClayChip (author)  donedirtcheap2 years ago
I'm glad everyone enjoyed them. Thank you so much for sharing the picture; it's priceless!!! I love the sea urchin sign, and I might have to steal that idea. Many people have asked me to make them and sell them as bucket kits, but I love the street stand idea. I'm sure my kids will be doing that this summer.
Picture I forgot to attach. Can't flip it...
Jetsom2 years ago
What an awesome idea!
Sooooo many days that we didn't have balloons available... Soooo much time wasted cleaning up afterwards.
What I wouldn't do for an afternoon of my childhood with a bucket of these water bombs!
ClayChip (author)  Jetsom2 years ago
I couldn't have said it better myself!
nindespin made it!1 month ago

I made these for my son's 7th birthday party! They were so awesome that
the kids wanted to use these instead of the water balloons. Thanks so
much! It was a water sponge pandemonium of a party. :)

This is a very fun idea. I made them back in 2013 when you first put this up and they were an instant hit. People regularly request that we bring these when we get invites to BBQ. Great job.
Ravirar1 year ago
Awesome! Way to reuse and reduce waste! You should sell this idea or get it a patent and sell them in bulk! You'll probably make a nice amount of cash!
poofrabbit1 year ago
Just wanted to say congratulations on being a finalists in the Great Outdoors Contest! We made these this summer at the camp I work for, we used fishing line instead of zip ties, zip ties would have saved more time! This was a fantastic instructable! Good luck!
ClayChip (author)  poofrabbit1 year ago
Thank you so much, and I hope the kids at your camp enjoyed playing with them!
They loved it! We think we might try some plain white shirts and some food coloring in the water and have sort of a sponge ball war next year. :)
ke4mcl1 year ago
great idea! all the fun and reusable!
Thank you so much for the idea. Works great!
tdunnavant2 years ago
Vote done!!!! Thanks for this, we're gonna love em
rmbeeson2 years ago
Just wanted to say thanks for such a great instruct able. My oldest has a latex allergy, so this makes missing out on water fights a thing of the past! :)
davisbg12 years ago
These were a success at my house.
peggyfindit2 years ago
This is awesome. Voted you in for both. Going to make these for my kiddo's 13th bday pool party! Yay!
ClayChip (author)  peggyfindit2 years ago
I'm glad you like it. Thank you so much for the 2 votes! Please let me know how the party goes.
apfeffer2 years ago
How do I vote twice?! :D
ClayChip (author)  apfeffer2 years ago
You can only vote once per contest. I entered both the outdoor contest and the toy contest, so you may cast one vote for each. Thank you in advance for your vote :)
I voted! This is the best idea I've seen in a long time. We also try to bribe the kids with a penny-a-piece to pick up the broken balloons pieces. LOL! I will be making these. Thanks for sharing!
ClayChip (author)  speloquin2672 years ago
Thank you for the vote! The clean up is the worst. Nothing spoils the fun like a lengthy clean up.
I voted! This is the best idea I've seen in a long time. We also try to bribe the kids with a penny-a-piece to pick up the broken balloons pieces. LOL! I will be making these. Thanks for sharing!
addi262 years ago
This is great! Me and my friends never have enough money to keeps buying water balloons every time we get hot! Plus this solves the problem of being allergic to latex (even though I'm not)
addi262 years ago
This is great! Me and my friends never have enough money to keeps buying water balloons every time we get hot! Plus this solves the problem of being allergic to latex (even though I'm not)
Thanks for sharing, what a great idea!
okiegirl8132 years ago
Brilliant idea!!! I have 4 boys so this will be a great way to get them out of the house this summer!! (And yes!!! No little pieces of balloon to pick up or eaten by our dog. Those can be very bad for the family pet!!) Thanks for posting!! Going to start on some today!!!
Znaffi2 years ago
I'm going to make these when i have the sponges :D
GarthBock2 years ago
Nice idea for the kids this summer ! ....oh I just gotta go there........so will there be TV show featuring your new product ??? Something like SpongeBalls Waterpants ?
ClayChip (author)  GarthBock2 years ago
LOL, my youngest likes to call them sponge bobs.
Better yet ..... Sponge Blobs !
love it!
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ClayChip (author)  HungryMustache2 years ago
Awesome!! Looks great!
made one
lhughes142 years ago
Love this idea wonderful
how do u come up with this stuff
Wow! What a great idea! Thanks for putting it on instructables!! Also, you don't have to spend half an hour filling up water balloons. You can just soak them and go! I love it! :D
MorNuN2 years ago
haven't you tried tying it with a strong cord or string??
I'm a bit concerned about the zip tie hiting someone's eye.
ClayChip (author)  MorNuN2 years ago
Honesty, I'm lousy with knots, but I bet this could be done with paracord if you're not comfortable using zip ties.I don't think I would use anything much thinner than paracord since it might just cut through the sponge. That said, I have yet to have an injury or even a complaint about the zip ties. Any way you decide to connect the sponges I'm sure you'll have fun.
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