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.
Step 1: Material and Supplies
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
Take 2 sponges and rest them on top of 1 wire tie.
Step 3: Wrap the Sponge
Wrap the wire tie around the sponges, and tighten the wire tie just enough for it to engage and not disconnect.
Step 4: Reposition the Sponge
Stick your finger between the 2 sponges, and adjust the sponges so that they both slightly bow outwards.
Step 5: Zip It Up
Now that the sponges are positioned properly, tighten the wire tie as far as you can.
Step 6: Clean Up the Wire Tie
Now that the wire tie is tight, it's time to trim the excess plastic. You can use wire cutters and snip it as close to the end as possible, but I find that leaves a bit to much sticking out. I use pliers to remove the excess plastic. Hold the pliers over the excess plastic right at the head of the wire tie, and twist the pliers until the excess plastic breaks off. I find this leaves a much cleaner result with out any sharp edges.Any pliers that allow you to have a firm grip on the wire tie will do. I prefer to use linesman pliers when I do this, but I didn't have any handy at the location I made these.
Step 7: Pull Out the Sissors
Take one of the 4 sections of the soon to be sponge ball, and align your scissors in the middle of that section. Now cut down the middle as far as you can until you reach the wire tie. Do not cut the wire tie off!!!
Now you have 2 sections in the quarter of the sponge ball that you previously cut. Align your scissors mid way through each of those 2 sections and cut again straight up to the wire tie. The end result will give you 4 pieces in that quadrant of the sponge ball.
Step 9: Spin and Repeat
Repeat the same cutting technique to the other 3 uncut sections of the soon to be sponge ball. Once all the sections have been cut, there should be a total of 16 little spongy pieces pointing in all directions. Fluff and adjust until you reach the desired result.
Step 10: Make More
Repeat all the previous steps, and make many more sponge balls. Invite people over, and have some colorful spongy wet fun. This is a great way to get your kids off the computer. Play responsibly please. I would love to hear your/your children's feedback after you have made and played with the sponge balls. Enjoy!!
I am entering this in both the Toy Contest and the Great Outdoors Contest. If this instructable pleases you, I would appreciate a vote.