How to make juggling balls

Juggling is having a new moment in the sun – not least because of the very smart Todd Sampson and his Redesign My Brain series on the Australian ABC. It appears that juggling is the key to a growing brain, no matter what age you are – and according to this article in the New Scientist, it’s not about how good you are but the actual learning process that is valuable!

Because juggling is good for your brain, your co-ordination and your coolness, juggling balls are a great gift idea for little boys and girls as well as grandparents and everyone in-between. Making your  juggling balls can be a learning process all of its own – here are some great tutorials to help you get started, some ideas for customising them and importantly, some instructions:

You will need to start with some balloons and some rice:

And you could stop there with those very funky balloon juggling balls but if you feel like taking it a little bit further … you could try covering them using a crochet technique called amigurumi. This video is a very good tutorial.

If you use a cotton yarn, try to make it fit the ball as tightly as you can.  If you are using wool, you can then felt the balls.  You will need to put at least 6 layers of balloon on when you are making the balls (without the cut-outs) to make sure the rice stays dry. The amigurumi cover can be a bit looser. Once you are done, you can place the balls in the washing machine (a jeans wash good as the denim is a good agitator) on about 60 or 70 degrees Celsius. This will felt the wool so you have a felted juggling balls. Yarn with a gradated colour will give a nice effect, as in the centre image below.
How to juggle:
The best instructions come from a very cool company in New York who make very cool toys – including juggling balls – so if you don’t stretch to handmade, you could always visit eeBoo and pick up a set or two.
This video is also a good lesson in juggling.
Happy juggling!

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