Here’s a fun ninja craft for kids to make! Use balloons to create squishy stress balls that look like ninjas.

Use yellow balloons if you want your ninjas to look like the LEGO® Ninjago characters. These would make great birthday party favors!

The secret to a good stress ball is a good filling! I’ve got two choices for you, and I’ll tell you the pros and cons of each.

Flour – This is good for making a nice firm stress ball. Flour is also inexpensive and readily available. Filling the stress balls with flour does make the stress balls firm and hard for little hands to squeeze.

Play Dough – A play dough filling makes a soft and squishy stress ball. We preferred the play dough filling overall. The other benefit of play dough is that if the balloon breaks (and there are multiple layers, so it’s not a huge risk, but could definitely happen), play dough is much less mess than flour. If you decide to go the play dough route, I would highly recommend making your own play dough as it took 1.5 cans to fill each balloon. The play doh brand cans seem to be shrinking and yet the price stays the same… hmm…

You can find our simple homemade play dough recipe here.

We made some stress balls with both types of filling. I emphasized to the boys that these are for squeezing, not throwing, as they are too hard to throw. The feel great, though, and my husband has requested a blue one for his desk at work!

To make them you will need:

  • Balloons – white or yellow for the face, and other colors for the ninja mask
  • Scissors
  • Sandwich baggies – either fold-over or ziploc (if you use ziploc, you’ll have to cut the zipper off)
  • Flour or play dough
  • Ballpoint pen

Step 1: Fill a baggie with 3/4 cup of flour (or play dough). Filling a baggie is SO much easier than trying to stuff a balloon with flour! We saw this tip on Tip Junkie from a link in Red Ted Art’s juggling balls post, and it made the job so much easier.

Step 2: Fold over the baggie and squeeze out all the air. Cut the blowing end off of a white balloon so that you are left with a round balloon with a hole.

Step 3: Stuff the baggie filled with flour or play dough into the balloon.

Step 4: Cut off the blowing end of another balloon. Cut an opening for the ninja face. Then, stretch this balloon over the white balloon with the opening facing the opposite way (so that the flour baggie can’t come out). Add a ninja face with a ballpoint pen. We tried Sharpie initially, and the faces kept rubbing off when the boys played with them. We made another ninja ball and used ballpoint pen, and the face still looks great even after lots of handling.

If you find that even ballpoint pen ink comes off, try a different pen. That helped for us.

They boys have been carrying their ninja balls everywhere. They are fun to squish and squeeze and then shape them back into balls again.

These ninja balls would make great gifts or party favors! They were very inexpensive, and quick to put together (5 min. per ball once we got the process down).

Need more craft ideas for kids?

If your kids like ninjas, you might also want to check out our pipe cleaner ninjas. Those were another big hit!

Here’s a collection of 30 Paper Crafts for Kids. Crafting with paper is awesome because it’s so affordable, especially if you have a classroom full of kids and a tight budget!

I also highly recommend rock painting with kids!


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  1. Natasha May 4, 2013

    Wow!! these are great!! my eldest would absolutely love these!!!

    I would love it if you could share this on my link party Serenity Saturday

    Natasha xx

  2. AudraG May 17, 2013

    Just found your site today and LOVE IT!!! Pinned the Ninja's and can't wait to try so many other ideas this summer! Thank you!

  3. Cindy deRosier Jun 24, 2013

    I'm the Editorial Assistant for Fun Family Crafts and I wanted to let you know that we have featured your awesome ninja project! You can see it here:

    If you have other kid friendly crafts, we'd love it if you would submit them. If you would like to display a featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above. Thanks for a wonderful project idea!

  4. JARVO Aug 27, 2013

    I had been looking for a way to make a stress ball that is not just "Stuff flour in a balloon and tie up".
    This way is creative.

    1. Lin Sep 17, 2013


  5. Jennifer Aug 31, 2013

    My son is having a karate themed birthday party next week. These will make great favors! Thanks so much!!

  6. Tyler Nov 27, 2013

    These are AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Kara Dec 10, 2013

    Thank you so much for posting this. My son's grade is doing a marketplace, supply/demand earnin/saving/spending thing and for less than $10 we made a bunch if these for him to "sell" in the marketplace.

    1. Sarah Dec 14, 2013

      How fun! What a great idea!

  8. fashion magazines online Apr 6, 2014

    Your method of explaining all in this paragraph is really
    fastidious, all can easily understand it, Thanks a lot.

  9. Carolyn Staub May 29, 2014

    Hi Sarah! Thank you for your post... I work in an Autism classroom and these are perfect for when the kids need calming time. I am actually making a bunch for my son's 1st grade class for a "rest and relaxation" raffle basket the parents are putting together. So far I've made a flax, flour + baking soda, black beans and corn meal as filler. I liked flax the best and ditched the corn meal as it was too hard to squeeze. I am hydrating water beads to try them out and of course will use play dough as that is my favorite filler. I found that if you use the hole made when cutting off the "tail" of the balloon as the window for the ninja mask it solves the problem of the extra hole! Anyway, thank you!!!! See you around at KBN!

    1. jen Sep 14, 2015

      Oh my goodness you just made my life so much easier with that hint about using the opening made when cutting off the end of the balloon for the ninja mask. I was really struggling!

    2. Julie Apr 24, 2018

      AWESOME tip on using the hole made when cutting the tail off the balloon for the face hole! It solved two problems - the tricky process of cutting the face hole, and the open end left behind from the hole where the tail was cut off! Many thanks for posting it! (And to the OP for the original posting of the project).

  10. Carolyn Staub May 29, 2014

    PS I loved your thx for sharing the tip from Tip Junkie @ using plastic bag and the use of ballpoint pen over sharpie!!!

  11. Brandon (age 7) Jun 20, 2015

    Thanks for the idea. We made a Martian stressball and a ninja stressball from green and gold balloons. The Martian has a green face and sharp teeth!

  12. Pien Maltz-Klaar Mar 17, 2016

    Instead of filling the balloons with flour I have been suing Home made cooked play dough.This lasted for a long time inside. The good thing about the play dough filling instead of the flour filling is that if the balloon happens to break there is no floury mess!

  13. Dawn Nov 2, 2016

    do you by any chance remember what size balloons you used? 9 inch or 11? Thanks!

  14. pick your shoes Dec 29, 2016

    c’est bien ce qu’il me semblait merci beaucoup pour tous

  15. Cameron Mar 23, 2020

    Can you use skinny balloons for this project? Really cute for summer break!

  16. Farrah Jun 8, 2020

    I absolutely can’t wait to try these! I think they look brilliant!

  17. Katie Jul 9, 2021

    Thumbs UP! My 8 year old grandson LOVED it!


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