Calming Stress Balls

home made stress ball fun science experiment to try at house with kids kitchen chemistry

Calming Stress Balls

This week for our Lotions and Potions we made Calming Stress Balls. When you are nervous, worried or angry stress balls are a really good way to help you calm down and relax. Our stress balls are extra relaxing because we added lavender oil which you can smell as you play with the stress ball due to the ball warming in your hands.

What is the science behind stressballs?


We use lots of salt for two reasons. The first reason is that salt is used to make dough stretchy. Dough without salt is not as stretchy. The second reason is germs. We put loads of salt in because it stops germs from our hands getting onto the stress ball and growing.

Flour and Boiling Water

Flour is a nice soft powder. When it mixes with cold water it gloops together and gets sticky. When it mixes with boiling water a chemical reaction happens. The boiling water causes the cells in the flour to burst, changing their shape and structure. This makes the dough more like a gel rather than a gloopy mess. When you add the boiling water, carefully watch the reaction happen and see the flour turn to gel.

Lavender Oil

Lavender use has been documented for over 2500 years. It was used by both the Ancient Egyptians and Romans. Due to the historical use of lavender as a relaxing and calming agent, many scientific studies have been carried out to see if it actually works. Scientists have found that lavendar does help to relieve and reduce anxiety and significantly improves insomnia and improves sleep quality.


  • 45g Flour
  • 25g Salt
  • 5g Cream of Tartar
  • 5mls Cooking Oil
  • Food Colouring
  • 50mls Boiling Water
  • 3 Drops of Lavender Oil
  • Mixing bowl/ 400ml Beaker
  • Metal Desert Spoon
  • Plastic Ziplock Bag

The Experiment

-How to Make Calming Stress Balls


  1. Measure out 45g Flour, 25g Salt and 5g Cream of Tartar and mix them together.
  2. Add the 5mls of cooking oil and food colouring and mix as carefully as you can. Make sure you mix in all the bits on the bottom of the bowl.
  3. Get an adult to boil some water for you and to measure out 50mls. The adult so add this to your flour mixture and mix it together until it has cooled down enough so it doesn’t burn hands.
  4. Mix the dough until it all comes together in a ball around the spoon.
  5. Carefully take the dough off the spoon and start needing it in your hands. If it is a little bit sticky add some more flour.
  6. When the dough has cooled down add the 3 drops of lavender oil and need it into the dough.
  7. Store the dough in a ziplock bag when you aren’t using it to prevent it drying out.