I found a new ball that I love in many different ways. I love it because I can use it form many different things. My new favorite ball is called the Matrix Ball, and it is made by Tangle Creations. The ball is a great texture and has open holes in it, but it still bounces. It is a great texture and resistance to squeeze like a stress ball, and can also be used as a great fidget for some people.
This ball is great to squeeze in meetings to keep your hands busy, and it is a nice light ball to throw back and forth. It bounces well, but it is not perfectly smooth, so its trajectory can be erratic sometimes when bouncing it to someone.
I love the holes in the ball, and immediately started to see what manipulatives I could poke through the holes. It is fun to poke tiny toys through the holes, but it is really hard to get them back out of the holes. I tried several different little manipulatives, and of the ones that I have, the easiest to get in and out were tiny monkeys. I tried the squishy animals, and they were able to go into the holes, but were very hard to get out again. I wound up cutting one hole in the ball bigger to make it a little easier to get the animals out again so that it would not be quite so frustrating for the kids.
One fun game I like to play is that the ball is an animal cage and we have to find the animals and put them in the ball. Then they can try and get them out of the cage again. Below is a video of playing with the balls and getting the animals out.