Promote feelings of happiness and love among kids by learning how to make a squishy.
Kids aren’t ready for romantic-themes in elementary school and preschool, but you can have fun doing heart activities during Valentine’s Day that are tons of fun for kids of all ages.
This year, my kids are really into squishies, the little toys that you squish and then they magically expand back to their original shape.
But, the last time we purchased a squishy, it was $12 per squishy! I thought that was an insane price, so I decided to try to figure out how to make a squishy.
It turns out that memory foam makes an excellent base for DIY squishies, and the process of making them is easy enough for most kids to do alone or with the help of an adult. We made these as a fun addition to our Valentines STEM activities.
This project would be the perfect thing to make at home on Valentine’s Day with your kids, or you can use them as non-candy valentines, or simply as a Valentine’s themed craft in the classroom.
How to Make a Heart Squishy
This simple DIY heart squishy is fun, colorful, and easy! Kids will be fascinated to see how easy it is to make these squishy toys. They will love bringing them to school and sharing them with friends and classmates.
Don’t be surprised if your child suddenly gets a lot of orders for these homemade squishies! Start charging, and your child may just have a new side business!
Heart Squishy Learning Objectives
This DIY squishy activity is mainly just for fun, but cutting the memory foam promotes fine motor skills, and creating a design that will work as a squishy also requires some design and engineering skills to get it right.
The first attempts at a squishy might not be perfect, but with practice, your kids will produce perfect homemade squishy toys.
What you need to make homemade squishies:
Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint Set, 18 Piece (2-Ounce), PROMOABI Best Selling Colors IHeartybay 10Pieces Round Pointed Tip Nylon Hair Brush Set, BlueSinger 561 8-1/2-Inch Professional Series Scissors Heavy Duty BentSharpie 1949557 Color Burst Permanent Markers, Fine Point, Assorted Colors, 24-CountNakital Contour Memory Foam Pillow For Sleeping, Ventilated Organic Memory Foam Cervical Neck Support Pillow, Breathable Washable Cover,Back Chiropractic Side Sleeper Ergonomic Pillow Bed
- Fabric paint
- Memory foam pillow
- Fabric scissors
Where to buy memory foam for squishies
You can get a memory foam pillow at almost any local store, but sometimes they are expensive.
I haven’t been able to find one for less than $20 anywhere (even on Amazon), but the nice thing is that the pillows are so large that you can use them for many projects.
We are still using the same pillow over a year later.
For the least expensive options, you can either look for clearance at a local store, or just purchase an inexpensive memory foam pillow on Amazon.
Steps for How to Make a Squishy
You’ll be surprised at how easy these diy squishy toys are to make. Kids will love making all sorts of fun designs for Valentine’s Day and beyond!
Open your pillow and allow it to fully expand. Ours took about 24 hours to reach its full size.
Draw the design onto the pillow with a marker. Make the design slightly larger than you want the finished size to be, because you’ll end up trimming it down a bit later on.
Squish the pillow down as much as possible, and cut out the design with your fabric scissors. We found fabric scissors were a lot easier to use with the memory foam than other kinds of scissors.
After cutting out the original design, let the hearts fully expand.
If your pillow is very thick, you may find you can cut them in half lengthwise to reduce the size from about 4 inches tall to 2 inches tall and double the number of squishies that you have.
Use the scissors to trim around the design to round things off and make the design more evident.
Dilute your paint with 1 part water and 1 part paint. This will keep the paint from cracking when applied to the squishy.
Paint the hearts and let dry. It took about 24 hours for our paint to fully dry.
Squish and play with the hearts as much as you want!
My kids loved taking the DIY squishy toys to school to use as silent fidgets and giving them out to their classmates as non-candy valentines.
More Valentine Activities for Kids
For more fun Valentine’s activities for kids, try making salt crystal hearts, heart chromatography, or Valentine’s oobleck! Kids will also like making this confetti slime.