This past Friday was our first class of the 2013 school year at The Nueva School. Welcome to our new jugglers, and welcome back to our returning students! I think our first class went great; our newcomers are learning fast, and people who could previously juggle jumped right back into the swing of things. I had told our new jugglers that I would post some ideas on making juggling balls. If you don’t currently have anything to practice with, try any of these:
- Take 3 tennis balls. Use a utility knife or something similar (carefully!) to slice a hole in each one. Fill them part way with rice, sand, or pennies. Try to keep all 3 balls about the same weight. Glue up the hole you cut, or stretch balloons over the entire ball. The latter looks and feels better, but is kind of a pain to do.
- Take 3 sandwich bags. Fill each one part way with rice or sand. Tie them shut. Stretch a few balloons around them to give them a bit more uniform shape and better grip.
- If you happen to have Play Pit balls (those hollow plastic balls in the play pit at McDonalds or whatever), you can make russian juggling balls out of them. My current technique is to use a power drill to drill a small hole in each one. Then squish the ball in upon itself at the point of the hole. You’ll end up kinda making a funnel into the ball out of the ball itself. Dump sand or salt into the little “well” you made in the ball until the ball is about 1/4 to 1/3 full. The smaller the hole, the slower this part goes, but the less likely the ball will end up leaking. Once the ball is sufficiently full, squish/knead around the edges of the “well” until the ball is round again. Then seal up the hole. Putting electrical tape over the hole is quick and easy, but may not look that great. Using something like hot melt glue can be pretty inconspicuous, but is more of a pain and can leak if you don’t get it right.
- I do have some sets of juggling balls “in stock” to sell to students. I occasionally buy them at wholesale pricing, and pass on the savings to students. You can see what I have for sale by browsing the Props listings here on this site, and if you see something you want, drop me an email and I’ll bring them to the next class.
And remember – when you are first learning, practice by walking up to a bed so you are juggling over the bed. When you drop, you won’t have to bend over as far to pick up. I actually don’t recommend learning while sitting/kneeling, because it tends to encourage holding your hands too high.