DIY Sensory Tennis Ball Chairs Go Viral!

Being a teacher can be quite difficult. You’re not only responsible for educating kids, but also teaching them about life, rules of morality, behavior, etc. In addition to that, being a teacher is also one of the most thankless jobs out there. However, one Illinois elementary teacher is getting her due recognition after creating sensory tennis ball chairs.

Amy Maplethorpe used halves of tennis balls to create tennis ball chairs that can help students with sensory issues.

Amy is a speech and language teacher at Raymond Ellis Elementary School, and she came up with the idea for the tennis ball chairs over Pinterest.


Raymond Ellis Elementary School

After the tennis ball chairs were a success with her students, the school posted about them on Facebook:

“Sensory seating is used for students who may have difficulty processing information from their senses and from the world around them.”

Wikimedia / frwl

“Tennis balls on the seat and backrest provide an alternative texture to improve sensory regulation.

“Students with autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, sensory processing disorder, etc. may benefit from this seating option.”

Students have responded to the tennis ball chairs differently, but the results have been favorable across different ages and special needs.

Wikimedia / Sam Howzit

“First-grade students that have used the chair, they have become more patient and have followed directions,” Amy told the Huffington Post.

Even some of the older students have taken a liking to the tennis ball chairs.

The Facebook post about the tennis ball chairs soon went viral over social media and people couldn’t wait to try it!


Public Domain Pictures / Petr Kratochvil

“I’m really excited that this has taken off and I’m really excited to see the benefits for students across the country, and educators and parents,” Amy said.

Would you like to find out how to make your own tennis ball chairs? The school has provided a DIY guide for you!

Flickr / Allison Meier

“Thank you for such the high interest in the tennis ball chairs,” the school wrote in the Facebook post. “It is exciting to hear that they could benefit students across the world!

“The materials used to make the chairs included: a chair, ½ tennis balls, fabric, modge podge, paintbrush/paint sponge, and hot glue.

“First, take a chair and modge podge the seat and backrest and then place fabric over it.

Pixabay / nike159

“Next, modge podge over the fabric and wait for it to dry, which takes approximately 20-30 minutes. Then, hot glue tennis balls cut in half to the seat and backrest.

“When that dries, hot glue the excess fabric underneath the seat and behind the backrest to give it an ‘upholstered’ look.

“It may also be helpful to hot glue around the tennis balls one more time for an extra hold. And with that, the chairs are done. Happy creating!”

Do you think your kids could really use these tennis ball chairs?

Do feel free to comment below, and please SHARE this article about the tennis ball chairs with those who could benefit from it!