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DIY Squishy Toys

DIY Squishy Toys

(Grades 3 to 6, although it could go older)

Number of Attendees:

I originally planned to host the program for 24 kids but it filled up immediately so I expanded to 34. Registration was required.


2 hours prep time: I pre-cut the foam into 36 3x3” squares prior to the program and created a sample squishy which I let dry overnight. I also left time prior to the program to pass out paints, brushes, and cover tables.


  • High Density foam
  • Acrylic paint
  • Fabric puffy paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Scissors
  • Plates
  • Popsicle sticks, cut in half (if doing popsicle squishy)
  • Bowls of water
  • Paper towels

I used high density upholstery foam purchased from Amazon. It is relatively inexpensive. The FoamTouch Upholstery Foam Cushion High Density 1" Height x 18" Width x 18" cost $10 and was enough for 36 3x3” squares.

Acrylic paint can be used to paint most of the surface of the foam. Small details like lines, eyes and mouths were added using puffy paint. I used Tulip Dimensional Fabric Paint Party Pack 20 Pack from Amazon for $20.

Description of Program:

Kids were allowed to create any shape they wanted for their squishy by cutting the foam to size. Then they painted with acrylic and fabric paints and were instructed to let the foam dry overnight.


Show examples of different squishy shapes to give kids inspiration (e.g. pizza slice, watermelon slice). I also created a sample popsicle squishy and explained how I cut the foam into a rectangle, rounded the edges and cut a hole in the bottom for the stick. Instruct the kids to think about what shape they want. Remind them they only get one piece of foam so they should be careful when cutting. It is possible for them to make multiple smaller squishies if they cut their foam into smaller chunks. Some kids had difficulty visualizing and cutting so be prepared to help them one on one.

It is important for kids to use acrylic paints first, rinse and dry their brush in between colors. Since the paint will take a while to dry, I told them not to overlap colors or they will bleed into each other. I had hand wipes ready so kids could rinse their hands to avoid smudging.

Fabric paint is used last and kids should be instructed to only use a small amount to add a face/eyes/mouth/sprinkles. Then leave dry overnight. Kids carried their squishy home on paper plates.




If working with younger kids, it may be easier to make the same squishy with everyone instead of giving them choice of shape. Volunteers can help younger kids with cutting, or cutting can be done in advance.

Submitted by:

Michelle Jurgensen
Youth Services Librarian
Cresskill Public Library

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