Well, I haven’t posted in a week and here is why: attend graduation party, client meeting, make 2 dozen cookies for kindergarten awards ceremony, attend kindergarten awards ceremony, take Mr. D to guitar lessons, shop for Coco’s 6th birthday, make more cookies for Coco’s school birthday which is also the last day of school, attend school awards ceremony on last day of school, make miscellaneous food for Coco’s birthday party, Coco’s birthday party, monthly Seattle lunch with Architect friends, fight google redirect virus, take Miss G. to the mall and spend alone time with her, help Miss G. manufacture tennis balls for blind tennis camp….Yes, you read that correctly – blind tennis camp. Gabrielle is running a weeklong tennis camp for blind and visually impaired kids this week. She was inspired by my nephew, Humoody, who is blind and always wanted to play tennis like his cousins. We discovered that blind tennis was created in Japan and is quite popular there.
Now, I realize making your own blind tennis balls will appeal to only a tiny fraction of people, but if you are blind and you want to play tennis this post is for you. Blind tennis is played with softball-size foam balls that have a ping pong ball in the middle that makes sound. You can order 6 balls for $111.95 from the American Printing House for the Blind. Yes, you read correctly $18.66 per ball. Now, I mean no disrespect to the APHB, but they are as slow as
molasses tar. I ordered balls two separate times and received my orders in approximately four months. So, with the cost and the slow shipping we decided to make our own for approximately $2-3 dollars per ball.
Here is what you need:
- 90 mm(3 1/2″ diameter) foam tennis balls (Wilson Starter Foam balls or Penn T.I.P. foam starter balls work well)
- ping pong balls (which are 40 mm)
- 40 mm (1.57″) diameter circle template cut from cardstock
- bb gun bbs
- xacto knife
- 1″ cloth medical tape
Here is what you do:
- Cut the foam ball in half. I used my small bandsaw and it worked great.
- On each foam half, center the circle template and trace with the sharpie.
- Dig out each side with scissors within the circle to fit the ping pong ball. Both sides should be able to close over the ping pong ball snugly. This is primitive, I know. If you have a better way, please let me know.
- Cut a small “x” with the xacto knife on the ping pong ball. The “x” should be big enough so you can push 3 bbs into the ping pong.
- Place the ping pong ball within the 2 foam halves and tape up.
- Voila! Your very own sound adapted tennis ball!