In the late 1980s, engineer Scott Stillinger was teaching his kids to catch when that advantageous "A-ha!" moment struck. The idea? A ball made out of rubber fibers that were easily grabbed by tiny fingers. (An early prototype featured a mass of rubber bands tied together.) Stillinger named his soft creation "Koosh" because of the sound it made when it landed in his hand; he went on to sell them in a rainbow of colors and various sizes.