This week I got a fun opportunity to visit an elementary school in a nearby town to teach Sport Stacking to a class of fourth graders. A man in our church volunteers every week in this classroom and brought me in as a special guest. (If you are a student from the class reading this: THANKS for being so fun, it was a fun time for me too! Check out www.toyboxtales.com too, the other site I told you about!)
Here are some pictures, and a COOL VIDEO at the end!
After the instruction, practise and some competing… I got to my message. When I started making a long row of cups along the table, the room fell silent, and then filled with murmors… ‘He’s going to make a GIANT STACK!’
As I build, I ask the kids to tell me what determines how HIGH the stack can go? The usual answer is ‘how many cups I have.’ Which is the wrong answer. Even if I had a thousand cups (which I probably do!) the height of the stack is determined by the width of the bottom row.
Why is that important? Because in life, CHILDHOOD is when you are building the foundation of your life. I tell the kids that every lesson they learn, every positive character trait they build into their life while they are young, will determine how high and strong and great their life can become. It is very hard to add to your foundation later. I help them figure out that adding just ONE cup will add MANY MORE to the tower, in the tower above, one cup added 30 more! A second cup added only on 30 more, but actually 31, because another cup could be added over the two added rows up… so the more they learn and the more good and right habits they form WHILE THEY ARE young will have life-long good consequences!
Pretty cool stack, huh? Then I point to ONE cup in the bottom center, and say it represents that ONE lesson they didn’t want to learn, that ONE time they decide to disobey, that ONE wrong thing they decide to do, whether it is something illegal, or dangerous or wrong – and ask what would happen to this giant tower if I removed only that ONE cup…..
WATCH THE VIDEO to find out! (QuickTime 9MB) You’ll see the devestating power of one bad decision, or one wrong act, or one important truth of lesson that you ignore or don’t listen to when you are young. Kids need to know they have a choice – no matter what their background or situation – they have a choice on how they want their life to be…. big and strong and impressive like the tower… or… broken and destroyed by one bad mistake.
I end by showing the one cup that brought down the whole tower… and ask them to think about what could be that ‘one cup’ in their life… and encouage them to choose wisely. Listen to their parents, teachers, pastors and others in their life who know and love them!