Thursday, April 26, 2012

Elementary Activities: Bash Down the Wall

by Deborah Pace Rowley
Junior high and high school can be so stressful for kids. Sometimes the pressure causes my teenagers to melt down just like they did when they were toddlers. Teenage tantrums look a little bit different than two-year-old tantrums, but not much! Right now at our house Dad is a student too and is approaching his finals this week. He has also been a little bit grumpy and stressed out (sorry honey, but you have!) so I planned a special stress-busing activity.

First, I gathered all the boxes that I could find of different sizes and shapes. *Couch cushions and pillows would also work for this activity if you can’t find enough boxes. I loaded them all into the family room with some tape, paper and markers. Then I gathered my family and had each person write on pieces of paper all the things that were causing them stress. They could write down specific assignments, tests or teachers, anything they were concerned about. Then they attached each piece of paper to a box. Some boxes got more than one label because we had so many. Then we built a wall with all our boxes. The wall almost spanned the distance of the room and almost reached the ceiling. Then each family member got a chance to bash down the wall. They could ninja-kick, karate-chop, or head-butt down the boxes. The only requirement was that they had to holler at the boxes as they did it. ‘Take that you big, bad assignments! You aren’t so bad after all!” “Is that the best you can do?” “You think this test is hard! I will show you hard!” After each person had a turn to bash down the wall (and some kids had more than one turn!), we talked about how we are bigger than our problems and God is bigger than everything. He can help us tear down any wall. He even tore down the walls of Jericho with the blast of a few trumpets! We don’t need to worry or stress when God is on our side. At the end of the activity, everyone lay peacefully on the floor of the family room for 15 or 20 minutes. The kids (and their Dad) probably should have been working on homework. But I didn’t care. It felt so nice not to feel stressed for a change. 

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