Last week I tried something new to work on the skill of resisting temptation. Thanks to a volunteer, I found a store where I could buy glass stones like the ones used in the game Mancala (The African Stone Game) except these were in different shapes; stars, squares, and swirly things. I had already used the Mancala type stones – having the children balance them on the backs of their hands while watching an Ooze Tube Timer for 1-5 minutes depending on the class. And, holding two or three stones in one hand without jiggling them. The children love the different color stones and find it quite challenging to resist moving or jiggling the stones.

This time I tried something new.

Each child got 4 stones of varying shapes and colors. They were instructed to resist touching them until everyone had received their stones.

Then they were given a short time to make an interested design or sculpture with the stones.

We all sat in our spots and looked around and then we stood up and walked around the room to look at the shapes without touching any stones (body control in space.)

Then we sat back down in our spots and talked about what we saw, while resisting the temptation to touch the stones or change our design.

I then gave out more stones. Once you had the new stones you could begin making a new design. But until then you had resisting touching.

Any time a child touched a stone while we talked or looked they lost a stone. The challenge was to keep all the stones and remain in control.

We repeated this several times. The children enjoyed making more complex designs. Some found it very difficult to resist touching when a stone fell or when we talked.

We discussed strategies the children found helpful such as looking away from the stones, focusing on something different, using self-talk to remain in control.

A few classes brought stones back to their class to resist touching them during whatever period the teacher decided to take them out.