Flexible vs. Stubborn

by | Apr 25, 2023 | Family Activity | 0 comments

Give each family member a clothespin and several pipe cleaners. Have them bend the pipe cleaners into the shape of a stickman. Let them draw a face on the clothespin. As you read through the following list, have them hold up the pipe cleaner-person if it is being flexible or the clothespin-person if it is being stubborn. You may also choose to use a rubber band, cotton ball, or clay for the flexible and a rock, bottle cap, or Lego for the stubborn.


  • Crying when the rain cancels a picnic
  • Playing indoor games when it is too cold outside
  • Refusing to eat broccoli
  • Trying new foods
  • Throwing building blocks when a toy tower falls
  • Trying a different approach when the first attempt fails
  • Complaining about mom’s radio station in the car
  • Learning to appreciate different music styles

Process the activity with these or similar questions:

Were those questions easy or hard?
Did having something flexible and hard in your hands help to pick the correct answer?
Do you think you are most like the (hard item) or the (soft item)?
Why is it better to be like the (soft item) in these examples?
Will you remember this game the next time you face a change?

Once you complete the activity, feel free to use the item you used for the hard item in correcting behavior. For example, if you made a clothespin boy to identify being stubborn, you can refer to someone as “clothespin boy” (or clothespin girl) when they are not being flexible. The same holds true for the soft item.

To process this activity, ask these or similar questions:
  • Did this sound like it would be a hard or easy test?
  • Did anyone learn something new about a family member?
  • Were you surprised at the answers you or others got wrong?
  • Why is it important to be alert around the family? Around the house or neighborhood?