Posts Tagged ‘self confidence for kids’

“Football Stickers are a Waste of Money”

July 9, 2010

I was chatting to my friend, the artist Blyth Scott yesterday evening (   and she made a very erudite point on the fascinating subject of…World Cup Football Sitckers. So much so, that I thought it warranted a quick blog post….

As an ardent sports fan ….actually, as someone who has no interest in sport whateosever and a deep-seated loathing of football in particular…. imagine my delight  at the start of the summer, when my son said he wanted to start collecting world cup football stickers.  As luck would have it (!) you could get the sticker album FREE at Morrisons supermarket, and you could even get a free packet of stickers with every £20 of groceries you bought. Or, of course, you could buy your stickers at the counter for 50p a pack.

Thinking that we might as well be tearing up his pocket money and setting fire to it, we let him get a sticker book. And what happened? The football sticker collecting has had a surprising number of beneficial side-effects.

He’s developed new relationships with kids he didn’t really know before, because they’ve been talking about their stickers.

He’s learned to be methodical and organised in sorting his stickers, and keeping them tidily in one place so he doesn’t lose any of them.

He’s developed assertiveness skills, as he’s had to tell a bigger boy who wanted a sticker that my son didn’t want to give him (it wasn’t a double!) that he couldn’t have it…but could swap for these instead (negotiation).

He’s learned enough facts and figures about the players in the World Cup that he can hold a conversation with almost anyone on the subject, building his confidence, and his ability to remember facts and figures.

He even discovered that his cub leader  worked at the supermarket and gave extra stickers  – that non-collectors didn’t want –  to any cub who came through the till…and then asked her what her shift pattern was.  He’d insist we shopped at times that coincided with her shift so he could get extra stickers from her. Surely, for an 8 year old that represents some sort of strategic planning?

The stickers have sparked an interest in some of the less obvious nations in the World Cup, prompting him to find out more about some of the Central and South American and African nations that he didn’t know much about. He can now not only draw the flag of  Honduras, but give you a good idea of the GDP and the country’s population figures!

Who’d have thought – certainly not me – that collecting footie stickers could be the springboard for some important early stage life skills?!