Styrofoam In My Head!
What you Need:
- Styrofoam mannequin head (male is preferred due to its larger size) – The one I recommend can be purchased from Amazon.com at the link below. You can buy these at most beauty supply shops but they usually sell the female version only which is a bit smaller and harder to fit the jar into.
- Small to medium size pickle jar – The one I use is the Vlasic 24oz or 16oz if you use the female head (any pickle type – those are discarded immediately anyway) and can be found at Walmart , Amazon (Click here) or just about any other grocery store. Whichever jar you get just make sure that it fits within the head you have.
- Assorted tools such as razor knife, serrated knife, drill with the largest bit you can find, vacuum cleaner (this will get messy) and anything else you can find to hollow out the head.
- Sheet of 1/2″ to 3/4″ Styrofoam at least 4′ x 1′. The best place to get these is Lowes although they usually only sell them in packs of 10 or more and you will only need one of them. I have never found them at Walmart and if you buy them at Home Depot you will have to purchase the full sheet which has a layer on each side of it which will need to be peeled off before use (one side is shiny and metallic and the other is white with print).
- Permanent marker
- Acetone – Do NOT buy the fingernail polish remover of the same name. Go to Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot or Amazon (Click Here) and buy the metal tin.
- Optional but cool: Hat or wig with a hole in the top to go on top of the head and cover the hole and jar.
About the Lesson:
This object lesson can be used MANY different ways but two of them are the influences around us or the distractions.
The way Bro. Hodge taught it (again, one way of many) was to illustrate the MANY influences, both good and bad, that come upon a child’s life. These ranged from church, to TV shows, to family and friends and many other things besides.
Each of these items was written down on a strip of Styrofoam about 3 feet long, 1 inch wide and perhaps a half to ¾ inches thick. The strip is then put down inside a mannequin head where it seemingly disappears into nothingness! Strip after strip after strip goes the same way somehow ALL disappearing into a small head… there is NO WAY it can fit in there!
The kids think it is being somehow being dropped into the table until the head is picked up and STILL the strips disappear. It is INCREDIBLE!
You can use this lesson SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS! We have used it for sin. We had several containers representing people and filled them with the sin which was chunks of Styrofoam. Then we pulled out a smallish container with the acetone and explained that Jesus took upon Him the sin of us all. We then pulled ALL of the chunks out of the people and put them in the much small container named Jesus. It ALL fit… then we put more and more and more! It was awesome!
We have used it to illustrate the bad things that the world tries to confuse you with such as “you are good enough”, “you aren’t old enough”, “church is for sissies”, “peer pressure”, “doubt”, “unbelief” and on and on. THEN we pulled out the good things we should strive for… repentance, baptism in Jesus name, the Holy Ghost, one God, the Word of God etc.
What is really happening:
In the top of the styrofoam head, there is a jar containing acetone. When styrofoam touches acetone it instantly melts and become a tiny percentage of its original size which allows you to put an INCREDIBLE amount of it into a small jar. I have put up to 40 feet of styrofoam (1.5” x ¾”) into a 16oz jar and had room to spare.
- Cut a hole in the top of the head big enough to fully insert the jar. I ended up using a steak knife which took a lot of time, trial and error. I made a HUGE mess! Styrofoam will be EVERYWHERE when you are done.
- Put the jar in the head, fill about half way with acetone. Cap the jar when you are done and only uncap when you are ready to do the lesson. You DON’T want acetone spilling onto the Styrofoam head… it gets really ugly.
- Cut strips of Styrofoam. I like to vary the length and width somewhat. Some of them I made wider and longer to illustrate their importance or severity. I made the “One God” strip, nice and long, probably 4 feet or so… peer pressure was pretty imposing also. It is all up to you.
- Write whatever you want to on the strips using a big permanent marker.
- TRY IT OUT!
This lesson really is super cool and easy to do! You have got to try it!
Let me know how YOU used it in the comments below.