My son and I came across Speed Stacks® last week at the TradeWinds resort during our visit to the NAC 2014 conference in St Pete, Florida.
In fact, what brought the toy to my attention was that while I was walking around and networking, my son who has never shown any aptitude when it comes to manual dexterity was sitting and using both hands to stack the cups!
In additional, the kid that hates standing up for almost anything spent over two hours standing and stacking the cups!
And perhaps the most surprising of all, he was talking to peers and taking turns playing the game, something he hadn’t done in years.
I figured three reasons would be enough to make me want to investigate this phenomenon further!
What is speed stacking?
Sports stacking first appeared in Southern California and is now a popular school sport thanks to Speed Stacks® founder Bob Fox; a former school teacher turned entrepreneur from Colorado, who we had the pleasure of meeting at the conference.
In fact, there are more than 4 thousand schools worldwide that have successfully incorporated the sport into their PE program.
The sport has evolved into a huge trend and now has clubs, competitions around the world and even holds a Guinness World Book record.
The game involves timed stacking and restacking of multiple cups in geometric patterns in pre-established sequences.
In today’s internet world, newbies to the game can learn tricks from youtube videos as well as compare scores on different forums dedicated to the favorite topic.
The primary Speed Stack® kit made by Bob Fox’s company comes with a dozen indestructible cups that stack and attach themselves to a plastic stem, a mat, and a stopwatch to encourage gamers to time themselves.
There are also school kits that contain cups in different colors for multiple players, and they even market a miniature set that is perfect for traveling with.
You can learn the technique and rules relatively fast by reading the attached manual or watching the company’s videos on YouTube. You can just access the information by scanning the barcode on the stem of cups. My son picked up the essential skill in the first 20 minutes and has been continuously practicing his moves for the past few weeks.
Why should you buy it for your child with autism?
As a parent in a family that travels a lot, I loved the product for multiple reasons.
Speed Stacks® is great not only for occupying children on planes and in airport settings, but it promotes problem-solving and understanding of geometrical patterns.
Moreover, it enhances connections between right and left-brain, which are crucial for those with autism.
Another encouraging quality I noticed about the Speed Stacks® was its ability to help gamers connect with peers through play.
This is vital for children with autism. Our son who is usually shy and doesn’t interact with others played against several teens he met at the conference and had a great time.
Where to purchase.
You can get your set by ordering online or at specialty retail stores that are listed on their website.
Disclaimer: Special thanks to Speedstackers for providing us with a complimentary sample of the game for the review. However, the tips and opinions shared are always our own.