Playing nice in the sandbox… Team building skills. Even a child can do it.

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Sometimes we forget the lesson. But we all learned team building skills as a child.

We all entered the sandbox as the new kid (at some point in our childhood). We jumped in, excited and motivated. Ready to run, ready to explore, ready to put our footprints in the sand.

Then we realized this sandbox wasn’t like the last sandbox you played in. Probably a bit bigger. Sand felt a lil different under your feet. And there were all sorts of strange kids.

While some of your new friends invited you to play with them, some turned their heads. Some looked at you funny. And others pushed you out of their ‘spot’ in the sandbox. You tried your best to hang out with the kids that liked you but they weren’t there every day. Some days you were all alone.

Then there were the bullies.

The sand-kickers were easy to deal with. You just avoided them. Stay outta their spot and they left you alone. Some kicked really hard, while others just teased you. But they were easy to handle. If you didn’t give them the fight they were looking for, they usually left you alone. They didn’t have time to make sandcastles.. they were busy scaring everyone.

Then there were two-facers… now they were tough to get around. They were nice to your face, gave you the idea they liked you and wanted to be your very-best friend. They would even lead you over to a ‘new’ spot in the sand. They’d tell you how awesome this spot is, and tell you it’s a great spot to make new friends. And at first that sand was different… It was cool under your feet. Heck, sometimes the sand was on a hill so you could look down on everyone else. It was down right nifty. And you’d think.. this is the BEST sandbox ever.

But somehow that special spot always ended up being full of stinky wet stuff. Not sure why, but it eventually would smell funny. But it only smelled funny after the two-facer was gone? That smelly stuff was the worse. I mean at least when the sand-kickers were near you, you saw it coming. The two-facers would play tricks on you. Make you feel welcome and then the next thing you know you’re all icky-sticky. That really cool sand initially made a really pretty and really big sandcastle, the stuff dreams were made of…. but the smelly stuff would make the sandcastle eventually fall apart. So you’d be left with nothing to show after all your hard work.

Those two-facers.. they were NOT nice.

Worse yet, you saw them be fake-friends with other new kids (like they were with you), you’d wanna say something but you figured it was best to keep quiet. It just made you so angry.

Now you could go on being angry. Pitch a fit… scream, kick and cry to get attention from the other kids and parents. Claim they were being mean to you. But somehow you always ended up being alone? What did I do wrong.. they were mean to me???!!!

Here you are, in a brand new sandbox, all sorts of fun to be had… yet you were all alone.

How do they other kids do it? I mean they’re over there having loads of fun. Laughing, running, jumping and getting all sorts of fun-dirty with sand behind their ears! I mean that’s what being in the sandbox is all about! Getting dirty and playing with friends, right?

Sure there were groups playing at separate ends of the box. Some toys were claimed in certain spots in the box. Some kids got the good toys. Some kids were selfish and didn’t really share.

But MOST of the kids looked pretty cool. They didn’t really care what the other kids thought of them. Snot bubbles running out of their noses. Droopy drawers, dirty hands and really cool sand castles everywhere! That’s where the ticket was. Hanging out with those kids. They were from all different areas of the sandbox. They all looked different. They all acted a little different. Heck they even sounded different…but they had the BEST time.

They’d show up, jump in the sandbox and just start playing. One by one.. they’d add their own lil piece of brick and mortar onto the ever-growing sandcastle that was being made. Nobody know who started the sandcastle, but it was really cool and they wanted to be a part of it.

No smelly sand. No special area of the sandbox.. and certainly no need for special toys. They used whatever was in front of them. By the end of playtime…

they had THE COOLEST sand castles.

What was their secret?

They simply just wanted to enjoy the sand.

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6 thoughts on “Playing nice in the sandbox… Team building skills. Even a child can do it.

  1. While this looks like just a charming story, it’s actually very deep. Now. If only we could find a way to spot and deal with those pesky two facers who wish to ruin everyone’s fun.

    “Crocodiles are easy. They try to kill and eat you. People are harder. Sometimes they pretend to be your friend first.”
    ― Steve Irwin

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