When our son was a toddler, he spent a lot of time playing in the sand with his friends at the park. Sometimes these outings were quite frustrating for all of us. Older kids took excavators out of toddlers' hands, castles were stepped on, and toys were frequently scattered across the park or lost.
After one exceptionally frustrating park outing, I remember driving our son to Half Moon Bay so he could enjoy the sand in peace and quite. And I asked around for sandy park recommendations and discovered Scott park, a small and surprisingly empty park in Palo Alto with sand. He could happily play in the sand undisturbed.
This week our son and his friend spent two mornings digging in the sand. And as the mornings progressed, the boys were thrilled to be covered in sand and water. It was a great reminder about how important it is for kids to have time to work together and create with sand, water and other natural materials.
Looking back at our son's toddler years, I wish I would have known how enjoyable it would be to watch him collaborating in the sand just a few years down the road. Of course there are still disagreements, but when everyone works together, it's wonderful to see what the kids can create with sand, water, teamwork and imagination.