Monday, May 11, 2009

Why do teambuilding with kids?!

posted by: Mitch Zeltzer

It shocks me sometimes how "teambuilding" has become common place in the corporate world, yet teambuilding for kids isn't even on most people's radar.

I often read articles and commentaries online about teambuilding. Interestingly enough, it is extremely rare that I read a commentary on 'teambuilding' that actually includes "Teambuilding for Kids". Teambuilding has been a buzz word in the corporate world for so long now that it has almost lost its meaning! Golf tournaments, laser tag, paint ball, DJs, etc. all claim to offer 'teambuilding' for corporations. While it's great to participate in social activities to strengthen the bond and connection of your team, that is only part of the recipe. Where is the opportunity for real reflection, growth, and team improvement. (Ok, I'm going off on a tangent here, I'll get back to the topic at hand!)

To me, and my peers at Dynamix, we feel that teambuilding for kids is where it should all begin. Like any other skill, practice makes perfect. If I want to improve my ability to throw a basketball in a basketball net (and anyone who has played basketball with me recently knows that I definitely want to improve in this area), then I need to practice. And truth be told, starting to practice a young age would definitely help. Well, same goes for my ability to work within a team, or my ability to be a peaceful and productive member of my community.

The beauty of starting teambuilding at a young age is that not only will it provide its participants with the opportunity to develop trust and build their level of confidence, but it also allows its participants to develop appropriate leadership, decision making and conflict resolution skills. Too often we see adults taking the lead, making the decisions and resolving conflicts for their students/children. How great would it be if we could trust our children to do these things for themselves?! Well if that is truly what we want, we need to provide them with the opportunity to build and practice these skills somewhere!

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