By the time this story goes live, lots of children will be approaching the end of their first half of a new school term. I hope it's all going well! I've aimed this story specifically at those children. This week's story is all about learning to play together, whatever your differences! This story is also available to download and listen to as a podcast.
Billy And Betsy
Billy liked Betsy. She was funny and clever and she had a dinosaur on her backpack.
Betsy liked Billy. He was kind and creative and wore shoes that lit up when he walked.
But no matter what they did, it seemed as though Billy and Betsy just couldn't play together. They were too different.
When Betsy wanted to dig deep holes in the sandpit and fill them with water, Billy wanted to build great big castles, instead. Billy would get cross when the water made his castles fall down and the pair would go their separate ways.
When Billy wanted to use the big building blocks to build a car to sit in, Betsy wanted to use them to make towers, instead. Betsy would be annoyed that Billy was taking too many of the blocks, so her tower wouldn't be as high as she wanted it to be. Again, they'd go their separate ways.
No matter what the game, Billy and Betsy always seemed to have completely opposite ways of playing it. It seemed that they just weren't supposed to get along.
One, bright morning, their nursery teacher brought a big basket of colourful materials into the garden. "Look what we found, whilst we were clearing out the cupboards!" She smiled. "I bet you can all think of something fun to do with these!"
The nursery children all scurried around the basket, tugging out all kinds of pretty materials. Bright blue sheets with sparkles, pink taffeta, purple silk, red velvet and lots more, besides.
"We could hang the sheets from the fence and make a stage," Betsy grinned. "And then we can put on a show!"
Billy frowned. "But I wanted to to wear the material," he protested. "We could wrap it around ourselves, so we look like kings and queens. I was going to build us a palace, too!"
Betsy put her hands on the large piece of red velvet. "But these are the curtains to go by my stage for the show," she insisted. "You can't take my curtains away."
Billy sighed. "Fine. Have the red piece. But I'm having the blue sheet."
Betsy watched Billy tug the material out of the basket and walk off by himself. She held up the red velvet to the fence and suddenly, she had an idea. She span round quickly and called Billy back.
"What?" Billy grumbled. "I let you have the red piece!"
Betsy smiled. "My show could be about a king, if you like. And then you could dress up in the material and you can be the star of the show."
Billy beamed back at her. "Yes!" He declared. "We can decorate the stage with materials and leave some behind for our costumes, too!"
Neither Betsy or Billy could believe it; they had completely different ideas, yet somehow, they had joined them! They could play together at last!
After that, Betsy and Billy became the best of friends. They began to realise that their different ways of playing made much more sense when they joined together.
Now, when Betsy digs big holes in the sandpit and fills them with water, Billy pretends they're his castle's moat. Betsy passes the sand she digs out to Billy, to use on his castle. And he builds his castle a little bit further away, so that the water doesn't knock it down.
And when Billy wants to build a car out of the big blocks, Betsy builds four medium-sized towers and says it's a garage for the car to go in.
They still have completely different ways of playing games. But now, Betsy and Billy know that that just makes it more fun!