With multiple ways to learn, find something that suits your time, your level, and your budget

Do you have a child who loves to “playact”? Or perhaps have a child who is shy and reserved? Maybe you know a child who fits either description, or maybe you’re a teacher with children like this in your class? Have you wondered how you can engage a child through theater?

Why Theater?

Studying theater, either through viewing performances or by playing acting games, offers many benefits in cognitive, intellectual, and behavioral development. According to theater educator, Gai Jones, “Theater addresses the skills which benefit children’s education and development in five general areas: physical development/kinesthetic skills, artistic development/drama and theater skills, mental development/thinking skills, personal development/intra-personal skills, and social development/interpersonal skills.”

Numerous studies have shown that involvement in theater can help children with academic skills, ability to work cooperatively with a group, goal setting, and time management.

In Defense of the School Drama Club

Performing can help children learn to think on their feet and improvise, manage emotions, and develop creativity. Playing the role of someone else also helps cultivate empathy. If they don’t get the role they had their heart set on, they can learn to experience and deal with disappointment in a healthy way; if they do excel in the role they’re given, it can help build and boost their self esteem.

Studying theater is not about making everyone into an actor; the skills that students develop by doing performing arts are highly transferable into other fields and situations.

Why Take Children to See Live Performances?

Attending theatrical performances are also vital to a child’s development. Witnessing theater helps children develop literacy, an appreciation and respect for performing arts; it brings history to life, shows how characters deal with challenges, and like performing, helps children deepen their ability to empathize.  

Why Theater Games?

Theater games allow children to learn these skills while playing. When children engage in non-competitive play, they worry less about failure and therefore are more present and receptive. While some of the more shy students may be a bit reticent at first, making these games a part of the daily classroom routine will gradually help normalize these types of activities.

The key to success is an aware adult who can help model supportive feedback and a feeling of safety and “no pressure”. Also, theater games are great for helping non-native speakers learn the host language of the class, and for helping students of all needs and abilities participate with their peers.

Games to Try: 

Here are some fun and engaging theater games that are ideal for groups of young children. When introducing a game, always be very clear on the parameters (what’s ok to do, and what isn’t) and it’s a good idea to model the activity before having the children play it.

One way to do this is to have students sit down with you and come up with a list of guidelines. You’ll be amazed at what they will come up with; also, watch how much they value rules and structure for everyone’s benefit!

1: Zip Zap Zop:

This is a great game for building concentration and focus. Only three words required!

2: Woosh!:

This was one of my favorite “first day of class” games. It’s both verbal and kinesthetic, and gets everyone involved.

3: Clap, Snap, Stomp:

Most kids are acquainted with clapping and snapping from music class. A fun and lively game (just make sure the class next door isn’t taking an exam!)

4: Who’s the Leader?:

Another very familiar game that doesn’t require dialogue. Allows players to try on different roles as leader, follower or guesser

4: The Human Machine:

An old favorite, this game is great for engaging less verbal students. One at a time, each child becomes part of the machine (noises optional, but recommended!)

Looking for a professional to help introduce the kids in your life to the wonderful world of theater? Book a session with one of our Acting tutors!

TakeLessons experts are ready to teach. Get a deal on a private or group lesson, or browse on-demand content 24/7 for free

2023-09-29T14:00:25Z dg43tfdfdgfd