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How to Introduce Pre Kindergarten Children to Theatre & Drama

Posted In Theaters - By KidsMug On Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 With 0 Comments

Introducing prekindergarten children to the theater will open up a world of culture, sights and sounds that these youngsters have never witnessed before. But keep in mind that most children in this age group probably will not grasp the dramatic works that are geared toward adults. Instead, take these kids to performances geared toward their age group or send them to a local theater group for acting lessons to teach them about theater on their level

Enroll your prekindergartner in an age-appropriate local theater group. Choose a group based upon your child’s personal preferences. For instance, a child that enjoys singing will benefit from a musically centered group while a child with an active imagination will work well in an improvisational class. There are other considerations to keep in mind when choosing the right class for your child, including fees, location and hours. Ask the theater director if your child can take the first class for free.

Stage your own production at home. Choose a famous fairytale or story. Help your kids write a short play. Set up the stage in the living room, basement or backyard. Help your kids memorize their lines and teach them about basic stage directions. Take this time to explain how to express the correct emotion. For instance, explain a point in the story where the character is mad, sad or frustrated. Ask your children how they feel during this time and to express this emotion during the performance. Invite friends and family members over to enjoy the play, complete with costumes, simple sets and a bowl of ice cream after the performance.

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Take your preschooler to a local production of a play. In smaller towns, this could mean a high school performance or a play at a local theater group. If possible, take the child to a production that is geared toward this age group. Before the play, explain to them proper theater etiquette, including not talking during the performance, waiting for the intermission to use the bathroom or clapping at the end of the show. A larger town will feature venues that offer different types of entertainment, from serious dramatic pieces to musicals. Avoid taking the child to a performance geared toward adults.

Many famous plays and musicals, including “Oklahoma,” “The Fiddler on the Roof,” and “Show Boat,” have been made into feature-length movies. The child can be introduced to the world of musical theater by watching these films. These movies can give the child an opportunity to share in the music and performances but will also give the parents an opportunity to let their child go off to another room and play if they becomes uninterested.


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