My babes are really into drama... whether they are dressing-up for Halloween or to go on stage, they love the idea of dressing-up and creating a character. Get your littles started early in theater to help them develop confidence and as a creative outlet.
In 1999, Dr. James Catterall of UCLA, released the findings of a 10 year
study how on children's involvement in drama and music affected their
academic performance. The study showed that children who were involved
in drama and music scored higher in reading and math than students who
were not. Performing is an important skill for young children to learn
and practice, as it helps them gain confidence, enunciate words clearly,
project their voices, become comfortable in front of a group and helps
improve listening and reading skills. All of these skills will benefit
them for a lifetime.
Provide preschool children
with a bag of props and ask them to make up a short story incorporating
the objects. This improvisation will help them explore their
imaginations and practice performance skills. Alternatively, have each
preschool child pull on object out of the bag and pretend to use the
object in a way that it is different than its intended purpose. For
instance, a student who pulls out a tennis racket could pretend that it
was a guitar and tell the class that he is a rock star in a band or
could pretend it is a butterfly net and attempt to catch a pretend
Puppets allow children the
opportunity to perform without having to directly face the audience.
Preschool students can use handmade or store-bought puppets to perform.
Students can make puppets out of paper lunch bags or socks and simple
craft supplies. Marionettes, finger or shadow puppets can also be used
by preschoolers. Puppets can be used to retell a favorite nursery rhyme
or an original script written by the children.
Other Preschool Drama Ideas
A preschool performance can
be a full scale performance with costumes and a full cast or a small
scale performance with only a parent or two in the audience. Use books
as a starting point for a preschool drama. Read a book to the class and
then ask the children to do a skit based on the book and provide simple
props and costumes that correspond with the storyline of the book that
kids can use. For instance, read the story of Little Red Riding Hood to
the preschool class and then provide wolf ears, a basket and a red piece
of fabric that the kids can use to reenact the story. Consider adding
music or dance to a performance.