Children’s theatre

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By Heather RansomDevelopment Officer, Early Childhood Unit, National Children’s Bureau

Imaginative learning through drama and movement

Did you ever dress up or pretend to be a superhero when you were a child? When I was young, I enjoyed participating in drama activities such as improvisation, puppets and storytelling. I remember getting excited when the box of puppets came out, thinking about the different actions that I could get them to do, and the voices that I could make. Together with other children, we acted out different stories. I started pre-school as quite a shy child, and these experiences supported me to grow in confidence and develop strong friendships.

Performing arts provides young children with a creative and imaginative experience that can support their play-based learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Most children enjoy dressing up, they are natural actors and are confident in role playing from an early age. However, some practitioners may feel that they do not have the skills to engage young children in specific drama activities. Many techniques are simple to learn, so it is not always necessary for practitioners to be trained in drama, dance or music. The following two case studies demonstrate how children can take part in performing arts.

Music and movement

Anni McTavish, an early years creative arts trainer, actively encourages parents, children and practitioners to be involved in music and movement sessions. By participating, parents are able to see their children’s enjoyment and learn about their development through these activities.

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