Dramatic play and theatre classes not only prepare your child to step into the spotlight but they can also help your child’s development of life skills which will set them on a path for a successful life in which ever career they choose. Below are just 7 of the important life skills children can gain by participating.
- Self-Confidence- by preparing for a performance and playing theatre games on a regular basis kids get used to be in front and speaking in front of others. By observing others students learn it is ok to make creative choices on stage and by having a safe and nurturing environment to rehearse scenes kids gain confidence and diminish feelings of stage fright.
- Flexibility & Problem Solving- Just as in life, things on-stage don’t always go as planned. By playing improvisational games that get young actors to think quick on their feet and by working through unplanned mistakes during performances and rehearsals kids learn to how to be flexible by going with the flow and also improve problem solving skills as they find ways to hide mistakes from the audience.
- Creativity & Imagination- Drama classes and performances give kids the opportunity to let loose and make creative choices. When creating characters and situations kids are developing their ability to view things in a new way and from different perspectives. The ability to put themselves in other roles and situations can transfer into the ability to come up with solutions to real problems.
- Teamwork- Though it is not often viewed as a team sport- acting in a scene or play is a very collaborative act. Everyone in a scene is important, if someone forgets to come on stage, misses a line, forgets to move somewhere, looses concentration or etc. the others onstage have to work together in the moment to try and adapt with out the audience knowing that something went awry.
- Physical Development- Most acting classes and pre-performance routines include a physical warm-up comprised of stretching, movement and concentration activities to help prepare actors for the physicality and mentally of any role they might play which could include emulating the way a gymnast, football player, a senior citizen or a preschooler might move and hold their body. Musical Theatre requires kids to sing, dance and act simultaneously.
- Language and Communication– By playing new games, learning songs, reading from scripts and through pretend play kids develop their vocabulary, ability to project (speak loudly),and their articulation & diction (speaking clearly). When in class or onstage they are encouraged to express themselves verbally, through facial expressions and body language which are key in making them better and more effective communicators for a life time.
- Concentration– When kids are encouraged to listen to each other’s thoughts and ideas, take turns and to focus in the moment on the activities at hand they are developing their concentration skills. Not to mention it takes a lot of concentration to remember lines or even just to remember stay focused and in character.
Many of these skills can be gained at home through dramatic play by kids at home with friends or family. Encourage unplugged play with costumes, puppets, and scriptwriting. If you have kids that are more motivated by technology, they can be encouraged to make and share their own films, audio books or live broadcast.
Want a little help encouraging dramatic play or are your kids ready for a bigger challenge? If you want your child to develop and hone these important life skills, the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts of Winona offers a wide variety of theatre classes, camps and performance opportunities that are perfect for the children in your life. Visit our Theatre Division page to find out more.