Performing Arts

Theater and performing arts at school can be an incredible creative outlet for your child.

ABC Shapes

ABC ShapesDirections Review the letters of the alphabet that your child knows and recognizes. Start with the most familiar letter of the alphabet and have your child make the shape of the letter with his body. It helps to show your child a picture or an example of the letter first. This is a good activity with another child, since many letters need two bodies to complete. read more

Act It Out

Act It OutFor most children, drama begins informally at a very young age. Playing with dolls is drama; playing store or hospital is drama; and playing cops and robbers is drama. Children also observe drama on TV, in movies, and onstage. This activity gives children an opportunity to participate in drama in a more structured and intentional way. Directions read more

Act It Out Game

Act It Out GameAges:4 to 10 Materials:Index cards, markers, large piece construction paper, erasers. On the back of 3x5 index cards, write various activities for people to do: Organize the actions by categories, such as Animals ("Make a cow sound"); Physical Things ("Jump up and down on one foot three times"); Silly Songs ("Make up a dinosaur version of Old McDonald"); or Tongue Twisters ("Say 'she sells sea shells by the sea shore' five times"). read more

Bag Skit

Bag SkitMaterials Large paper bags Various household items for props Directions This is a fun group activity, but can also be done alone and then performed for the family. read more

Balloon Dance

Balloon DanceDirections Attach air-inflated balloons to short lengths of string. Have your child hold the balloon away from her body and move around it, trying not to get too close. Still holding the string, toss the balloon into the air and let it float down. Follow the movement the balloon is making by going upwards when the balloon is tossed and downwards as the balloon floats down. Holding the string, do turning and wave-like movements with the balloon. Turn on some music and create a dance with the balloon. read more

Body Sculpting

Body SculptingDirections Ask your child to pretend that he is a soft lump of play dough and that you are the sculptor. Gently move your child's body into different shapes and positions. Then try bending, turning, and lifting your child's body. Next, it is your child's turn to be the sculptor. Stand, sit, or lie while he shapes your body. Offer no resistance and hold each new position still until your child moves it again. read more

Bridges and Tunnels

Bridges and TunnelsDirections First, discuss with your child the differences between bridges and tunnels what they typically look like and what they are used for. Make a bridge with your body and have your child go over it. Next make a tunnel and have your child go through it. Take turns creating interesting bridges and tunnels. If there are other children, you can make a series of bridges and tunnels and have the children go over and through them. read more

Chiffon Dancing

Chiffon DancingDirections Provide yourself and your child with chiffon scarves. Throw them into the air and watch them float down to the ground. After each scarf has settled, imitate the scarf movements in the air and down to the ground with your own movements. Try this several times. Drape the scarf over your head or shoulders and dance. Think of other ways that you and your child can dance with the scarves: making large circles and zigzags, leaping over them, wrapping up, and then unwinding. read more

Circle Dancing

Circle DancingDirections Identify with your child all the things in and around the house that are circular. These may include wheels, plates, balls, clock faces, coins, cookies, and doorknobs. Roll a coin and a ball and watch them travel. Have your child put his body into a round or circular shape. Encourage your child to move in circles and explore the ways round objects move in place and from place to place. Try spinning and swirling too. read more

Clockwork Marching

Clockwork MarchingDirections read more

Dancer Connect the Dots

Connect the dots to find out who is dancing to the music. read more

Elastic Shapes

Elastic ShapesMaterials A continuous circular elastic band Directions read more

Elephant Stomp

Elephant StompDirections Ask your child to describe the characteristics of an elephant: size, strength, weight, and shape. Ask your child to show you how a big heavy elephant would move. How would it turn around? How would it get down onto the ground and roll over? Make sure your child is acting out each response and not just answering in words. The goal is to become the elephant; think, move, and thunder while walking. How does an elephant move in a hurry? Would an elephant grab an apple with his trunk or mouth from an apple tree? What does a tired elephant do? read more

Finish the Picture: Theater

'It's opening night at the theater, and you're appearing on the great stage. Show us how you'll delight the audience. read more

Fireworks Dance

Fireworks DanceDirections Have a discussion with your child about the shapes and sounds of fireworks and about his or her reactions to fireworks displays. Move with your child and shoot into the air with a loud sound, then drift down to the ground making a soft sound. Alternate jumping, leaping, and exploding loudly, and then landing quietly. Try jumping, leaping, and exploding quietly with loud landings. As a finale, do a dance showing many fireworks going off, one after the other. read more

Flying

Flying Activity for the individual child Age group: 18-40 months Duration of activity: 10 minutes This activity is best when your child has lots of room to move. read more

Freeze and Melt

Freeze and MeltDirections Have your child run freely around the space. When you say freeze or clap your hands, she must stop and remain absolutely still. When you say melt, your child can relax and start to move around again. Continue freezing and melting in various shapes. Let your child say freeze and melt while you move around the room. Be creative with the shapes you choose to become. read more

Growing and Shrinking

Growing and ShrinkingDirections Stand where you have lots of room. Imagine you and your child are each in a giant bubble. Reach out and try to touch the walls of the bubble. Imagine the bubble begins to get smaller and smaller until you can squeeze it up and hold it tightly in your hand. Now let it go and feel it expand all around you again. As the bubble gets bigger, you and your child grow bigger too. read more

High Space, Low Space

High Space, Low SpaceDirections Go outside with your child and talk together about the space around us. Distinguish between high space up in the sky, low space (down on the ground), and medium space (in the middle). What living things move in these spaces? Ask your child how she would move in a high space (like a bird), in low space (crawling like a bug or snake), and middle space (animals with four legs). Experiment with dance movements exploring the space above and below. read more

If Toys Could Dance

If Toys Could DanceDirections Ask your child to collect a few of her favorite toys. Set them down with you and your child and talk about what would happen if each toy could move and dance. How would they dance? Let your child show you how each of her toys might move. Alternatively, ask your child, "If you were that toy, what kind of dance would you do?" read more

Inside-Outside Moves

Inside-Outside MovesDirections read more

Laughing Hands

Laughing HandsDirections This activity involves two people. read more

Leggy Dance

Leggy DanceDirectionsPlay some bright, rhythmical music. Stand facing your child and point out the different parts of the legs and feet. Now discover all the ways each part can move: bend the knees, wiggle the toes, circle the ankles, arch the foot, kick, and hop. Dance on one leg and dance with both legs. Add other body parts when child is ready—head, arms, shoulders, back, and waist. read more

Let's Move!

Let's Move!Directions:At an early age, children associate how they move to words that describe the movements they make. For example: run, lie down, stand up, walk. This activity will help your child build his movement vocabulary. read more

Mirror Dancing

Mirror DancingDirections read more

Newspaper Dance

Newspaper DanceMaterials 2 or 3 sheets of newspaper Directions There are many ways to create dances with a double sheet of newspaper. read more

Performing Arts Rehearsal

Performing Arts RehearsalDirections read more

Play Mime

Play MimeDirections read more

Playing with Dance

Playing with DanceDirections Get everyone involved in this group dance. Put on some lively music that everyone likes and clear a big open space. Someone start as the leader by making up some interesting, funny steps that everyone can follow along with for a few minutes. When the leader raps someone else on the shoulder, everyone begins to follow along with the new leaders steps for a few minutes before the next leader is tapped. Keep going as long as you like. read more