Drama Queens and Kings

August 22, 2011 at 15:30 | Posted in Mamma Mia Rea | Leave a comment

The other day I went to the Garden State Discovery Museum, a haven of please-touch activities for kids (and their exhausted parents!). In one of the museum’s many rooms was a gigantic stage with trunks full of costumes. I watched as children of all ages transformed themselves into knights, dragons and princesses and staged an impromptu fairytale in front of our eyes. I was particularly taken by the excitement with which the kids flung themselves through the curtains with an exuberant, “Introducing… AVA MARRRRTIINNNN!!!!”

ALEX Toys Mamma Mia Rea

This confirms my long-held theory that in every child, even the wallflower, there is a master thespian seeking to come out. Notice how, when left to their own devices, kids will eventually initiate a game of “house” or “school”, jumping into their roles with the passion of method actors. Hand them puppets or costumes and watch the little Shakespeares tear up the stage. Some children may be more reticent than others – my girls are ever the observers; they join most activities the same way one toes into a chilly pool – but given time, they will almost always take part in some way. Some might even end up directing the whole show!

Dramatic play is a fantastic outlet for kids. It provides them with an opportunity to play out dreams, fantasies and larger-than-life scenarios. They’re also able to explore alternate means of expressing themselves. For example, shyer children may find a confidence “onstage” that may be more difficult for them to come by in real life. Dramatic play also gives kids a sense of control they don’t often have in an adult’s world. They get to make the rules. They decide what happens. It’s a wonderful time to stretch their creative muscles to build a story and work together to reach a resolution.

Encourage your kids to engage in dramatic play. Even better, join in yourself. There’s something liberating about pretending to be someone else, and your kids will love getting to call the shots on Mommy and Daddy.

Do your kids love dramatic play? Send us your stories and photos of your kids in action!

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