Posted in Drama for children

Free Today on Amazon Just So Stories On Stage.

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Posted in Drama for children

Christmas Drama Games for Children

 

christmas tree

Game: What’s the time Santa Claus?
Age: 3 years +
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: Clear space.
Benefits: This activity is based on a popular traditional children’s game that can also be used very
effectively in a drama session as a warm-up game. This game also helps children with their listening
and co-ordination skills.
Instructions: One child is chosen or volunteers to be Santa Claus and stands at one side of the clear space. His/Her back is to the other children, who are standing at the opposite end of the
space. The rest of the children shout out: “What’s the time Santa Claus?” Santa Claus does not turn around. He/she replies: “four o’clock.” The children walk forward the number of steps that Santa Claus calls out (in this case, four). The children ask again: “What time is it Santa Claus?” Santa Claus replies: “five o’clock.” The children take five steps forward. The children continue to ask the question and to walk the appropriate number of steps forward. Eventually, when Santa Claus thinks that the children are near enough he/she will say: “Christmas time!” Then, Santa Claus turns around and chases the children. They must try to rush back to their starting place. If
Santa Claus catches one of them before they reach home, that child is Santa Clausin the next game.

 

Game: Elves and Reindeers
Age: 5 years+
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space.
Benefits: The children work as part of a pair but it helps them practise giving clear directions to
their partners.
Instructions: This is a fun game that children enjoy. Divide the group into pairs. Child A is the
Elf and child B is the reindeer. The elf must guide the reindeer around the clear space by giving
them very specific directions. The elf can say for example: “go ten steps forwards” or “put your
hands in the air and turn around five times”. The elf must make sure that their reindeers do not bump into other elves and reindeers in the group. They can switch roles after a few minutes.

 

Game: Mrs Claus’s Knickers
Age: 5 years +
Minimum number of participants: 3
Resources needed: Clear space.
Benefits: This helps to improve eye contact and children body language. It also stimulates the
imagination as the children must come up with unique questions.
Instructions: The children sit in a circle. One child sits in the middle of the circle and everyone
in the circle takes it in turns to ask him/her a question, for example: “What did you have for
breakfast?” The child in the middle is only allowed to answer “Mrs Claus’s Knickers’ and they must not laugh or smile. If they laugh or smile they must change places with the child who ask the question.

Posted in Drama for children

More Movement Games

image

Cooperation/Teamwork Games

Cooperative activities help to develop children’s ability to work successfully in a group. This process enables the children to improve patience, socialisation and their capacity to problem-solve. In order for these activities to be successful the children have to actively listen to one another and articulate their thoughts and ideas in a clear manner. The following activities help children to be a valuable part of a team which helps to promote confidence and self-esteem, as it gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and abilities.

Game: Call and Response
Age: 4 years +
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space
Other benefits: Creativity, focus, listening
Instructions: Everyone sits in a circle. The teacher starts the activity by making a simple clapping rhythm. The rest of the circle repeats the rhythm. The child who is sitting next to the teacher takes a turn at making a simple clapping rhythm and the rest of the group copies it. When the group has gotten comfortable with the call and response technique, the game can become a little more complicated. Each child must add to the clapping rhythm that has gone before them. The child who is last in the round must remember the clapping rhythm of everyone else before they do their own.
Extension: Older children can stand in a circle and use different parts of their bodies to make the rhythms. For example, they could use body percussion, stomping or tap dancing.

Game: Action Charades
Age: 4 years+
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: Clear space and a list of verbs
Other benefits: Critical thinking, creativity
Instructions: If there is a large number of children divide them into groups of 4 or 5. Give each group a verb, such as clean, cook or swim. One child will mime the verb to their group. The group members have a minute or two to guess the verb. To reduce noise, have one group participate at a time, while the other group members watch.
Suggestions of Verbs:
Taste
Smell
Dance
Jog
Skate
Scream
Fight
Cry
Read
Write
Cook
Clean
Paint
Joke
Sleep
Sneeze

Posted in Drama for children

The Littest Christmas Tree – A five minute Christmas play for children

christmas tree

Narrator – Long ago in the forest there were 3(or they can be as many as you want) beautiful Fir Trees. These 3 fir trees hoped that someday they would be Christmas Trees. They were very patient and each day they grew and grew

(Trees walk up to the front. Trees will stay up front.)

All Children sing to the tune of I’m a little Tea Pot
I’m a little fir tree growing tall
Someday I’ll be the best of all.
I’ll go home with a family and
A Christmas Tree is what I’ll be!

Narrator – So the trees waited excitedly for a family to come and pick them for their Christmas Tree and then one day it happened! A family came to the forest!
(Family walk up to front beside trees.)

Family – tune of Muffin Man
Oh will you be our Christmas Tree
our Christmas tree our Christmas tree.
Oh will you be our Christmas Tree
and sparkle on Christmas Day?

Narrator – The family walked around all the trees and decided to take home the very biggest tree they could find! The dad brought out his axe and cut the fir tree down and off they went!

(Family and biggest tree go back to spots.)

All Children – tune of I’m a Little Tea Pot
I’m a little fir tree growing tall
Someday I’ll be the best of all.
I’ll go home with a family and
A Christmas Tree is what I’ll be!

Narrator – Soon another family came to the forest and they looked at all the trees too. They didn’t want a great big tree and they didn’t want a small tree. They saw a tree that was just right!

Family – tune of Muffin Man
Oh you are just the perfect tree
The perfect tree, the perfect tree
Oh you are just the perfect tree
For us on Christmas Day!

Narrator – The family was so happy that they had found the perfect tree for their house that they cut it down and off they went.

(Family and middle tree go back to their spots.)

Narrator – The littlest Christmas tree was all alone and he was sad and lonely.
(Little tree is all alone up front.)

All Children – tune of Have you ever seen a lassie
Will I ever be a Christmas tree
a Christmas tree a Christmas tree
Will I ever be a Christmas tree for a happy family?

Narrator – Soon some beautiful red birds came and sat beside the little fir tree. They brought some of the feathers and string from their nest. They decorated the littlest tree with the feathers and the string.

(Birds come up and hook decorations on tree.)

Birds – tune of Are you sleeping
Don’t be sad, don’t be sad
We are here to stay
We are here to stay
We’ll be your friends on Christmas Day
We’ll stay and we won’t fly away.
Don’t be sad, don’t be sad.

(Birds can sit beside tree or go back to spot depending on the wiggle factor of the bird children!! )

Narrator – The littlest tree began to feel better. Soon some little bunnies hopped over to the little tree. They brought some berries that they had found on the way. They strung the berries on the tree.

(Bunnies hook berries on tree )

Bunnies – Red and Green – tune of Mary had a Little Lamb
Red and Green are Christmas colours,
Christmas colours Christmas colours.
Red and Green are Christmas colours, pretty Christmas colours.

(Bunnies can sit beside tree or go back to spot depending on the wiggle factor of the bird children.)

Narrator – The feathers, string and berries looked so pretty on the little tree that he began to feel like a Christmas Tree. He was just missing one thing!

All children – tune of Brother John
What is missing? What is missing?
On our tree? On our tree?
A twinkling Christmas star,
A twinkling Christmas star
That’s what we need, that’s what we need.

Narrator – It was starting to get dark, and the stars were coming out in the night sky. The stars knew that Christmas Night was the birth of a special baby and they had a big job to do. The stars were going to tell the shepherds about the baby Jesus lying in a manger.

All Children – Baby Jesus – Finger play
Baby Jesus fast asleep in his manger bed –

(Children make a cradle with hands and then put folded hands beside head to mimic sleeping)

Come oh come on tipee toes,

(Children make come on sign with hands and then get up on tipee toes).

See the one that loves us so.

(Children hold hand over eyes and then put hands over heart.)

Narrator: A little star wasn’t able to go with all the big stars and she heard the plea of all the animals and the little tree. She decided that she would go down and be a Christmas Star for the little tree.

(Star or stars come forward and stand beside little tree. If you need to fill more spots than you can change the narrators line to some little stars weren’t able to go and they decided to go down… )

All Children – Star – tune of Little Tea Pot
I’m a little Star from in the sky
I’ll sit on the tree top way up high
I’ll shine for you in my special way
And twinkle brightly on Christmas day.

Narrator – The star looked just beautiful on the little tree and now the tree felt just like a Christmas tree! In fact, he thought he was the most beautiful Christmas tree ever! Don’t you think so too?

Posted in Drama for children

Christmas Stories On Stage is FREE Today on Amazon

 

Christmas Stories on Stage contains ten plays based on well known and cherished children’s Christmas stories.
The plays in the collection are
Rudolph: The Missing Reindeer
The Elves and the Shoemaker
Home for Christmas
Saint Bernadette
The Selfish Giant
The Little Match Girl
A Visit from Saint Nick
The Little Fir Tree
The Snowman
The Brave Tin Soldier

 

Posted in Drama for children

How to use puppets as an Early Years Educator.

puppets

  • Always make sure the child sees the puppet animated from the start and let him go back into his house still ‘alive.’ Eye contact is extremely important.
  • Get the puppet to look from one child to another- the puppet appears to know what it is talking about.
  • Quick glances back and forth express concern.
  • Double takes back and forth express surprise.
  • Not using eye contact is also very useful- if you ask the puppet something using its name and it looks at the ceiling or away, it is obvious that it’s trying to ignore you.
  • Stiff head and fixed eyes in the opposite direction express anger and rejection.
  • Slow glances back to you then away again express embarrassment or hurt.
  • Head movement- dropping head expresses sadness and slow movements express depression or sleepiness.
  • Head up for stubbornness.
  • Head to one side will express anger or confusion.
  • Let the puppet look at your class and then they will look at it.
  • The mouth opens on the vowels and closes on the consonants or to put it another way the mouth opens and shuts once for each syllable.
  • Children watch the beginning and ending of a sentence but not the middle.
  • Get the synch correct and you sustain belief in the character.
  • Keep the mouth open a little as this can be like a smile. Tight shut can look like a frown especially when used with quick jerky movements. Puppets do not need to move all the time.
  • Always use the puppet you feel most comfortable with, relax and enjoy!
Posted in Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, Drama strategies, Elements of Drama, English as a second language, Esl Drama, Fairy Tales, Movement activities, Movement stories for children, Storytelling in the Early years, The Enormous Turnip

The Enormous Turnip – Drama workshop for children

 

Read the story of “The Enormous Turnip”

Warm up: Enormous, Enormous Turnip. All the children except the child who is It, sit in a circle. It walks around the circle, tapping each player on the head, saying “Enormous” each time until he decides to tap someone and say “Turnip” That child becomes the turnip and runs after It, trying to tag him before It can take his seat. If It successfully reaches the turnip’s seat without being tagged, the turnip is the new It. If the turnip tags It, then the turnip keeps his spot in the circle and It must either continue to be It for another turn or sit in the middle of the circle until another It is tagged.

Circle time: Ask the children to sit in the circle. Ask them if they can name the different characters in the story. Ask the following questions:
How would the different characters move? What would they sound like?
What do you think they were doing before they were called to help with the Turnip?
How do they feel about pulling the Turnip up and eating it?

Character exploration: Get the children find their own space in the room. When the teacher calls out a character the children have to become the character and move around the room.
Old Man: Hunches over and moves very slowly with a walking stick.
Wife: Busy doing housework and moves very busily and quickly.
Boy: Plays football, does headers, keepy ups and scores goals.
Girl: Skips along happily.
Dog: Moves like a dog and barks.
Cat: Moves like a cat and meows.
Mouse: Moves like a mouse and squeaks.

Movement story: https://dramastartbooks.com/2017/10/08/2712/ Get the children to participate in the above Enormous Turnip Movement Story.

Mime: All the children find a space and they curl up and imagine that they are a turnip seed. The seed are get bigger and bigger until eventually they grow into a large Turnip and are pulled from the earth.

Still image: They make a still image of the moment they find out that they are going to be turned into turninip soup.

Thought tracking: The teacher goes and taps each Turnip on the shoulder and they must say one word how they feel about being eaten for dinner.
Voice exploration: Each child says the following sentence
Please, please don’t eat me for your dinner.”
In a happy voice
Sad voice,
Surprised voice,
Shocked voice,
Tired voice,
Angry voice,
Scared voice,
Excited voice.

Group work: Divide the class in to groups of 3 or 4. The group have to use their bodies to make the one big, Enormous Turnip. They have to move as the turnip but stay connected.

Freeze Frame: Divide the class into groups of 8. Each group have to make six still images that tell the story. They can show it to the other groups.
Improvisation: For older children they can add dialogue to their freeze frames.

Closure: The children stand in a circle. Child A says “If I had a turnip, I would turn it in to an Apple.” Child B says “If I had a turnip, I would turn it in to an Apple and a banana.” Child C says “If I had a turnip, I would turn it in to an Apple, a banana and a cat” and so on until everyone gets a chance. If they make a mistake or stumble they are eliminated and sit down.. The last child standing at the end wins.

Play: https://dramastartbooks.com/2017/10/08/the-enormous-turnip-a-five-minute-playscript-for-children/