Posted in Drama for children

Bird Stories on Stage is free today on Amazon

This delightful collection of children’s plays is based on bird stories. The plays are simple, so it is very easy for children to memorise their lines. The cast list is flexible – more characters can be added, and existing characters can be changed or omitted depending on the size and requirements of the group. The collection includes favourites such as The Fox and the Crow, The Nightingale and the Rose and The Little Red Hen. The scripts are simple and can be used as performance plays, reader’s theatre or just read for enjoyment.

Click here to get your free copy on  or

Posted in Drama for children

Chinese New Year Free Play Script for Children. Chinese Zodiac Story.

This Chinese new  year is the year of the rat. Did you ever wonder how each Chinese year was assign an animal. Read the following children’s play and you will find out.

Characters: Three narrators, three Jade Emperors, rat, cat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, horse, snake, goat, rooster, monkey, dog and boar.

(Stage directions: three narrators on the left hand side of the stage. All the other characters walk around the stage showing confusion on their faces.)

Narrator 1: Long time ago in China. There was no such thing as time.

Narrator 2: Because there was no such thing as time, no one knew when to get up, or when to have their dinner or when to go to school or even when to play and have fun.

Narrator 3: Nobody did anything at the same time.

Narrator 1: The Jade Emperors who were the Emperors of Heaven knew this was a problem. (The Jade Emperors are standing on chairs looking down on all the chaos.)

Narrator 2: They decided to do some thing about it.

Jade Emperor 1: What are we going to do?

Jade Emperor 2: Everything is in chaos.

Jade Emperor 3: No one knows when to do things.

Jade Emperor 1: We have to come up with a way of measuring time.

Jade Emperor 2: Easier said then done.

Jade Emperor 3: How will we measure it?

Jade Emperor 1: Well, I have an idea.

Jade Emperor 2 and 3: Oh please, tell us.

Jade Emperor 1: Well, we could have a swimming race and the first twelve animals across the line will have a year named after them.

Jade Emperor 2: That’s a wonderful idea. Let’s call the animals.

Narrator 3: All the animals were summoned and were told about the Jade Emperor’s solutions for creating time. (They mime calling the animals and having a conversation while the narrators are talking.)

Narrator 1: All the animals were excited and lined up.

Narrator 2: Both the cat and the rat knew they weren’t good swimmers so they asked to Ox to help.

Rat: Ox can you help us, because you are so strong?

Cat: And so kind.

Ox: Of course, jump on my back and I’ll help you get across the river.

(They all line up for the race and start swimming: the ox is in front with both the cat and rat on his back. They swim around for a while and just as they approach the end of the race the rat throws the cat off the ox’s back and jumps onto the ox’s back so he is the first to cross the line.)

Rat: I won! I won!

Jade Emperor 1: Well done. The first year in the zodiac will be known as the Year of Rat. (He gets off his chair and shakes the rat’s hand and gives him a medal.)

Ox: You tricked me, rat.

Jade Emperor 2: Never mind, the second year of the zodiac will be called after you. (He gets off his chair and shakes the ox’s hand and gives him a medal.)

Tiger: (struggling to swim against the current.) I am exhausted. I never swan so far before.

Emperor 3: The year of the tiger will be the third sign of the zodiac. (He gets off his chair and shakes the tiger’s hand and gives him a medal.)

Rabbit: (floating on a log) I am sorry to say I can’t swim. I hopped across on some stepping stones and then found a floating log which carried me to the shore.

Emperor 1: Well done, Rabbit. That showed imagination, so I am happy to name the fourth year after you. (He gets off his chair and shakes the rabbit’s hand and gives him a medal. Dragon comes swooping down.)

Emperor 2: Dragon, why are you so late? You should have won as you can fly as well as swim.

Dragon: I was in the lead but then I saw the rabbit on a log and he needed some help so I huffed and puffed so that the log reached the shore.

Emperor 2: Well that was very kind of you and now you are here you will have the fifth year of the zodiac named after you. (He gets off his chair and shakes the dragon’s hand and gives him a medal.)

Horse: Neigh! Neigh! I am going to be the sixth year. (Horse comes galloping in with the snake next to him. Snake sneaks up behind and scares him.)

Snake: Boo! (Horse jumps back.) No, Horse, I am going to be the sixth year of the zodiac.

Horse:  Well, I suppose I’ll have to settle with (for?) seventh place. I don’t mind as seven is a lucky number. (Emperors shake their hands and give them their medals.)

Narrator 1: Not long afterwards a raft arrived carrying the goat, the monkey and the rooster.

Goat: We shared the raft that the rooster found.

Rooster: The monkey and goat helped me push the raft into the water.

Monkey: We worked really well together.

Emperor: I am very pleased you worked as a team. The goat can be the eighth zodiac animal, the monkey the ninth and the rooster the tenth. (He shakes their hands and gives them medals.)

Goat, Rooster Monkey: Hurrah, we can stay together on the calendar. (The dog arrives very slowly.)

Emperor 2: Dog, where have you been? You are the best swimmer out of all the animals.

Dog: The river was so clean I decided to have a bath.

Emperor 3: Well, as you are so late then you will have to settle for eleventh place. We have only one place left. (He gets off his chair and shakes the dog’s hand and gives him a medal. The boar comes along.)

Emperor 1: Where have you been, boar? You nearly missed out on the last place.

Boar: It was such a lovely day I decided to stop and have a rest. I am here now and I am the final zodiac animal.

Emperor 2: Congratulations. (He gets off his chair and shakes the boar’s hand and gives him a medal. Cat struggles out of the water. He is not happy.)

Emperor 3: I am sorry, cat, all the places are gone.

Cat: (starts crying) Boo, hoo. I will never forgive the rat.

Narrator 2: Since then cats have never been friends with rats.

(All the animals line up in order and take a bow. The cat is in the corner sulking.)


For more children’s play click here.
Check out there following free children’s plays


The Monkey and the Crocodile

The Buddha and the Beggar man

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Posted in Action Poems, Circle games, co-operation, Coordination games, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama games for 3 year olds, Drama games for 4 year olds, Movement activities, Movement stories for children

Movement Activities for Children that focus on Coordination (Drama Games)

Group Of Children With Teacher Enjoying Drama Class Together
From more movement activities, games and stories, click on the image above.

The following movement activities promote the following types of coordination skills:

Gross motor coordination: This type of coordination is the movement of arms, legs and body that allows children to walk, run, jump, throw kick and twist.

Fine motor coordination: This type of coordination allows children toperform tasks that require precision. Activities that require children to manipulate small objects will improve their fine motor skills.

Hand-eye coordination: This type of coordination allows children to guide their hand to complete the task.

Movement Activities:

Movement activity: Doors and Windows

Age: 5 years

Minimum number of participants:10

Resources needed: Clear space.

Other benefits: Spatial awareness, group work.

Instructions: The children form a circle while standing and holding their hands. The group spreads out enough so that everyone’s arms arestraight in the circle. This should form large spaces between the circle members. These large spaces represent the windows and doors. Then one child is chosen to be the runner. The runner starts running,and weaving in and out between the windows and doors. The children inthe circle randomly drop their arms down trying to touch or trap the runner who is weaving his/her way in and out of the windows and door.Once the runner is caught or touched by the arms of someone in the. circle, they are out. The runner chooses another child in the group to take his/her place and they become the next child to weave in and out of the windows and doors.

Movement activity: Centipede

Age: 5 years +

Minimum number of participants:

Resources  needed: Clear space.

Other benefits: Teamwork, trust.

Instructions: Divide the group into groups of 5 or 6. The children ineach group sit on the floor and hold the ankles of the child behind them. They call out left, right and the group has to try to move while everyone is holding the ankles of the child in front of them. If there is more than one group they can have a centipede race.

 Movement activity: Object Relay

Age: 5 years +

Minimum number of participants: 4

Resources needed: Clear space, a ball and a variety of objects (optional).

Other benefits: Imagination, teamwork, focus.

Instructions: Children stand in a line. If there are lots of childrenin the class you make more than one line. Each line has a ball. The ball must be passed down the line. The teacher calls out the instruction of how the ball should be passed down the line. Once the ball gets to the end of the line it has to be passed back. Suggested instructions:

  • Pass the ball overhead.
  • Pass the ball between your legs.
  • Pass the ball without using your hands.
  • Pass the ball by just using your chest.
  • Pass the ball by just using your head.

If a team drops the ball then they have to go back to the beginning.

Extension: You could have a box of different objects that they must pass down the line. Each line should have the same objects. The line that gets all the objects down safely is the winner.

Movement activity: Bean Bag Balance

Age: 4 years +

Minimum number of participants: 2

Resources needed: Clear space, bean bags for each member of the class Other benefits: Focus, imagination, problem solving.

Instructions: The teacher gets the children put a bean bag on their heads and they walk slowly around the room. Once they feel comfortable the children can walk faster and faster. They can see if they can run with the bean bag on their head. Once they have mastered balancing the beanbags on their head then they can see if they can balance the bean bag on other parts of their body. Suggested Body Parts:

  • Knees
  • Foot
  • Hands
  • Thighs
  • Shoulder
  • Face
  • Wrist
  • Toes

Again, they start off slowly and then they get faster and faster. The child that can balance on the most body parts and move the fastest is the winner.


Movement activity: Pick Up the Bean Bag

Age: 3 years +

Minimum number of participants: 2

Resources needed: Clear space and a variety of bean bags, a basket orbox for each child.

Other benefits: Warm up, teamwork.

Instructions: The teacher gets a variety of bean bags and spreads them across the space. The children have 10 seconds to see how many beanbags they can collect. The group could divide into sub-groups of three or four and have a race to see who can pick up the most beanbags in the time allotted.  

Movement activity: Roll the Dice

Age: 3 years+

Minimum number of participants: 2

Resources needed: Clear space, a dice for each member of the group.

Other benefits: Creativity, memory, focus.

Instructions: Everyone rolls their dice together. Each number corresponds to action such as: 1 Wiggle your body for 10 seconds. 2 Spin around 5 times. 3 Stand on your right leg for 15 seconds. 4 Hop 10 times. 5 Make a large circle with your arms 10 times. 6 Close your eyes and take 5 deep breaths. Once the children have become used to the actions, get them to come up with their own actions for each number.  

Movement activity: The Troll’s Bridge

Age: 4 years +

Minimum number of participants: 3

Resources needed: Masking tape, objects to carry.

Other benefits: Energy, focus.

Instructions: Make a bridge with the masking tape. Tell the children that they are crossing a very narrow bridge and there is a troll thatlives underneath it. The children are crossing the bridge going to visit their friend. They are carrying a variety of objects with them.The children are told the troll won’t bother them if they stay on the narrow bridge and don’t drop anything. If they fall off the bridge or drop anything then the troll chases them. The troll can be the teacher or another child. If you want to make it more difficult tell them. to carry the objects over the bridge on their head.  

Movement activity: Cooperative Chase

Age: 3 years +

Minimum number of participants: 6

Resources needed: Clear space.

Other benefits: Warm-up, teamwork.

Instructions: One child volunteers to be “It.” If he catches another child in the group then they join together and connect. The connected pair need to work together to catch a third child who in turn would connect to them. They do it until everyone is connected. If the group catches someone and the connection is broken, then that child is free to go.  


From more movement activities, games and stories, click here.

For free movement activities click on the following: 


The hare and the tortoise movement story. 

Goldilocks and the three bears movement story

More movement activities for children. 





Posted in Books for children, Drama for children, fables, Fairy Tales

My top ten favourite children’s books

My Top Ten Favourite Children’s Books
  1. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  2. Where the Wild Things are by Maurice Sendak
  3. The Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
  4. The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch
  5. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
  6. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreas
  7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  8. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
  9. Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  10. Don’t let the Pigeon drIve the Bus by Mo Williams
Posted in Action Poems, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama games for 3 year olds, Drama strategies, Drama workshop for childre, English as a second language, English teaching games, fables, Fairy Tales, Plays, Plays for Children, Role playing stories, Story sacks, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, the lion and the mouse

The Lion and the Mouse: A fun drama workshop for young children.

The Lion and the Mouse.

Each child finds a space and sits down. Each child or a group of children are assigned a specific word and a corresponding action to the story the lion and the mouse. The narrator/teacher reads the story aloud, and when the children hear their word, they must jump up and do their actions. The words are in bold to assist the teacher/narrator.

Movement: Action.

Lion: Get down on hands and knees, and move around stealthily as a lion stalking his prey.

Mouse: Scamper like a mouse and squeak.

Forest: Make yourself into a large tree.

Roar/roared/roaring: Roar loudly like a lion.  

Eat: Do a gobbling action.

Help: Extend hands in a kindly gesture.

Narrator: One day, a lion was fast asleep in the forest, his head resting on his paw and he was snoring away. A timid little mouse came scampering by him and accidentally scampered across the lion’s nose. The lion woke up with a loud roar. The lion laid his huge paw angrily on the timid little mouse. He roared, “I’m going to eat you up.”

“Don’t eat me!” begged the poor mouse. “Please let me go and someday I will help you.”

The lion was much amused to think that a mouse could ever help him. But he was generous and finally let the mouse go.

Some days later, while walking in the forest, the lion was caught in a hunter’s net. Unable to free himself, he filled the forest with his angry roaring. The mouse heard the roar and quickly found the lion trapped in the net. Running to one of the great ropes that bound him, she chewed it until it fell apart, and soon the lion was free.

“You laughed when I said one day I would help you,” said the mouse. “Now, you see that even a mouse can help a lion.”

They hugged, and from then on, the lion and the mouse were very good friends.


Ask the children to name different jungle animals. They discuss what they can do, what they eat, where they live in the jungle. Then each child chooses their favour it’s jungle animal. The teacher goes around the circle and each child get an opportunity to speak about its favorite jungle animal

My favorite animal is …..

It’s …….

It’s got……..

It lives in………

It eats …….

It moves like………..

Warm up:

Children are running through the ‘jungle’ and run into many animals, etc that they need to get away from. The teacher can give appropriate commands, and the children carry out a suitable action:

jump over logs

duck under branches

high knees through quicksand

run from the tiger

tip toe past the snake

talk to the monkeys (ooh, ooh, aah, aah), etc.

This really gets kids’ hearts pumping and they have a blast!

Main Focus of workshop:

The Lion’s Court: Before starting this game it is a good idea for the teacher to talk about the different animals that are found in the jungle. The teacher should ask the children who is the King of the Jungle? The teacher then assumes the role of a lion who is the King of the Jungle. It would be a good idea to have a crown for the lion. The children can make a court for the lion with chairs and a table or with cushions. Inside the court the lion sits on a throne. Each child chooses an animal they would like to pretend to be. The lion tells the other animals he is looking for animals to join his court. One by one he calls all the animals to him and asks them why he should let them join his court. The child must say what type of animal they are and what good qualities they have and how they will be useful to the lion, the King of the Jungle. When they have finished the King says “you may join my court” and lets them in. This is why it is a good idea to designated area in the jungle.

Dramatic play is a great way to teach important communication skills to children. Jungles hold a fascination for children, and incorporating drama workshop with a jungle theme can be fun for both  teachers and  children  alike. Add music, costumes and props to your dramatic play if possible.


Sleeping Lions: All the children are lions (tigers, cows or any animal they want to be). They lie down on the floor; eyes closed and stay still, as if they were sleeping. The teacher goes around the room, trying to get the lions to move. If they move, then they have to get up and help the teacher to try to get the other lions to move. They are not allowed to touch the lions, but may move close to them, tell jokes or pull faces. After five minutes, with a loud roar, tell the lions who are still on the floor to wake up. 

For more drama ideas for young children click on

For more drama activities about Aesop’s Fables, click on the links below.

Aesop’s Fables

The Lion and the Mouse – a rhyming play.

The Lion and the Mouse – a fun movement story


Posted in Action Poems, Animal Stories, Bear Hunt, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama games for 3 year olds, Drama games for 4 year olds, Drama strategies, Drama workshop for childre, English as a second language, Esl, Esl Drama, Fairy Tales, Goldilocks anD the three bears, Role playing stories, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques, Voice Production

Goldilocks and the Three Bears Workshop for children.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Each child finds a space and sits down. Each child or a group of children are assigned a specific word and a corresponding action. The narrator/teacher reads the story aloud, and when the children hear their word, they must jump up and do their actions. The words are in bold to assist the teacher/narrator.

Movement: Action

Goldilocks: Skip around the space.

Bear/Bears: Walk slowly and growl.

Bowl/Bowls: Clasp fingers together and stick out arms to make a round shape.

Porridge: Wiggle body up and down.

Chair/s: Squat down and stick out arms.

Bed/s: Lies straight on the floor.

First: Holds up one finger.

Second: Holds up two fingers.

Third: Holds up three fingers.

Narrator: Once upon a time, there was a girl called Goldilocks. One day, she decided to go for a walk in the woods. Soon, she became tired. She saw a little cottage in the woods. She knocked, but there was no answer, so she decided to go inside and rest.

At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge. Goldilocks was hungry. She tasted the porridge from the first bowl.

“This porridge is too hot!” she exclaimed.

So, she tasted the porridge from the second bowl.

“This porridge is too cold,” she said.

So, she tasted the third bowl of porridge.

“Ahhh, this porridge is just right,” she said happily, and she ate it all up.

After she’d eaten the three bears’ breakfasts, she decided she was feeling a little tired. So, she walked into the living room where she saw three chairs. Goldilocks sat in the first chair to rest her feet.

“This chair is too big!” she exclaimed.

So she sat in the second chair.

“This chair is too big, too!” she whined.

So she tried the third and smallest chair.

“Ahhh, this chair is just right,” she sighed. But just as she settled down into the chair to rest, it broke into pieces!

Goldilocks was very tired by this time, so she went upstairs to the bedroom. She lay down in the first bed, but it was too hard. Then she lay in the second bed, but it was too soft. Then she lay down in the third bed, and it was just right. Goldilocks fell asleep.

As she was sleeping, the three bears came home.

“Someone’s been eating my porridge,” growled the Papa bear.

“Someone’s been eating my porridge,” said the Mama bear.

“Someone’s been eating my porridge, and they ate it all up!” cried the Baby bear.

“Someone’s been sitting in my chair,” growled the Papa bear.

“Someone’s been sitting in my chair,” said the Mama bear.

“Someone’s been sitting in my chair, and they’ve broken it all to pieces,” cried the Baby bear.

They decided to look around some more, and when they got upstairs to the bedroom, Papa bear growled, “Someone’s been sleeping in my bed,”

“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed, too,” said the Mama bear

“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed, and she’s still there!” exclaimed Baby bear.

Just then, Goldilocks woke up and saw the three bears. She screamed, “Help!” And she jumped up and ran out of the room. Goldilocks ran down the stairs, opened the door, and ran away into the woods. And Goldilocks never returned to the home of the three bears.

Introduction: Show the children pictures. Tell there are 8 different types of bears. There are eight species in the bear family: The Asiatic Black Bear, Brown Bear, North American Black Bear, Panda Bear, Polar Bear, Sloth Bear, Spectacled Bear, and the Sun Bear.

Warm up: The warm up is a movement activity called “Does a Bear Live in the Woods?”

A clear space is needed. The teacher explains to the class that when they come across a bear in the woods they must lie down on the ground and keep very still. One child volunteers to be the bear. The bear goes to one end of the clear space and turns his/her back on the rest of the class. All the other children try to sneak up behind the bear. When the bear turns around all the children must lie very still on the ground. If the bear sees you, moving s/he pulls you away to join him/her. Then there are two bears. Eventually all the children are caught moving and become bears. 

Voice production:

Tell the children that they are going to explore different voices. We need to change our voices to show different emotions or become different characters.

Get the group to repeat the following lines together in their normal voices

Who has been sitting in my chair?

Who has eating my porridge?

Who has been sleeping in my bed.

Now get the children to say the lines the following ways:












Role Play: “Now we are going to warm up our bodies. Everyone find a space and walk around the room as yourself. When I say freeze I will call out different ways of walking….

Walk as

Daddy bear

Mummy bear

Baby bear


Grumpy daddy bear

Kind mummy bear

Happy baby bear

Surprised Goldilocks”.

Sculpting: Divide the class into pairs. One of the pair is the sculptor the other us the clay. Get the sculptor to mould the clay into

How  goldilocks felt when the bears found her. 

How did baby bear feel when he saw that his porridge had been eaten. 

How did mummy bear feel when she saw that someone had been sleeping in her bed. 

How daddy bear fell when he saw Goldilocks sleeping in the bed.  

It can be abstract. The teacher/children look at each sculpture and guess how the characters are feeling.

Movement Poetry:

When Goldilocks Went to the House of the Bears

When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears, (The children walk on the spot.) Oh, what did her blue eyes see? (The children point to their eyes.)

A bowl that was huge and a bowl that was small and a bowl that was tiny and that was all. (Children make increasingly smaller shapes with their arms to represent each bowl.) And she counted them – one, two, three! (They use one finger to point – as if counting each bowl.)

When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears, (Walk on the spot.)Oh, what did her blue eyes see? (Point to their eyes.)

A chair that was huge and a chair that was small, and a chair that was tiny and that was all. (Use hands to show the different heights and the size of each chair, getting smaller all the time.) And she counted them – one, two, three! (Use their fingers to point, as if counting each chair.)

When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears, (Walk on the spot.) Oh, what did her blue eyes see? (Point to their eyes.)

A bed that was huge and a bed that was small and a bed that was tiny and that was all. (Use their hands to show the increasingly smaller length and size of each bed.) And she counted them – one, two, three! (Use their fingers to point, as if counting each bed.)

When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears. (Walk on the spot.) Oh, what did her blue eyes see? (Point to their eyes.)

A bear that was huge and a bear that was small and a bear that was tiny and that was all. (Use hands to show the increasingly smaller height and size of each bear.)

Closure: The Bears are Coming

The teacher tells the children before we had the internet, cars, computers, trains, planes, washing machines, hoovers, people had to chop wood. Talk about type of jobs people did in the olden days. All the children then have to find some physical action, based on an old fashioned job like wood chopping, hunting, or washing clothes and begin doing this action somewhere in the room.

The teacher/volunteer then leaves the room momentarily and returns as the bear. Once the bear arrives, the children  must freeze where they are, and  the bear  must try to make the other children  laugh. If a child laughs they’ve come a bear and the bears work together until they have made everyone laugh. The bears cannot touch the frozen children!

For a variety of Goldilocks and the three bears books, click on


Goldilocks and the Three Bears – Movement story

Storytelling in the Early Years.


Posted in Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Fairy Tales, Plays for Children, Plays that teach emotions, Role playing stories

Thumbelina – based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale


Characters: Three storytellers, Woman, Old Witch, Old Mother Toad, Thumbelina, Toad, Fish 1, Fish 2, Butterfly, Black Beetle, Beetle 1, Beetle 2, Mouse, Mole, Swallow, Tiny Man.

Storyteller 1: Once upon a time, there lived a woman. (Woman is sitting on a chair in the centre of the stage, looking very sad.)

Storyteller 2: The woman was very sad because all she wished for was to have a child of her very own that she could love.

Woman: Oh, how I long for a child to hold in my arms.

Storyteller 3: An old witch was passing by and she heard the woman’s wish. (Old witch hobbles on to the stage and she stops when she hears the woman talking.)

Old Witch: Here, take this barley corn. If you plant it carefully in the ground, your wishes will come true. (Old Witch gives the woman the barley corn but the woman looks very confused.)

Storyteller 1: The woman was confused but she took the barley corn and planted it carefully in the ground.

Storyteller 2: One day…

Woman:  What a beautiful red and yellow flower. (She kisses it.)

Storyteller 3: Pop! The flower opened and out jumped a tiny girl.

Woman: Oh my goodness, what a beautiful girl you are, but you are so tiny. You are no bigger than my thumb. I shall call you Thumbelina.

Storyteller 1: The woman and Thumbelina lived happily together.

Storyteller 2: Thumbelina slept in a bed made of a walnut shell and she floated up and down the river in her nice, comfortable shell.

(An old toad comes hopping on to the stage.)

Old Mother Toad: (Looks at Thumbelina.) What’s this? It is a tiny girl. She will make a perfect wife for my son. I will just take this walnut shell and no one will miss her. (She pushes the walnut shell down the river.)

Storyteller 3: Old Mother Toad swims down the river with Thumbelina fast asleep in her walnut shell.

Storyteller 1: When Old Mother Toad got to the swamp, she tied the shell to a waterlily stem.

Old Mother Toad: Toad, Toad, come here look what I found. (Toad comes running on stage. He looks at the sleeping Thumbelina and smiles.)

Toad: She is perfect. (He rubs his hands together and smiles with glee.)

Storyteller 2: The next day, Thumbelina woke up.

Thumbelina: What’s going on? Where am I? This is not my home. (Looks at the toad.) Who are you?

Old Mother Toad: I’m old Mother Toad and this is my son, Toad.

Toad: My mother thought you would make the perfect wife for me. (The two toads hop off stage.)

Thumbelina: But I don’t want to marry a toad and live in a swamp. (Thumbelina tries to free her walnut shell from the waterlily stem but she can’t. She starts to cry.)

(Two fish swim by and they stop when they hear the sobbing.)

Fish 1: What’s the matter?

Thumbelina: Old Mother Toad kidnapped me from my home. She wants me to marry her son.

Fish: We will help you. (They start to bite through the rope.)

Fish 2: At last we have done it. Now you are free.

Thumbelina: Oh, thank you, Fish.

Fish: Good luck, Thumbelina. (They wave goodbye as Thumbelina floats down the river in her walnut shell.)

Thumbelina: Bye, bye. I’m so happy to escape those horrid toads.

(A butterfly lands on the shell.)

Butterfly: Hello, what’s your name? What are you doing?

Thumbelina: I’m Thumbelina. An old toad stole me from my home. She wanted me to marry her son, but two nice fish helped me escape. I just want to go home.

Butterfly:  Hold on tight to me and I’ll pull your walnut shell so you can get home faster.

(Enters a big black beetle on to the stage.)

Black Beetle: Look at that butterfly with that beautiful girl. I must take her and show her to the other beetles.

Storyteller 3: The big black beetle swooped down and scooped Thumbelina up and flew off with her.

Butterfly: Hey, come back! You can’t just take her.

Black Beetle: Ha, ha. I just did. See you later, butterfly.

Black Beetle: Look what I found. A beautiful tiny girl.

Beetle 1: She is not beautiful.

Beetle 2: She doesn’t have any feelers.

Beetle 1: And she has only two legs.

Beetle 2: I have never seen anything so ugly in my life. Get rid of her at once.

(Beetle flies off with Thumbelina and then he sees a daisy. He put her down gently on the daisy.)

Black Beetle: I will leave you here, Thumbelina, on this daisy.

Thumbelina: I just want to go home, but I’m stuck here.

Storyteller 1: Soon summer passed and winter came. It began to get colder and colder.

Thumbelina: (Shivering.) I won’t survive the winter if I don’t find a warmer place to stay.

Storyteller 2: She climbs down from the daisy and enters a field, and there she meets a mouse.

Mouse: You look cold and hungry. Come warm yourself by my fire and you can eat my food. You can live with me until winter is over.

Thumbelina: Thank you, mouse. I will cook and clean for you.

Storyteller 3: Thumbelina lived with the mouse for a few weeks. She cooked and cleaned for him. One day, mouse came home. He was very excited.

Mouse: I just got a text from my friend mole. He heard I had the most beautiful girl staying with me. He wants to meet you. Let’s go and visit him.

Storyteller 1: They trundled through the field and they came to a tunnel.

Thumbelina: I don’t want to go down this tunnel.

Mole: It is the only way we can reach Mole’s house.

Storyteller 2: Finally, Thumbelina agreed to go through the tunnel. They were halfway there when they saw a dead swallow.

Thumbelina: We must help him.

Mouse: He is dead.

Thumbelina: Let me put a blanket over him.

Mouse: That is a waste of a good blanket.

(Thumbelina puts the blanket over the swallow and they continue the journey.

Suddenly, Thumbelina hears something and turns around quickly.)

Thumbelina: What’s that?

Mouse: I don’t hear anything. We have to continue our journey it is getting late. Mole is waiting for us.

Thumbelina: It is a soft thump. Listen. It’s the swallow’s heart. He isn’t dead. Mouse, get him some water.

Swallow: Thank you.

Thumbelina: Swallow, I will look after you. Come and stay with us at Mole’s house.

They go off to Mole’s house.

Mole: What’s all this?

Thumbelina: It’s a swallow. We must care for him or he will die.

Mole: Oh very well, come in.

Storyteller 3: At the end of winter, Mole announced.

Mole: Great news, Thumbelina. I’ve decided to marry you.

Mouse: Congratulations, Thumbelina. You are so lucky; Mole is very rich.

Mole: Mouse will return to field and you will stay here with me underground.

Thumbelina: I don’t want to stay underground forever. I want to be outside in the warmth and the sunshine. (She starts to cry.)

Swallow: I’ve an idea. I’m strong enough to leave. Jump on my back and we can fly away.

Storyteller 1: Thumbelina jumped on the swallow’s back and away they flew.

Thumbelina:  Bye, Mouse. Thanks for everything.

Mouse: Bye, bye.

Mole: How ungrateful?

Swallow: Do you see those beautiful flowers below.

(Thumbelina nods her head.)

Swallow: Choose one of those flowers and I will put you down there.

Thumbelina: That one, there. (She points to one.)

Storyteller 3: The swallow put her down gently and there sitting in the flower, was a tiny man with a golden crown.

Tiny Man: Hello? Fancy meeting you here.

Thumbelina: I’m Thumbelina. Who are you?

Tiny Man: Every flower has a sprite living in them. I’m the King of all flower sprites.

You are so beautiful. Will you marry me?

Thumbelina: Oh yes.

Tiny man: Here take these wings. Now you can fly from flower to flower and visit the other flower sprites.

Storytellers: They lived happily ever after.

For more plays based on Hans Christian Andersen’s stories, click here.


For free Hans Christian Andersen plays, click below.

The Money Pig

The Nutcracker

Posted in Drama for children

The Monkey and the Crocodile – A simple play for children based on an old Indian Story


Char2acters: Three storytellers, the crocodile, the crocodile’s wife and the monkey.

Storyteller 1: Once upon a time there lived a crocodile that lived in the river Ganges in India.
(Crocodile enters stage swimming slowly.)
Storyteller 2: On both sides of the Ganges there were large music fruit trees.
Storyteller 3: A monkey lived in one of the trees. He ate fruit all day.
(Monkey mimes eating fruit.)
Monkey: These fruits are so delicious and juicy I’m so lucky to live in a fruit tree.
(Crocodile sits under the tree for shade.)
Crocodile: It is very hot I think I will sit under this tree and sleep in the shade. (Looks up.) The fruits on tree look so delicious. I wish I could climb the tree and pick some.
Monkey: (climbs down from the tree) Since you are resting under my tree, you are my guest. Please come and taste some of my delicious fruits.
Storyteller 1: The monkey plucked the juiciest fruit off the tree and gave it to the crocodile.
Crocodile: Oh thank you Monkey you are so kind.
Monkey: You are welcome. Come again, any time.
Storyteller 2: Soon, the crocodile came every day. They would eat the fruit and talk to one another for hours.
(Crocodile and the monkey mime having a conversation and eating lots of fruits.)
Storyteller 3: One day as the crocodile was leaving to swim home. The monkey gave him some fruit.
Monkey: Crocodile give these fruits to your wife. I plucked them especially for her.
Storyteller 1: The crocodile swam home and gave the fruit to his wife, She was very happy.
(Crocodile swims home and gives his wife the fruit.)
Crocodile’s wife: These fruits are delicious. I have never tasted such sweet fruit in all my life. Where did you get them from?
Crocodile: I got them from my friend the monkey. He lives in the fruit tree so he knows which ones are the sweetest.
Crocodile’s wife: Does the monkey eat fruit every day?
Crocodile: Yes, only the sweetest and juiciest ones. Why do you ask?
Crocodile’s wife: Because that means his heart must be so sweet. If I eat his heart I would remain young and beautiful forever. You must steal the monkey’s heart and give it to me.
Crocodile: But he is my good friend. He is my only friend. It would be unfair for me to steal his heart.
Crocodile’s wife: (gets angry) If you loved me you would do it.
Crocodile: Do not get anger my dear, I will do as you wish.
Storyteller 2: The next day the crocodile swam to the riverbank and reached the tree where the monkey lived.
Monkey: Crocodile, you are late today. I thought you weren’t coming.
Crocodile: My wife has made a meal for you. She has invited you to tea because she wants to thank you for giving her your beautiful sweet fruit.
Monkey: That’s very kind of her but I’m a land animal, I can’t swim.
Crocodile: We live on a sand bank just jump on my back and I’ll take you there.
Storyteller 3: The monkey hopped on the crocodile’s back and away they went.
Monkey: Slow down, Croc. You are going too fast.
Crocodile: I’m sorry Monkey but I have to go fast because my wife wants to eat your heart for her tea.
Monkey: Oh Croc, you should have told me this before we left. I always keep my heart in the hollow of the tree for safe keeping.
Crocodile: I’ll take you back to the tree and you can collect your heart.
Monkey: That would be great.
Storyteller 1: Crocodile turns and swims back to the tree where the monkey lives upon reaching the bank the monkey jumps off the crocodiles back and clambers up the tree. After a while the crocodile says…..
Crocodile: Monkey, you must have found your heart by now. My wife will get angry if we don’t arrive soon.
Monkey: You are so foolish crocodile. Don’t you know your heart is within yourself? It was a trick to save my life. Now leave my tree and never come back again.
Storyteller 2: The crocodile left empty handed.
(Crocodile’s wife looks very angry.)
Storytellers: The moral of the story is at times presence of mind pays well.

Click here for more children’s plays based on Panchatantra stories.

The Lion and the Clever Rabbit – A Simple Play for Children.

Drama Lesson based on “The Lion and The Clever Rabbit”

Posted in Drama for children, Movement activities, Movement stories for children

Movement Story – The Tortoise and the Hare


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Movement Story
The Tortoise and the Hare

Resources needed: Clear space and a copy of the story below.
Introduction: Ask the children do they know the story of the tortoise and the hare. Tell them you are going to tell them the story but instead of just sitting and listening they are going to participate in the story. Tell them that they are going to listen out for the following words and they have to do the action associated with that word when they hear it in the story. The teacher should explain any words that the children might not understand such as boastful – boast is telling everyone how good you are at everything. The teacher should go through the different words and their movement. If there are too many words for the age group the teacher can omit some of them. Once the teacher has gone through the words and the actions, she then shouts out words randomly to see if everyone knows the action. The children find their own space in the room so they can move freely and then the story can begin.

Boast/boastful/boasting – stand up straight and puff out chest
Woods – children make themselves into trees.
Animals – each child choose a different animal found in the woods and move like that animal.
Hare – make bunny ears with your hands.
Fast – children move as fast as they can
Run/ran – run on the spot
Tortoise – children bend over as if they have something heavy on their back.
Slow/slowly – children move in slow motion around the room.

Once upon a time there was a very boastful hare who lived in a woods with lots of other animals. He was always boasting about how fast he could run. He boasted “I’m the fastest animal in the woods. No one can run as fast as me.” The other animals were tired of listening to him. One day the tortoise said to the hareHare, you are so boastful. I challenge you to race.” Hare laughed and said “Tortoise, you will never beat me. You are too slow and steady.” They decided whoever got to the other side of the woods the fastest was the winner. All the other animals in the woods came to watch the race. The hare ran as fast as he could through the woods. After a while he thought to himself “I’m so fast that slow tortoise will never beat me. I think I will take a quick nap.” Soon, he fell asleep. The tortoise walked slowly through the woods. He passed the sleeping hare. The animals watched the tortoise near the finishing line. The animals cheered loudly. The hare woke up and ran as fast as he could through the woods to the finishing line but it was too late. The slow tortoise had won the race. All the animals in the wood congratulated the tortoise. The hare had to remind himself that he shouldn’t boast about his fast pace because slow and steady won the race.

Closure: Do you think the hare was boastful after the race? Why not? What lesson did we learn from the story? Now I want you to be your chosen animal again. Everyone line up we are going to have a race but you must move in slow motion.

For more movement stories,  click here.

The hare and the tortoise movement story. 

Goldilocks and the three bears movement story

More movement activities for children. 



Posted in Action Poems, English as a second language, English teaching games, Esl Drama, expressive arts, Mime, Mime for kids, Movement activities

Emotions -a drama workshop for children based on emotions

Drama is a great way of expressing emotions. Explain to the children everything we do and every thought we have comes with a feeling. Sometimes the feelings feel good and sometimes not so good. Some feelings are strong, some are weak. When we feel something we can choos want to do about that feeling. Sometimes we try to ignore it and it goes away and sometime it takes over and we cannot think of anything else. When you get a feeling, first work out what it is and come up with an idea about what to do about it.

When you are feeling…….

Everyone makes mask with different emotions. Walk around the trying portray their emotions.
The rest of the class has to get what emotion you are portraying.



The song is a variation on the classic “If You Are Happy, And You Know It.”

When I sing this, I over exaggerate my faces. And I encourage the children to make the faces along with the body language. So often we focus emotion lessons only on faces, but children’s bodies tell us how they are feeling too.

If you are happy, and you know it clap your hands
If you are happy, and you know it clap your hands
If you are happy, and you know it, then your face will surely show it
If you are happy, and you know it, clap your hands.

Now replace happy with different emotions:

Mad – cross your arms.
Frustrated – stomp your feet.
Excited – jump up and down.
Sad – make a frown
Scared – hide your face.

Mirror, Mirror

Pair the children up. One child makes an emotion face and their partner identifies the emotion and duplicates it.


For more drama activities for children visit my amazon page.


For more free drama activities click below.

Drama workshop for children based on the Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

A Play  script for children – The Frog Prince