Posted in Drama for children

Drama Workshop which deals with the issue of bullying

 

 

Main Objective:  To use naturalistic acting techniques to examine the issue of bullying and harassment.

 Sub aims:

  • To explore the body language of statues and power
  • To identify and enact human responses to messages of welcome or rejection.
  • To work in groups to make and present a drama on the theme of bullying.

Materials: An empty space and chairs

Check In: At the beginning of the session, the facilitator invites participants to offer a brief, individual response about how they are feeling (physically/emotionally) or what they are looking forward to regarding their work together. This strategy recognizes that affect (body, emotion) and intention shape how an individual participates in the learning environment, particularly when the exploration involves physical or emotional risk-taking by the participants.

Warm Up

WALK IT, TALK IT: Mingle around the room, walking and talking in the manner of:

HARDS – slouch, swagger, and call out across room to his mates. Pair up on command: 30 seconds to boast about your latest tough deed.

SHYS – scuttle, dart, and make little greetings as you pass. Pair up on command: 30 seconds to ask for directions

STARS – saunter or strut, greet your fans, stop to pose for cameras. Pair up on command: 30 seconds to boast about your latest movie or engagement.

 SnapShot: Divide into groups of three and each group make a still image of:

  • the star hits town
  • louts hang out on local street
  • first day at a new job.

Each group presents to the class.

Comment on differences in body language

  • What differences in body language did you see in those pictures?
  • Were the bodies more open or more closed?
  • Where was the focus of that picture?
  • How was it made more interesting by use of levels, angles, proximity of one character to another, and so forth?

 Main Focus:

Pair up. One person brings out a chair and sits on it.

Show a tableau of the bully (standing) demanding money from the other (sitting). Upon instruction, bring the scene to life with a line from the bully, ‘You know what I want – so give it to me!’

Swap roles the tableau is of the bully lounging on the seat and the other person arriving to find their seat taken. Upon command, bring the scene to life with the line, ‘Excuse me, but that’s my seat…’

Lightning looks

Have all pairs play at once. Freeze them and activate one or two pairs at a time to take lightning looks at their scenes.

Talk about body language of status. Look at how status is conferred.

Replay. Ask for some partnerships to replay the scene, but as characters of equal status.

Discuss what differences you notice in what is done and or said.

What are the bully characters doing with body / voice / choice of language/ positioning o claim status?

What are the victim characters doing with body / voice /choice of language/ positioning to bestow status?

What difference do you see when they are played at equal status?

How do actors create images of status? Point out how a role is both created and bestowed by the reactions of others.

When / where do you see this happening in real life?

Human guinea pig’ scenarios:

Each scene is to begin with the others acting as friends gossiping about the weekend. Upon a command, the ‘guinea pigs’ arrive into their groups. Four variants are played in the following order (maintain the order to finish on a positive note):

  • the arriving party is ignored
  • the arriving party is blamed for something
  • the arriving party is actively welcomed and included
  • the arriving party is treated as a celebrity.

What was it like to be ignored, blamed, welcomed or fussed over?

What emotions do these different responses trigger in real life?

How did each affect the character’s behaviour (voice, body, dialogue)?

If this was real life, rather than make believe, how would these experiences affect someone?

In real life, what are some of the reasons why groups hand out different sorts of treatment?

Making a scene from a story

Small group improvisation

  1. Set groups to prepare an improvisation around the title ‘new kid’. Distribute different tasks to each group
  • A new kid approaches a group in the yard and is welcomed
  • A new kid is introduced to the ‘wrong’ group by a teacher
  • A new kid is called over to the group and given a celebrity welcome
  • A new kid boasts about previous exploits
  • The group tests a new kid out
  • A new kid is reassured by parents on the first day of school.
  1. Allow students time to talk through, cast and try out their scene.
  2. Present the scenes to the class.

Using Poetry as a stimulus to explore the issue of bullying

 

FOUR O’CLOCK FRIDAY

Four o’clock, Friday, I’m home at last,

time to forget the week that’s passed.

 

On Monday break they stole my ball

And threw it over the garden wall.

 

On Tuesday morning, I came in late,

But they were waiting behind the gate.

 

On Wednesday afternoon, in games,

They threw mud and called me names.

 

Yesterday, they laughed after the test,

‘cos my marks were lower than the rest.

 

Today, they trampled my books on the floor

And I was kept in because I swore.

 

Four o’clock, Friday, at last I’m free;

For two whole days they can’t get me.

Alternative improvisation exercise is that each group could improvise the story in the poem. You don’t narrate the story instead you act out the scenario.

Closure:

Participants stand in a circle.  The group is given a prompt that sets a challenge for the day or reflects on what happened. For example: To end our work, we will offer a group Words of Wisdom that explains how we felt about the day. Each person will offer a word as we make up sentence together. Our goal is to build on the word and idea that is offered before. One person volunteers to begin. Each person offers one word each, to collectively build a short sentence or phrase. Today-was-fun-because-we-got-to-play-and-think-together. After the group feels a complete phrase/sentence been spoken, everyone energetically says “yes” and shimmies into the circle, then steps back into the circle for the next phrase to begin.  The next person in the circle then says the first word of the next Words of Wisdom statement. The facilitator can do multiple statements, moving around the circle or through a row or group of seated participants. The tone and style of these short sayings, or words of wisdom, can vary. They can be inspirational, like Zen quotations, silly like fortune cookies, or can follow a more serious reflective approach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Anti bullying drama workshop for children, Drama for children, Plays, Plays for Children, Plays that teach emotions

Social Drama – A Play about Bullying – Without Excuse

 

 

(Stage is set up with all four people very close together. The chairs should be almost overlapping. Have two in front and two in back, but not directly behind if you know what I mean. As each person says their part they can change positions, but at any given time all four should be in a different position, ie, one standing, one sitting, one slouching, etc.)

Person 1: It wasn’t supposed to end up like this. I mean, I didn’t really mean for this to happen. In fact, if you really look at the situation you’ll see that it wasn’t my fault at all. I wasn’t even involved. There is this guy at my school. Kind of a weird guy. Doesn’t quite fit in, if you know what I mean. He’s the kind of guy that keeps to himself and does his own thing. I never bothered him. I never really thought all that much about him. He was just there. And I was doing my own thing.

Person 1 and 2: It wasn’t really my fault at all.

Person 2: It wasn’t my idea. I just went along with it because my friends were. They thought that it would be funny to mess with this one guy at school. They just thought that if they broke into his locker and  stole his phone  we could all get a good laugh out of it. It wasn’t a big deal at all. I didn’t really even do anything,

Narrators freeze and  on the other part of the stage. There are four of them in front of a locker.

Bully 1: Quick hurry.

Bully 2: Come on, will you.

Bully 3: I am going as fast as I can.

Bully 4:  Look we got it.

Bully 1: Hmm don’t look now but guess who is here.

Victim: What are doing?

Bully 2: Stealing your phone. What are you going to do about it?

Bully 3: (pushes the victim to the ground).

Bully 4: We are taking your phone and you are not to stay anything.

Freeze for a moment and walk off stage quietly.

Person 3: I don’t know why people pick on me. I‘m really not all that different. I just like to keep to myself. I don’t feel like talking to a lot of people. I guess I’m kind of distracted when I’m at school. I have a lot of stuff going on at home, you know? And so I think about it a lot. Its hard to focus on everyone having fun when I’ve got so much stress at home. I’m not trying to be anti-social or anything, I just have a lot on my mind.

Narrators freeze and  on the other part of the stage.

Father is sleeping in the corner with a bottle. Victim is watching telly.

Mother comes into the room.

Mother: Look at the state of him. How long has he been like that?

Victim: Since I got home from school.

Mother: Wake up you silly fool.

Father:  (wakes and grunts) Shut you stupid cow.

They have a fight father goes to hit mother then everyone freezes.

Person 4: I really hate my school, though. People there are just so juvenile and unfocused. It really brings me down. I have a hard time focusing there and I don’t want to make trouble for myself.

Victim: Do you want to go into town after school?I don’t want to go home.

Person 4: No offence I’d like to but I don’t think I should be seen with you.

Victim: Why not?

Person 4: Because they might start on me then and I really don’t want that.

Person 4: They just kept picking on him. Every day there was something new. New signs on his locker, new nicknames for him. They just never let up. I didn’t think that it was my place to say anything. I mean, I wasn’t involved. I don’t even know him that well.

Person 3: I just need someone to listen to me. I don’t want them to fix my problems or even tell me what to do, I just want someone to listen. Someone to help me sort through everything that is in my head so that I don’t have to carry it all alone. It’s hard to be so alone all of the time.

Person 2: So we put stuff in his locker, right? Like a dead mouse.  And he didn’t do anything about it. He doesn’t get mad, doesn’t fight back, it’s as if he doesn’t even notice that we did anything. Well, that is it get ‘all of the lads really mad because they wanted to get at least some kind of rise out of this kid. So they devise even crazier stuff to get at him. I didn’t really think it was a good idea. I mean, this kid never did anything to any of us. But you can’t just say something like that to your friends. I mean, they’d think I was afraid or something, and I didn’t want that to happen. So I just let it go.

Narrators freeze on the other side of the stage.

Victim opens his locker sighs and throws the mouse in the bin and walks off.

Bully 1: What is his problem?

Bully2: Dunno.

Bully 3: We just have to think of something better.

Bully 4: Like what?

Person 1: I figured that a teacher would step in or something. If it got too bad someone would do something. And so I didn’t need to worry about it. I wasn’t doing anything wrong, so I should just stay out of it. Besides, these guys wouldn’t do anything too bad, right? I mean, they would stop before it got out of hand. It always stops before it gets out of hand.

Person 4: They are so out of hand at my school. Everyone swears all the time, and all anyone can talk about is getting drunk. I don’t do any of that stuff, of course. I. They have no excuse to be acting the way that they do.

Person 3: They just kept at me. I tried to ignore them, but they just kept on going. It was like the more that I ignored them the more they decided to pick on me.

Victim: Why won’t you just leave me alone? I just want to be left alone?

Bully 2: Oh, come on. You’re such a stupid little boy, why won’t you fight like a man.

Bully 3: I don’t want to fight you.

Bully 1: Why, are you scared?

(Back to talking to the audience. Person 3 should be sitting down now with their back to the audience, head down.)

Persons 1 and 2: No one was supposed to get hurt.

Person 1: This wasn’t supposed to happen. Someone was supposed to stop it. There is no way that this should have happened here. A teacher should have stopped this.

Person 4: I knew that something like this would happen.  I should have helped him but I didn’t I was too concerned with not been bullied myself.

Person 1: My excuse is that someone else was going to stop all of this.

Person 2: My excuse is that it was only a laugh nobody was meant to get hurt.

Person 4: My excuse is that  I had to look after myself.

Persons 1,2, and 4: My excuse is ……………………………………….

(As this last line is said Person 3 gets up and walks off stage, everyone else freezes.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama strategies, Drama techniques, Elements of Drama, Esl Drama, Improvisation, Improvisation around bullying

Improvisation for beginners

What is improvisation?

Improvisation is theatre without a script. The performers hear it for the first time at the same time as the audience. Improvisation is shared creation. Improvisers make it up on the spot, often working from a suggestion from others. We build ideas step by step, using, “Accept the offer and build on it.”.

 This means that the improvisers must  listen carefully and add to what their partner is offering.

Beginner improvisation activity: 1, 2, 3 Counting

This is a very popular warm-up and one Augusto Boal mentions in his book ‘Games for Actors and Non-Actors’. The premise is simple yet requires concentration.

  1. Divide the group into pairs and ask the members of each group to name themselves either A or B.
  2. Ask them to count to three as a pair with A saying ‘1’, B saying ‘2’, A saying ‘3’, B saying’1′, A saying ‘2’, B saying ‘3’ etc.
  3. Now ask the As in each group to come up with a sound and movement that will replace ‘1’. The pair will continue counting with each partner substituting the sound and movement for the number ‘1’.
  4. Now ask the Bs in each group to come up with a sound and movement that will replace ‘2’. The pair will continue counting with each partner substituting As sound and movement for the number ‘1’, and Bs sound and movement for the number ‘2’
  5. Now ask A to come up with another sound and movement, this time for the number ‘3’. By now, there should be no numbers heard, only the unique sounds and movements that have been substituted for each number.

This exercise is simple and low-pressure yet begins to awaken the creative muscles by calling on students to create movement and sound on the spot.

Warm up improvisation activity: Word Ball

Word ball is another simple game but regards a high level of concentration. It works by gathering the students into a circles and ‘throwing’ words around.

  1. Choose any word to begin with (e.g. cat) and place your hands as if you were holding the word in them, then ‘throw’ the word using both your voice and your hands to a member of the group.
  2. The member of the group must ‘catch’ the word, and then throw the first word that comes to mind (e.g. cuddly) to the next member of the group.
  3. The next member ‘catches’ this word, and throws the first associated word that pops into their head (e.g. teddy bear) to the next person. The exercise continues like this until everybody has had plenty of chances to throw words around. Try to dissuade students from hesitating and encourage them to simply go with the first thing that comes to mind, reminding them that there is no such thing as wrong or right when it comes to improv.

Some  Simple Rules for improvisation:

It’s time to introduce some basic rules of improv. Although there is no right or wrong, there are rules that can help in the creation of improvisational theatre.

RULE ONE: Offer and Accept

There’s nothing worse when doing improv than working with somebody who constantly negates your ideas. e.g.

A: Wow, did you see that elephant over there?

B: No. What are you talking about?

Negating an idea forces your partner to do all the work by coming up with idea after idea. In the example above, B has stopped the flow of the scene by rejecting A’s offer. If he had accepted it, the scene could continue quite easily:

A: Wow, did you see that elephant over there?

B: WOW! That’s the biggest elephant I’ve ever seen! Where do you suppose it came from?

Yes, and improvisation activity:

This is a nice little game that trains students to accept offers and add to them. Like in the second example above, B accepts the existence of the elephant, and offers a question as an addition to his acceptance.

  1. Divide the class into two even lines, call one line A, and the other line B. Have the two lines face each other
  2. Begin with the students who are at the top of the lines. Ask the student in the A line to come up with an offer. The student in the B line must accept and add to it. A must then accept B’s addition, and add to it again. e.g.:

A: Would you like to cut my hair for me?

B:Yes!I have a hairdressing set in my room, let’s do it there.

A: Great! I’ll bring a picture of what I want it to look like.

3.   When they’re finished, each student will go to the end of the opposite line (i.e. The student from line A will go to the end of line B, the line B student will go to the end of line A), and the next two students will have their chance to go.

  1. Keep this game going until all students have had a chance to be in both lines.

RULE TWO: Keep Questions Direct

Open-ended questions can really stump your partner as you are essentially forcing them to do the work in the scene. For example, starting a scene by saying

– What’s going on here? means someone else has to supply the information for the scene. A better way to go about it would be to say

-Why are you Riding that horsurs Here, you are still asking a question but are also supplying your partners with information while you do it.

The most basic ground rule is that there is no right or wrong. Something that inhibits a lot of students is the worry that they are somehow doing something wrong. Improv is about going with your impulses and creating something from them. While there are some rules we will cover in this lesson that can make improv easier, there is no right or wrong.

Teach your students to repeat these questions and answers to themselves when they are feeling unsure:

– How do I do it?

– Just do it.

– Am I doing it right?

– Yes

What are you doing? Improvisation activity:

Group stands in a circle. One person goes into the centre of the circle and starts an action (such as brushing her teeth).

A person goes into the centre, and asks, “What are you doing?”

The person brushing her teeth answers by saying something other than what she is doing. “I’m dribbling a basketball.”

The first person then leaves, and the new person starts “dribbling a basketball.” Then a new person goes in and asks, “What are you doing?”

And so on…

Encourage students to make new choices each time. (No repeats.)

Newspaper Headlines

In a group of 3 pr4, chose one of the following headlines:

Airline removes passenger who won’t stop doing pull ups.

Arrest over theft of £5million gold toilet from palace.

Fisherman gets shock, as he reels in dinosaur like fish with huge eyes.

Two headed snake, named Double Dave found in the forest.

Woman dreams of swallowing a ring and wakes up to find she has.

Queen returns pet monkey to girl.

Make a still image, freeze frame, mime, improvise the story.

 

Airline removes passenger who won’t stop doing pull ups.

 

Arrest over theft of £5million gold toilet from palace.

 

Fisherman gets shock, as he reels in dinosaur like fish with huge eyes.

 

Two headed snake, named Double Dave found in the forest.

 

Woman dreams of swallowing a ring and wakes up to find she has.

 

Queen returns pet monkey to girl.

Some other links:

Therapeutic Storytelling 

Anti bullying workshop for children

Posted in Animal Stories, Books for children, 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 techniques, Fairy Tales, The 3 little pigs

Drama Workshop for Young Children based on the Three Little Pigs

 

 

The Three Little Pigs (Drama Workshop)

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/sound.

Any number: Show that number of fingers.

Little: Crouch down as small as you can.

Pig: Get on all fours and oink once.

Pigs: Get on all fours and oink twice.

Big: Stretch up as high as you can.

Bad: Make an angry face.

Wolf: Make hands into claws and say “aargh.”

Laughing: Laugh loudly.

Smiling: Give a big wide smile.

Trotted: Trot up and down the space.

Straw: Rub your hands together.

Sticks: Clap your hands together.

Bricks: Clap your hands on your thighs.

Huff/huffed: Blow.

Puff/puffed: Blow harder.

Blow/blew: Stamp feet on the ground.

Narrator: Once upon a time, there was a mother pig who lived with her three little pigs. One day she said, “Little pigs, I think it is time for you to leave and make your own way in this big world. You each need to build your own house.” The little pigs were very excited about their new, big adventure. Mother pig gave each of her little pigs a hug, but she warned them, “Remember to watch out for the big bad wolf.” The little pigs waved goodbye to their mother, and they trotted into the woods. They were laughing and smiling, and soon they came across a man who was carrying some straw. The first little pig said, “May I have some straw to build my house?” The man said kindly, “Of course, you may.” The man gave the first little pig some straw to build his house. Just before they left, the man warned them, “Watch out for the big bad wolf.” The first little pig built his house of straw.

The two other pigs trotted on down the road. They were laughing and smiling, and soon they came across a man who was carrying some sticks. The second little pig said, “May I have some sticks to build my house?” The man said kindly, “Of course, you may.” The man gave the second little pig some sticks to build his house. Just before they left, the man warned them, “Watch out for the big bad wolf.” The second little pig built his house of sticks.

The third little pig trotted on down the road. He was laughing and smiling, and soon he came across a man who was carrying some bricks. The third little pig said, “May I have some bricks to build my house?” The man said kindly, “Of course, you may.” The man gave the third little pig some bricks to build his house. Just before they left, the man warned him, “Watch out for the big bad wolf.”

The third little pig built his house of bricks. The first little pig had just finished building his house of straw when the big bad wolf appeared. He said, “Little pig, little pig, let me come in.”

The first little pig replied, “Not by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin.”

Then the wolf said, Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I will blow the house down.” So, he huffed, and he puffed, and he blew the house down.

The first little pig trotted very quickly to his brother’s house made of sticks. The second little pig had just finished building his house of sticks when he heard a knock on the door, and to his surprise, it was his brother. Suddenly, the big bad wolf appeared.

He said, “Little pig, little pig, let me come in.”

The second little pig replied, “Not by hair of my chinny, chin, chin.”

Then the wolf said, “Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I will blow the house down.” So, he huffed, and he puffed, and he blew the house down.

The two little pigs trotted very quickly to their brother’s house made of bricks.

The third little pig had just finished building his house of bricks when he heard a knock on the door, and to his surprise, it was his two brothers. Suddenly, the big bad wolf appeared. He said, “Little pig, little pig, let me come in.”

The third little pig replied, “Not by hair of my chinny, chin, chin.”

Then the wolf said, “Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I will blow the house down.” The wolf huffed, and he puffed. He huffed, and he puffed, but he couldn’t blow the house down. He heard the three little pigs inside the house. They were laughing. This made the wolf very angry indeed. He decided he would climb to the top of the roof and come down the chimney.

The third little pig heard him on the roof, and he came up with a clever plan. He put a big pot of boiling water on the fire, which was just underneath the chimney. The wolf came tumbling down the chimney and landed into the big pot of boiling water and “SPLASH!” That was the end of the big bad wolf. The three little pigs lived happily ever after.

Warm-up: One child is chosen or volunteers to be Mr. or Ms. Wolf 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, Mr. /Ms. Wolf?” The wolf does not turn around. He/she replies in a rough, wolf-like voice: “Four o’clock.” The children walk forward the number of steps the wolf calls out (in this case, four). The children ask again: “What time is it, Mr./Ms. Wolf?” The wolf 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 the wolf thinks that the children are near enough, he/she will say: “Dinnertime!” Then the wolf turns around and chases the children. They must try to rush back to their starting place. If Mr./Ms. Wolf catches one of them before they reach home, that child is the wolf in the next game.

Choral speaking: Teach the children the following poem. Get them to think of different actions for the straw, sticks, bricks, pigs and wolf. They say the poem in unison.

 Straw, Sticks and Bricks

Straw, sticks and bricks.

Straw, sticks and bricks.

The pigs built their houses

Out of straw, sticks and bricks

The wolf came by,

He blew the straw down.

He blew the sticks, but the bricks were strong

The pig lived happy all the days long

In their house of bricks.

Occupational mime: Divide the class into groups of 4: three pigs and one wolf. The pigs move round the room in a “follow the leader” style. The pig at the front of the line is doing the actions. The first pig mimes collecting materials and building a house of straw. Second and third pigs follow, copying the mime. When the house is blown down by the wolf, the first pig moves to the end of the line. Second pig then heads the line and mimes building house of sticks. Finally, third pig takes a turn and mimes building a house of bricks. The wolf moves around the room avoiding pigs as they build until it is time to blow the house down.

Role-play: Encourage different movements such as gathering straw, breaking sticks or lifting heavy bricks. Encourage the wolves to use their body and facial expression to look fierce and threatening. Give everyone in the group the opportunity to take on the role of the wolf. When the children are comfortable with the character movements, get them to use speech. Ask the following questions:

What does the wolf sound like?

What would he say to the little pigs?

What do the pigs sound like?

What would they say to the wolf?

Talking objects: Ask children if they can take on the role of the wolf. They use their breath to blow down the house. Get them to huff and puff and huff and puff and blow the house down. Everyone sits in a circle and the teacher presents the group with objects that can be blown down by the breath, the wind or a hurricane such as a leaf, balloon, paper, tree, car or even a bridge. Every child becomes an object; they enter the circle and give the group some information about who they are. For example: “I’m small, I’m green and live on a tree.” Once the rest of group have guessed correctly, everyone blows the object down.

Conclusion: The teacher discusses with the group reasons why the wolf gets very angry. The teacher asks the children how they can show the wolf how to relax using his breath. The wolf uses his breath to blow things down, but he could use his breath for relaxation exercises.

Tummy breathing: The children find their own space on the floor. They lie down and place their hands or a stuffed toy on their tummy. They inhale on a count of three. They see their hands or stuffed toy rising as their tummy fills with air. They exhale on the count of four and they see their hands or stuffed toys falling. Repeat this process 10 times. When everyone is finished, ask the children the following questions:

How do you feel?

What did you notice about your hands/stuffed toy when you inhaled and exhaled?

How would this exercise help the wolf?

Burst balloon: The children all lie on the floor. The teacher gets them to imagine that their body is a balloon. They are going to close their eyes and inflate the balloon. They fill up their tummies with air. Then when they are full, the teacher counts to three and the children shout bang and they let all the air out of their bodies like a deflated balloon.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Drama for children

Movement and self regulation for young children

 

 

Movement is very important for helping children increase their control over their own thoughts, emotional responses and actions. The following movement activities are fun and can be introduced easily into the day.

 

Movement Activity: Imagine You Are……

Resources needed: Clear space.

Instructions: This game helps children do traditional stretches in a creative and fun way. These stretches can be done individually or in pairs.

Imagine you are a whisk

Get the children to stand in a circle and put their hands over their head. They join their hands together and move them around in a large circle. Initially, they move their hands in a clockwise direction and when the group is comfortable moving in this direction, get them to move their hands in an anticlockwise direction.

Imagine you are an inchworm

Get the children to bend down and put their hands on the ground. Next, get them to walk their hands out in front of them until they are supporting their own body weight. The children get into a push up position.  They walk their feet up to their hands and then they continue walking their hands out and walking their feet up to their hands until they have moved to the other side of the room. Make sure that they have their own space and don’t bump into one another.

Imagine you are a car wiper

Get the children to lie on the ground. When they are comfortable get them to put their legs in the air. Slowly they move both legs from one side to another.

Imagine you are a cat stretching

Get the children to put their hands and feet are on the floor, arch their back high in the air and stretch.

Imagine you are a giant

Get the children to take a big step and lunge on each step.

Imagine you are a marching soldier

Get the children to swing their arms and bring their legs up to their chest on each step.

Imagine you are a leaping frog

Get the children to squat down. They put their hands between their knees and jump around the space.

Movement Activity: Movement Sequences

Resources needed: Clear space.

Instructions: The teacher discusses with the children different ways of moving. He/she asks the children to come up with as many ways to move as possible.

Suggestions for different ways to move:

Walk

Run

Crawl

Roll

Hop

Skip

Jump

Leap

Tiptoe

Tumble

Turn

Gallop

Twirl

Spin

Walk sideways

Walk backwards

The children will come up with many more ways of moving than those listed above.  The teacher calls out different movement sequences such as

Walk-jump-twirl-tumble-run

Spin-gallop-jump-skip-gallop

Extension: If the children are older then give them an opportunity to be the leader and call out their own movement sequences.

 

Movement Activity: Butterflies

Resources needed: Classical music pieces, scarves or dance fans

Other Benefits: Co-ordination, energy, focus, trust.

Instructions: Give the children two colourful scarves and encourage them to fly around like butterflies to the classical music. Butterflies is an excellent activity for children to use their imagination. Most children will love classical music if they are introduced to it at an early stage.

Suggestion of classical music pieces:

Carmen Overture, Georges Bizet

In the Hall of the Mountain King, Edward Grieg

The Flight of the Bumble Bee, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

The Teddy Bear’s Picnic, Henry Hall Orchestra

The Nutcracker, Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Four Seasons, Antonio Vivaldi

Carnival of the Animals, Camille Saint Saens

Hoe-Down, Aaron Copland

Hungarian Dance No.5, Johannes Brahms

 

The above activities are from Movement Start by Julie Meighan.

Movement Stories for children ages 3 to 6 by Helen Landalf

 

Posted in Drama for children

Self-Regulation Strategies, Ideas and Activities for ECEC Practitioners

 

 

 

Self-Regulation Strategies, Ideas and Activities for ECEC Practitioners

When implementing trauma-sensitive practices in ECEC settings it is important

To focus on relationships

To promote safety and trustworthiness

To engage in choice and collaboration

To encourage skill-building and competence

To create a safe and secure environment for children, which has very clear boundaries and a consistent structure.

 

Comfort Box

A comfort box is a physical box that is used to distract a child from negative thoughts and encourage more positive, soothing ones. It is an anchor of comfort when a child is experiencing periods of anxiety.

Your child’s comfort box should include only items that create happy memories, soothing sensations or pleasant feelings using the five senses. Here are some examples of items to consider including for each sense:

  • Smell: bathtime soap or your body spray/aftershave
  • Taste: their favourite sweet treat or snack
  • Sight: a picture or drawing of a fun, family experience
  • Touch: a comfort blanket or favourite cuddly toy
  • Sound: an audiobook, piece of music or sound of a loved one talking

There are lots of different things that you can include in a comfort box obviously, you will want to tailor it to the children in your care. Here are some more ideas of things in you can things you can put in a comfort box for children.

Bottle of bubbles

Fidget toys such as fidget spinners, Tangle Jr. or Puffer ball

Cuddly toy

Weighted cushions/ blankets

Sensory tunnel

Yoga poses cards

Kaleidoscope

Hourglass

Plastic snow globes

Stress balls

Play doh, clay or silly putty

Flashing toys

Pipe cleaners – to twist and bend

Spinning top

Harmonica, whistle bell, chimes

Small mirror

Pinwheels

Sensory bottles

Therapeutic stories deal with anxiety, worry or loss.

If you want to write therapeutic stories for children the following books are useful resources:

Using Story Telling as a Therapeutic Tool with Children by Margot Sunderland

Using Stories to Build Bridges with Traumatized Children: Creative Ideas for Therapy, Life Story Work, Direct Work and Parenting by Kim S. Golding

Posted in Christmas drama games, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Plays for Children

More Christmas Drama Games for Children

Christmas Drama Games for Children

Game: If I Could Be a Christmas Toy…

Age: 3 years +

Minimum number of participants: 2

Resources needed: Clear space.

 Benefits: This game stimulates creativity. It helps the children to move and to get into different roles.

Instructions: Each child in the circle takes it in turn to say for example: “Hi, my name is Anna, and if I could be any Christmas toy, I would be a football because…” The children should be encouraged to come up with unusual toys. They could also comment on and respond to the other children’s choice of toy. At the end, the teacher can get the children to imagine that they are in the toy shop and then they walk around the clear space pretending to be their chosen toy.

Christmas Drama Games for Children

Game: All I Want for Christmas Is…

Age: 4 years +

Minimum number of participants: 5

Resources needed: Clear space.

Benefits: This game stimulates the imagination and is very good for focussing on memory skills. It is also an excellent listening game.

Instructions: Everyone sits in a circle. The teacher starts by saying something like: “All I want for Christmas is a doll…”  The child next to the teacher follows by first repeating what the teacher said and adding an item to the list: “All I want for Christmas is a doll and a PlayStation…” The next child continues by saying something like: “All I want for Christmas is a doll and a PlayStation and a guitar.” The game continues, with each child repeating what the previous children have said and adding one item to the Christmas list. If a child makes a mistake, then they are out of the game. The list continues until there is only one child left in the game.

Christmas Drama Games for Children

Game: Follow the Reindeer

Age: 4 years +

Minimum number of participants: 3

Resources needed: Clear space.

Benefits: This game also improves reaction and observation skills.

Instructions: All the children stand in a circle and they start walking on the spot. The teacher/volunteer is the reindeer. The reindeer makes a gesture and the children copy it, for example, waving their left hand. Then the reindeer shouts out the name of one of the children in the group and they must change or add to the action, for example, waving their left and right hands. The game can continue until everyone in the circle has had a chance to add or to change an action.

Christmas Drama Games for Children

Game: Santa Claus’s Glasses

Age: 4 years +

Minimum number of participants: 5

Resources needed: Clear space, glasses.

 Benefits: This is an effective listening game. It can also be used to improve concentration skills.

Instructions: One child is chosen to be Santa Claus. Santa Claus puts the glasses on his head and faces a wall at one side of the clear space. The other children in the group must go to the other side of the space. They must try to creep up on Santa Claus and take his glasses. Santa Claus can turn around suddenly at any time. If he sees anyone moving that child must start again from the beginning.

More Christmas drama games

The Littlest Xmas Tree Play for Children