“Come one, come all! The show is about to begin!”
These words echo through your backyard, inviting families of neighbourhood children to come and watch the production they’ve created. It will be a night of fun and memories as the performance unfolds.
It may sound a little daunting, but dramatic play is something kids do naturally. When they get together, they’re often making up stories and acting them out. Putting on an actual play or puppet show is just a different way to capture their creativity so everyone can enjoy it.
It can be as simple or complex as they want it to be. They can use a story or rhyme they know as the base for their play, or make one up. It could be a shadow play, puppet show, reader’s theatre (just Google it and a number of scripts will come up), or any other format they want.
They may want props — the crafty ones in the group will be excited to paint boxes or make puppets (sock and paper bag puppets are quick and easy). Costumes can also be made out of craft materials or old clothes and Halloween costumes. If it’s a night production, glow sticks and flashlights might be a good choice — a white blanket and a flashlight can create a shadow play.
Advertising a show is sometimes just as important as the performance and if they are a little entrepreneurial, they may even think to sell tickets and buy a treat for themselves afterwards.
There are many different ways a project like this can come to life. If you act as a guide instead of the director, you will be amazed at what kids come up with and they will be excited to show their families what they’ve done.
It’s a task that keeps them busy and having fun, and working with other kids in the community builds connections and helps people meet and get to know each other. How can you go wrong with that?