Five ways to develop drama skills

The benefits of drama for young children are clear. So how do you go about introducing drama to young children? It's probably easier than you think and you don't have to be trained in drama or have any specific skills. A sense of fun and a desire to imagine and pretend is all you really need...

1. Tell a story, dramatically!
You don’t have to be a trained performer or skilled actor to tell stories dramatically – anyone can do it, and it’s a fantastic way to bring characters and stories to life in a child’s imagination and to encourage them to become more expressive readers. When reading a story to your child, try putting on different voices for each character and model the character’s tone of voice and their facial expressions. You can also pause the story to ask critical questions about the characters e.g., 'Can you show me what his face looked like when he fell down the stairs?’ or, 'What do you think his voice sounded like when he was upset?' Children learn firstly by observing and then by doing, so don’t be afraid to lose yourself in a story and model these dramatic skills for your child.

2. Sing together
Music is the expression of emotions, so singing with your child is the most natural way to explore the world with each other. In the car, in the bath, walking to school; sing wherever and whenever you can to introduce your child to the joys of music and to develop their dramatic skills. It doesn’t matter what you sing; all songs express basic human emotions. Why not head over to our shop where you can buy a Pyjama Drama song for just 99p?

3. Play!
All children love playing games, never more so when playing with Mum, Dad or someone they care about. Drama games which encourage the players to take on a role or deliver a simple script are best for developing drama skills and are also great fun. Sign up for our newsletter at the top, left-hand side of this page and receive a free original game to play at home every month.
 
4. Role play
Many young children have an innate imagination while in some, it can need a little gentle nurturing. Setting up opportunities for children to role play can be extremely beneficial for fostering drama skills, specifically for developing the imagination, and doesn’t necessarily require the use of expensive equipment or costume. With a little imagination, a blanket over the kitchen table can be a spaceship, the bedroom floor a place for a teddy bear's picnic, and a tea towel makes a perfect nurse's hat!

5. Live theatre
Exposing children to live performance from an early age can go a long way to develop their drama skills and doesn’t have to be a costly experience; local amateur dramatic groups often produce theatre of a very high standard for example as do local schools. The experiential nature of live theatre engages children in a way that television cannot hope to do and is a shared experience for families to enjoy together.