Drama and play to develop life skills
At Pyjama Drama our emphasis is on role play and imagination, not performance. Although in many children we see the blossoming of a lifelong love of drama, we're not deliberately setting out to teach the children to be actors and performers. Drama, pretending and role-playing is instinctive and has many, many benefits. At Pyjama Drama our emphasis is clear - developing skills for life!
In class our teachers use their drama skills to create imaginary worlds that the children explore together; recreating events, learning how to respond to different situations, meeting and communicating with different characters and learning how they fit in - all in the safe and supportive environment of the class.
So, as we make a plan to set Pirate Pat free from his captors we're learning that we can be brave and as we tiptoe through the jungle past that sleeping lion we're learning to be cautious. Looking after the poorly tadpoles help us develop empathy. Singing with our friends around the campfire nurtures confidence. Working as a doctor for the day teaches us lots of new words so develops our language and communication skills, and waiting in line to buy a rainbow flavoured ice-cream helps us to understand patience, as well as teaching us the importance of taking turns!
And Pyjama Drama doesn't just develop social skills; our classes are ideal for helping young children develop their physical skills too. Walking the tightrope in the Big Top helps us to master balancing, being a grasshopper strengthens our leg muscles, taking part in the Olympics enhances our fitness...
Imagination can take you everywhere. It can allow you to explore far-off lands and go on amazing adventures. It's also key to helping our children lead happy and successful lives outside of their home...The benefits of drama for young children are clear. SO HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT INTRODUCING DRAMA TO YOUNG CHILDREN?
FIVE WAYS TO DEVELOP DRAMA SKILLS
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 RM6.00?
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.
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. Create and explore drama
When creating and exploring drama, children use drama tools to help them investigate and explore their story. Creating drama helps to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. It also helps children develop emotional intelligence as they walk in the shoes of different characters and explore how they think and feel.