Helping children disconnect to connect - the key benefits of theatre for children
As most parents know, when it comes to entertainment, children can be willing accomplices or your toughest audience. We all know how easy it to get a child to watch an iPad, their favourite show on TV or go to the cinema to see the latest blockbuster so why persist with the uphill challenge of getting our children to disconnect from their devices and drag them to the theatre where the lure of a box popcorn is not always guaranteed?
Theatre is a unique immersive learning experience for all ages. In a world dominated by screens and on demand entertainment, it's more important than ever that we introduce children to the magic of live performance.
Here are our top 5 reasons why live performances are good for children:
1. CURIOSITY. Children have a natural sense of curiosity and are drawn to the magic of live performance where characters and stories are brought to life in ways that differ greatly from what they see on screen.
2. PATIENCE. Live performances often require a child to sit and focus for an hour or more which teaches them that one scene can be entertaining and engaging without changing every 3-4 seconds. Sitting quietly, focusing and paying attention are key life skills that are not easily learnt elsewhere.
3. COMMUNICATION. Watching a play shows children how individuals interact in a conventional way and teaches them new language and vocabulary and the subtleties of physical expression and body language.
4. IMAGINATION. A child's imagination needs constant stimulation to allow them to grow, learn and play. Theatre is arguable one of the best mediums to allow a child to explore the endless possibilities of their imagination.
5. CONNECTION. When children disconnect from technology and screens they connect with those around them in a way that sets a solid foundation for future relationships.
Take a step further. AT SRT’s holiday camp workshops, children LEARN drama and theatre skills that will help improve communication and build confidence. There is just something quite enchanting about watching the expression on a child's face when they are mesmerized by a live performance featuring emperors, singing animals, imaginary friends and talking bunnies; not to mention the fun of shouting at the top of their lungs "he's behind you…….!"