On Stage: Theater Games and Activities for Kids
These games allow students to get comfortable on stage while also introducing them to some basic theater fundamentals. Learning basic stage directions will serve students well if they go on to act in a production. For this game, have everyone stand center stage in a group.
Call out basic stage directions, starting slowly at first, and then give directions faster until everyone is scrambling around on stage. After everyone has a good idea of their stage directions, allow students to take on the "director" role one at a time, calling out stage directions from the audience. Projecting your voice onstage is a learned skill. This game is simple, serves as a great ice breaker, and gives students practical experience with projecting their voice so everyone in the audience can hear them.
Seat students in the back of the theater or room. One by one, a student will take the stage and proudly stride to center stage, face the audience, and proclaim, "My name is name , and I am an actor! Staying in character can be difficult for young actors, especially when they are first learning about acting and don't necessarily understand characterization.
This game may seem like a fun, competitive game, but it teaches students the importance of taking on a character and not "breaking" it. If you find that the game is taking a little longer than you thought, you can start making silly faces or doing other things to try to make the kids break character. Storytelling is an important part of acting, particularly for those who plan on pursuing improv, where there is no script and the actors make up the story as they go along. Many students also act with a little more enthusiasm and exuberance when they're allowed to create their own characters.
This game allows for one storyteller and one actor. The storyteller stands to the side of the stage while the actor takes center stage. The storyteller retells his or her day - this can be a true retelling, or can be a completely made up story. The actor then acts out the story as it is told. Demonstrate to the students that even the simplest of stories can be made into hilarious retellings when done correctly. For example, "I ate pancakes for breakfast" might turn into the actor pantomiming out the act of eating so many pancakes that a stomach ache ensues.
You can add more players to this game by allowing the storyteller to bring other people into the story.
Drama Games for Kids
For example, the storyteller might say, "Then my mom walked in the room," pointing at another actor who then goes onstage and takes on the role of the mom. Stage actors need to have a certain charisma that draws the audience's attention.
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This game teaches students to use their voices, bodies and storytelling abilities to capture the attention of the audience. Set some rules beforehand such as no yelling in the seated person's ear, no touching the seated person, and so on.
Theatre Activities for Kids
This game can get quite loud, so keep this in mind and don't place a student in the seated position if she has trouble with loud noises or people in close proximity to her. Taking on a character and making it a believable performance can come easier to some students than others, but with the right skills, it gets easier each time. Being able to convince audience members that what you're saying is true, even when it isn't, is an important skill for actors.
This works best when all three statements are believable and not common knowledge. This is arguably the most famous of all improvisation games, and is played slightly different all over the world. Here is my version:. Try to encourage a diverse range of scenarios. You often see the same stuff over and over. I have seen this game work really well with all ages. With large groups, getting students to go away and create something and then come back and perform is really effective. This game encourages creativity and physical expression.
This is a really easy physical game for all ages. Think of some really fun name of the corner.
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Kids, and adults for that matter, love being involved in decisions! This is often a great way to get a class going. It is not really an acting game, but just playing with characters.
This game has no right and wrong. It is just a simple way to warm up the class. Act with the students. This is a really good game to start with when working with a big group. Basically this game is for warming up and getting you thinking. I recently played this group with a group of year olds and it worked really well. It gets students using their bodies and increases observation skills. Everyone knows this game, but it is fantastic and really useful, especially with younger children.
It encourages good diction and listening skills. This game works really well at the start of a lesson, and is very easy to explain and everyone gets a go.