Monthly Archives: February 2020

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Get your kids back to post-lockdown ‘normal’ through the performing arts

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As Charles Dickens said: It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. The lockdown is largely over now, although sadly COVID-19 is not. Despite the tragedy of the last few months – along with the challenges and sacrifices – many families have benefited from the slow-down and going back to the new normal now presents its own anxieties. But, as another famous writer said: “all the world’s a stage,” and performing arts can help ease your kids back into real life as much as it can prepare them for performance…

All together again
Whether kids have been craving company outside the family or are nervous about mixing with others after a hiatus, a group class is a great way to set minds at rest and remind kids how fun real-life interaction can be after all that Zooming. At ShowKids, all our workshops are focused on group work but groups are never over-whelming so it’s the perfect way to ease kids back into being with others. In fact, we have new maximum class sizes, which we’ve set to government guidelines, and social distancing will of course be observed at all times.

Building back confidence
Performing arts are such a confidence builder thanks to exercises like voice development but also because of how classes are structured. Our practitioners create an inclusive environment where kids are encouraged to have their limelight if they want it but also to listen to each other. Activities like reading aloud or singing can help kids find their voice again – literally and figuratively!

Coming to terms with the times
For many children the lockdown will have been difficult. Families may have experienced loss and all will have suffered from separation and experienced stresses and strains. Drama is a wonderful way to explore emotions and understand situations and view points thanks to devices like role-play and improvisation. We also incorporate mindfulness into our courses, which is an important tool for processing difficult experiences and increasing happiness.

Structured creativity and focus
While some kids may just have experienced a different kind of structure during lockdown, it’s likely that the lack of school and extra-curricular classes has meant a bit more TV and iPad time and less structured learning. Performing arts requires discipline and kids certainly have to focus if they are to work towards a performance project – practising moves and learning scripts or even devising stage sets.

An escape and an outlet for expression
Being stuck within the same walls day after day has got us all down but performing arts presents the opportunity to escape to a different world as well as explore different types of creative expression. ShowKids holiday courses, for instance, are inspired by classic stories like Mary Poppins, Aladdin and Matilda but give kids the chance to be a part of it instead of just watching the fun. Our aim, in everything we do, is to make performing arts fun. We want kids to set their imagination free and experience the joy of expression, whether it’s through singing, acting or developing their own characters.

Ease your little ones back into the new normal by booking onto a ShowKids holiday course or after-school workshop today!

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The importance of role-play in child development

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“Ok, you be the king and I’ll be the witch…” When you hear a child say something like this you know they’ll be happily entertained for a good while but there are other benefits to children engaging in role-play. This kind of creative play can spark imaginations, develop important social skills and, particularly in a structured environment, be educational. Here are some of the ways that role-play can contribute to a child’s development:

It inspires creativity

Even organised role-play relies on imagination and this kind creative play is a great way to develop children’s ability to think for themselves. In a situation where there is no ‘right’ answer or set conclusion children are free to let their imaginations run wild and not only can this foster creativity but the ability to problem solve in the future. As Albert Einstein said: “Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.”

It allows kids to explore the world safely

Role-play allows children to act out scenarios and to make sense of situations they have already experienced or may come across in real life, but in a supported environment where children can explore different emotional responses to these social situations. Role-play is an important way for children to explore who they are as individuals as they carve a place into the world around them. Being someone else for a time gives kids the freedom to test out different roles and personalities but also helps them to build confidence and in turn, self-esteem.

It helps to develop good social skills

Even as children decide on the topic of their game and the rules of engagement they are learning skills like collaboration and negotiation but as the role-play develops children are learning to walk in someone else’s shoes and developing their understanding of how others react to different situations, which makes them more empathetic. As children engage in role-play they develop communication skills, learning to choose their words carefully so that others can understand them as well as listening to others in order for the game to run smoothly.

It can be educational

Whether children are stomping around pretending to be elephants, cooking pretend cakes or playing doctors and nurses, role-play can teach them about the world. What sound does an elephant make? What ingredients go together to make a cake? What do nurses say to their patients? These kinds of games can improve general knowledge, vocabulary and even number and motor skills. Role-play is a fun way to introduce important topics and explore other cultures. It can be amusing or slightly disconcerting when you hear a little one repeat a very grown-up phrase but role-play is a great way to try out new words and, with a little help, get to understand what they mean too!

ShowKids’ after-school performing arts workshops use role-play in a fun but supported environment help children to connect with others, find confidence, foster creativity and develop social skills. Our caring, expert practitioners will bring out the best in your child through drama, singing and dance. 

Find out more and book your child’s free taster here

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More coming soon…

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Watch this space for more articles related to your child!