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Whether you're a teacher, a parent, or both, we hope our Keeping Creative at Home blog series will help you and your children through this tricky period of adjustment.
We're aware there's currently a lot of pressure on parents in particular around home education. So, first and foremost, all of the activities in this series are designed to be fun, creative experiences for your children (and hopefully for you too!), but there is also potential for learning in all of them.
Lockdown can be tough. But using drama at home is the perfect remedy to beat the boredom and enhance your creativity and communication skills.
The Drama Geezers – Simon Batchelor and Paul Andrew – have shared a variety of drama activities and games that families can play together at home. Each of the activities described below is accompanied by a video from The Drama Geezers showing how it works. The aim is to turn front rooms into creative, playful spaces. The best thing about drama is the need for very little resources; just engage your imagination and have fun!
These activities will work with children and adults of all ages.
1. This is not a….
The aim of this drama game is to transform an object into something it is not and build your imagination skills in the process of playing. You can use any object around the house (the bigger the object, the funnier the acting).
In our video we have used a toilet roll. Taking it in turns, each person will hold the toilet roll and say: “This is not a toilet roll, this is a…” and then mime out the alternative use. Everybody else can guess.
To develop this game further, why not try using two objects at the same time.
2. Emotion jobs
This is a quick-fire improvisation game!
Write a list of jobs, cut them up and put them in a container.
In a second container, write a list of emotions and cut them up. Take it in turns to choose one job and one emotion, tell another person what they are and ask them to act out 10 seconds of it straight away without any preparation.
For example: 'You are an angry chef', or 'You are a scared taxi driver'.
3. One sentence story
Stories help us make sense of the world, so let’s tell stories together. This drama activity is perfect at developing speaking and listening skills.
In pairs, you will tell a story by taking it in turns to add one sentence each. Listening is really important to be able to follow on from the previous sentence.
In our video, we have started the story and are asking people to finish the story. What do you think could happen to the giraffe and the ant on their adventure?
4. Mime three things
This is a playful drama game to help us learn new things about each other.
Take it in turns to mime 3 things that are true about you and see if others can guess what they are.
Think about how to present it to them using body language and facial expressions. You never know, you may find something out that you didn’t know before!
5. Alphabet Game
This is a focused thinking game which we use to start our drama workshops.
Choose a letter of the alphabet and ask someone else to invent a person’s name, what that person sells and where they sell it, all starting with that letter. It is a great activity to test your focus. The first person to hesitate, say the wrong letter or repeat a word is out.
Why not see how fast you can play the game?
6. Sentence Starters
A tricky, improvisation acting game. Write down a variety of different sentence starters and fold them up in a container.
Where are we?
Can I have your autograph?
I just don’t like it…
One person at a time will take one out, read the sentence and then it’s up to everybody else to improvise and continue that scene for 30 seconds.
No planning, just imagination and improvisation. Where will the scene take you? What characters do you become? What exotic lands will you end up in?
7. Story Consequences
Remember playing consequences at school? This is similar but instead of drawing a character, we are generating ideas for a script.
For this activity, you will only need a piece of paper and a pen. Each person writes down a type of character – for example, ‘an old person’ or ‘a superhero’ – folds it over and passes it on to the next person.
Next, write down a setting for the story, fold it over and pass it on. Finally, each person writes down a problem a character in a story may face – e.g. ‘you have lost your keys’ – folds it over and passes it on.
Now comes the fun bit! Unroll each piece of paper and delight at the strange and weird outcomes. Bring these stories to life using your new-found acting skills. You could even go one step further and write out the whole story and draw the pictures to go with it.
Simon Batchelor and Paul Andrew are both Freelance Drama Facilitators and have teamed up as The Drama Geezers, two guys with a love of drama and a passion for working creatively with young people.