The preschool years of your child can be a very creative period since that’s when they are most expressive and love to play pretend! As such, performing arts activities such as drama, music and dance are great for learning and cognitive development.
Some advantages of incorporating performing arts activities into your preschooler’s learning include:
- Development of imagination and creativity
- Building of confidence
- Understanding and expression of emotions
- Communication of thoughts, experiences and ideas
- Practise and improvement in social skills
- Improvement in fine motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination
- Development of decision-making, problem-solving and critical thinking skills
With so many benefits tied to performing arts activities, how then can parents enhance and support their child’s playtime?
Encouraging Your Child to Enjoy Performing Arts Activities
Most preschoolers tend to be spontaneous, so we recommend following your child’s lead in creative activities. The key thing to remember is that you’re not trying to control what and how they should go about expressing themselves. Instead, take a step back and allow your child to explore their creative interests.
Sometimes, your child might need some extra help, encouragement or even invite you to join in the fun. By being actively involved, you can also develop your child’s skill in the particular performing arts activity as well as foster a better relationship. When you are doing a creative activity with your child, it is good to show your child that there is more than one way to do something. For instance, if they like playing musical instruments, you can ask them questions like ‘how many sounds do you think you make with the keyboard?’ Or, if they enjoy drama, you can ask them to act things out from daily life – ‘pretend you are driving a bus, how would you do it?’ In turn, these questions encourage your child to enjoy the process of being creative rather than steering them in the direction of doing something right or perfect.
Additionally, you can also ask your child questions about their thinking and problem-solving processes. For example, ‘why would you think of playing the keyboard this way’ or ‘tell me what kind of bus you are driving, who you are ferrying and where you are going’.
No matter the creative idea or performing arts activities that your child chooses to engage with, you should always give your child plenty of descriptive praise. They can sound like ‘I love it when you sing this song, you can sing really well’. This boosts your child’s confidence and encourages them to continue exploring their creativity in their desired performing arts activity.
Here are some performing arts activities you can do with your child at home based on their interests.
Preschoolers often use songs or stories as the basis for all their dramatic activities and play-pretend moments. One moment they could be a dinosaur stomping across the city with lego bricks strewn across the floor, and the next, they could be a character from PAW Patrol!
Most of the time, preschoolers often get involved in stories as well. For instance, you may notice your child moving their arms, legs, or face, miming what is happening in the story you’re reading.
But it’s not just about play pretend. Drama and storytelling also give your child many opportunities to practise and expand their vocabulary, all whilst learning about the structure of storytelling. Furthermore, when your child acts out roles such as a responsible bus driver, they see the world from someone else’s point of view. This helps them build awareness and empathy.
If you are at home, here are three drama activities you can do with your child to spark their interest and imagination:
- Put on a puppet show or do puppet play. To take things a step further and make it more realistic, you can even create a puppet theatre with your child using a cardboard box.
- Start a dress-up box or bag by placing old clothes or costumes into it. For many who loves drama and acting, receiving, or choosing their costumes is always the best part of their day. These old clothes can help make your child’s storyline or plot seem more real and help them get into character.
- If you read to your child very often, you can always encourage them to act out roles from a story with movements or sounds.
It is also good to incorporate some ‘art appreciation’ into your child’s life. You can take them to watch a play or child-friendly musical and talk about your favourite parts after.
Music, Singing, and Dance
For children who are more musically inclined, they tend to gravitate towards making music by either copying songs they know or sometimes even making up their own. As they become more exposed to music, they may express a keen interest in experimenting with volume, echoes, rhythms, and tempos.
At the same time, preschoolers often have better control over their bodies than when they were younger. So, you’ll probably see them grooving in tune with music or copying dance sequences from famous bands.
Some activities that you can do at home to help them become more creative are:
- Letting your child play or make sounds using instruments. As parents, you can encourage them to try playing it at different volumes, tempos, or rhythms. You can even get them to copy the way you play.
- Listen to musical pieces that are made up using different instruments and have them guess the instrument or make up movements to go with the music.
- You can also hum their favourite song and get them to hum or sing-along with you.
- Have your child dance to different rhythms and music. To make this performing arts activity more fun, you can ask your child to make up dance sequences about people, animals or even plants. For instance, you can ask them to show you how they think a tree would move on a windy day, and how would this movement change if it was rainy.
Enrol Your Child into a Performing Arts International Preschool
Besides encouraging their creative interests and imaginative play at home, you can also enrol your child into a performing arts preschool like MindChamps Performing Arts International Preschool. Not only will your child be exposed to our renowned academic preschool curriculum and activities, but they will also be able to unleash their creativity and confidence through performing arts activities.
Parents can rest assure knowing that these specialist core modules will be taught by professional, full-time performing arts educators – opening doors to many opportunities if your child chooses to develop these talents as they become older.
Book a tour to any of our centres and find out more about our unique pedagogy today.