Early years drama activities (part 1)
Listed below are a few activity ideas / games to encourage drama and socio-dramatic play in early years settings. They are taken from a document that I put together thanks to CCE funding. It is available to download as a pdf here.
Mickey is an invisible (imaginary)) mouse who want to play with the children.
1) Simply introduce your ‘friend’ to the children. (“This is my special friend. His name is Mickey and he is a mouse.”). Be sure to hold your hands as if there is a mouse nestling in them and stroke ‘Mickey’ as you speak.
2) Tell them that Mickey is very shy and so they must be very quiet so that they don’t scare him. Do this as a whisper – it sets the scene and means the children have to focus and be quiet so that they can hear you.
3) Explain that Mickey’s favourite game is running round in circles underneath children’s feet.
4) Demonstrate the lifting of feet and reinforce the idea that this happens one person at a time. (“When I put Mickey down then he will run underneath my feet, then Sam’s feet, then Alisha’s feet….and all the way round the circle.”)
5) Once the children understand the concept, Mickey can grow bigger / get smaller/ run faster/ slower….it’s up to you!
Very simple imagination game. It often takes the children a little while to start to develop their own ideas but imitation is fine initially.
1) Introduce an object to the group – the more everyday the better. (a pen, spoon, piece of fabric….)
2) Explain that for the rest of the game it can be anything EXCEPT what it really is (‘For the whole game, this spoon is not allowed to be a spoon!!!)
3) Give a couple of examples and ask them to guess (whilst stroking the spoon over your hair, ‘What’s the spoon being now?…A hairbrush, good well done’)
4) Pass the object around the circle asking everyone to have a turn. Prompt them with suggestions if hey are finding it difficult/repeating the same example over and over (‘Can you show me how to use t as a spade to dig in the garden with?’)
A good, fun game. Usually takes a little while for kids to get into this game as it requires fast thinking, but they do improve quickly if you keep trying it with them. Ask the children to stand in a circle and explain the rules of the game (as below). Make sure that you are being very clear and precise and that you move around as you speak to demonstrate to the children how it works.
One person starts by saying the name of the person they are going to ( ‘JOE’) and then moving towards them like a big scary monster! (encourage slow, exaggerated actions and loud sound effects)
Before the ‘monster’ reaches ‘Joe’, Joe must say someone else’s name and move towards that person like a big scary monster. If you don’t say the next name quick enough, the monster will eat you up! The monster takes the place in the circle of their ‘victim’ so that there is constant movement.
Read part 2 here.
Lindsay is a freelance creative practitioner and community artist www.lindsayjanehunter.co.uk