Children are natural performers and love to act in their own plays. I always use familiar fairy tales, poems or stories with the younger children. School-age children will often write their own scripts.
The first play in this series is Goldilocks and the Three Bears. You might know the story by heart, already have the book or you can pick up a copy from the library.
Here is a step-by-step guide through the play:
- read the book or tell the story over and over for a few days ahead of the start date
- tell the children that they are going to pretend to be in the story
- discuss and then decide what props and costumes you need
- gather the bowls, spoons, chairs, etc. (for the three beds I just use blankets and pillows)
- use dress-up clothes or a pretty dress for Goldilocks
- make bear ears for the bears
- assign children to each part (in a large group there will be more than one of each)
- the teacher tells the story and the children act out their parts.
The children are not memorizing lines at this age. You are doing the work and they are copying. For example, the teacher says, “Baby Bear says ‘this porridge is too hot’”. Then the child playing Baby Bear repeats the line and acts out tasting hot porridge.
In a large group, you will perform the play several times, so that each child gets a turn. If the interest is high, rotate children into different characters.
You don’t have to go out and buy anything special for these plays; you can always find everything you need — different size chairs, bowls, spoons, blankets, etc.–lying around the house or in the daycare.
Of course this works well with many other stories — I have also had great success with Little Red Riding Hood, Chicken Little and The Three Little Pigs.