The benefits of Drama for young children

“Tell me and I will forget.

Show me and I will remember.

Involve me and I will understand”.

Drama encourages physical, social and intellectual learning.

Drama is more than just a performance-based art form, it is an accessible and powerful interactive learning tool for young students. Drama encourages physical, social and intellectual learning.

Physically, students move through space in different ways, at different levels using different parts of the body as they role play a mouse scurrying or a snake slithering. As children take on roles and pretend to be different characters they improve flexibility, coordination, balance and control.

Socially students interact with others as they prepare to launch into space in an imaginary rocket in the Journey into Space workshop or play a game of cat and mouse chasey in the very fun and interactive Fairytale Fiasco! workshop.

Drama also encourages children to cooperate.

Intellectually it broadens knowledge and their understanding of the world around them. It allows the children to explore a range of different themes and introduces children to a variety of real and imaginary situations, sparking their interest in the world in which they live and making them more inquisitive. In the Habitat Helpers workshop students fly, as superheroes to different global destinations to discover the impact of pollution, logging, overfishing and poor water management on the local communities. How often can you travel to the Sumatran Jungle in reality? BUT in Drama, as often as you like?

And, of course, children learn best by doing. In our Journey into Space workshop children roleplay moving through space which helps them grasp the concept of gravity.

Drama is non-competitive.

Drama is not about who’s the fastest, who can write their name or who can draw the best. There is no wrong way to use your imagination.

Drama helps develop language and concentration skills.

When children take on the language of the role they are playing they are contributing to their developing vocabulary. They are encouraged to express themselves both verbally and through facial expression and body language; the key to making them better communicators.

Drama can be a great extension to a classroom unit of enquiry.

You can read about and discuss the fact that there is no gravity in space but it’s when you pretend to be an astronaut in space, floating and jumping that this concept is fully understood.

In a society of screens drama allows children to use their vivid imaginations

Don’t get me wrong there is a place for screens in education, but improvisation and pretend play encourages the development of creativity, problem solving and imaginative responses.

Drama builds confidence.

In Drama children are put in situations (in a safe environment) where they are called on to be brave.

They must be brave in using their imaginations, playing characters and coming up with ideas on the spot in an improvisation.

While some children will face these experiences with anxiety, it’s usually afterwards that they experience a boost to their self-esteem. They did it! Their self-confidence takes off. Drama provides children an opportunity to exercise their courageous muscle.

At the completion of workshops, I’m often approached by the classroom teacher who informs me of how wonderful it was to watch a usually quiet, shy student shine and blossom when they inhabit a character during the drama experience.

Drama is fun.

I remember distinctly one of my colleagues telling me about something they heard a child say after participating in one of our drama workshops:

‘That was better than lollies!’

Do I need to say more?

Fairlie O’Donnell

 The Drama Toolbox

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2023 The Drama Toolbox Pty Ltd