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A Long Line of Sub-par Theatrical Productions

Yes, that’s my children’s legacy! As my cousin once said, this is one in “a long line of sub-par theatrical productions”. We did plays, my mother’s family did in-home musical concerts, and I’m sure way back, there were theatrical productions by the pioneer players!

Just like the March girls putting on productions in Little Women my children seem to put on plays when they’re with their cousins. It’s wonderful!

Here are some shots at my in-law’s house of their last play –

 

The players at the magic wishing well

 

At the curtain call

 

What do you need to get all of this fun in your life?

  • Dress-ups (old prom dresses, go to thrift stores for costumes, old Halloween costumes, old dance costumes – just keep a box handy and throw in any old outfits)
  • Props(again, just use what you have – toys, old games, boxes, etc. Let the kids be creative, you’ll be impressed what they do!)
  • Space(Any where – garage, carport, backyard, living room, any place can be a stage!)
  • Imagination – (quite honestly, the key here is to have belief in your children. Tell them that they can do it. Maybe they’ll need a story prompt to begin with, but my experience has been to just encourage them to put on a play (a dance, or a show, or a concert) and they will do it. No further prompting needed. Watch them go!)
  • Be an audience – (it is quite critical that you and the grandparents and the aunts and uncles watch the show when it’s ready. Film it, set up chairs, have them make tickets and programs, whatever! Just be there. Now, it’s okay to say to them in the middle of the performance, “one more scene” or “one more minute”, because sometimes these things can go on rather long, but MAKE sure to give lots of clapping during curtain call and positive reinforcement (“wow, who knew that you were so creative!?!”, or “I loved the part when …”, or  “What happened after …”,  the more you talk with your children about what they did, the more they will do.) 

Finally, my favorite part is to see all of the cute creative touches. Check out my favorite one from this last performance –

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This is a microphone that they made out of paper clips and tape. Cute huh!!

What’s the point of all of this?

  • Helps your children become creative problem solvers
  • Helps exercise their imaginations
  • Great childhood memories
  • Builds social skills
  • Helps them practice performing
  • They become creators, not just consumers

and at the very least –

  • Gives you time away from hearing, “I’m bored!” 😉

What shows do your kids do? Let me know in the comments.

 

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Summer Creativity – Cardboard

Summer Creativity  Cardboard

A while ago, I wrote a post on a book that had captured my imagination when I was a kid about a girl with a cardboard box and all of the things that she did with it. I imagined all of the things that I could do with a cardboard box – if only my mom would get one large enough for me!  Through the years, I used boxes for dollhouses and furniture and sets for carport plays.

Recently, I found this video about a little boy’s imagination, and I was ASTOUNDED!!

(I know, I know, I am late on the trend, but after showing the videos to my girls, they ran out to make something. What a great change from the “I’m bored” I’m already getting this summer!)

What a kid! What a great dad to allow him to build it all!  I also want to shout out to the filmmaker for seeing such amazing potential in the creativity!

If your kids are bored this summer, what could they do with some cardboard, tape, and a little imagination?

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Summer Creativity

I’m finding that if you allow kids to go out and play, on their own they will come up with the most original creative ideas. For example, I didn’t make a big deal about it, but silently declared an electronic free day. My girls played for hours – dancing, crafts, playing with toys that typically sit on the shelves, etc.

Kids are hard-wired to be creative. We feel like we have to always push a device in their hands to keep them busy. This doesn’t have to be the norm if we can cultivate the creativity!

Here are some activities that my children (and their cousins and friends) come up with over the past few months.

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This is the girls playing Little House on the Prairie. My older daughter has been reading the books. Here is where the kitchen is located “in the game”.

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My younger daughter was playing “shopping cart”, “baby stroller”, and “lawnmower” when we were at my grandmother’s house.
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This was making a house/meal for the squirrels.

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A flower dance!

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And

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The kids used sidewalk chalk to create a road system. They had parking places, a highway, a restaurant and they all traveled on their little chalk roads on their bikes and scooters. Literally HOURS of fun!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know how handy an iPhone can be in a pinch, but I have found that kids can create amazing things with what ever ordinary things they can find. Makes me sometimes wish that I could be a kid, if only to remember what it’s like to dip my brain into make-believe-land again.