Did you know that your kids (and yourself!) often learn the best when doing something hands-on and fun? Teachers have been using this concept for years to engage young minds in the way that feels most natural to them: Play.
Play is an essential element in drama therapy and is encouraged for all ages. Many drama therapists will begin sessions with a “warm-up” that involves a variety of different drama games to help group members become centered in the moment, loosen up, build skills, and most importantly, have fun! Relationships are strengthened through humor and playfulness, which is why games are so essential to the practice of drama therapy.
Although many drama therapists focus their efforts on mental health therapy, drama therapists are also essential to helping clients build practical skills for their futures. I have worked with occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech therapists to help young children reach their developmental and social goals using drama therapy. This is why I wanted to share with you my favorite go-to skill building, energy busting game: Stage Direction Four Corners!
This game works the best with a medium to large group of kids (I suggest saving it for the future after we have effective strategies to address COVID-19) but can also be easily played within a small group or family unit. The only materials you will need are something to play music like a speaker or phone, and something to create a “stage” on the ground so boundaries are clear (sidewalk chalk, masking/painters tape, cones). This game helps to build the practical skills of active listening, staying present in the moment, following instructions, knowing your directions, and practicing positive sportsmanship.