Introducing Your Child to the Arts

Theater

Children love to pretend and engage their vast imaginations. For that reason, theater is a natural fit for youngsters. By going to the theater -- whether it's a community or school production or a Broadway show -- children are transported to another time and place. Additionally, they learn to appreciate the talents of the performers and may even be inspired to take part in a play or show themselves. Want to encourage your child's flair for the dramatic? Keep these suggestions in mind:

Play along. Indulge your child when she asks you to be a customer coming into her play store or a patient visiting her imaginary doctor's office.

Provide props. A stash of costumes (they can be your old clothes) and household items can inspire creative play. For example, an old telephone and computer or typewriter can be the perfect "office" setup, while plastic plates and dishes can be used in a pretend restaurant. You'll be amazed at all the uses your child will come up with for the simplest assortment of items.

Sign your child up for a class. Many communities offer theater workshops or creative movement classes that children enjoy.

Go to a play. Take your child to a local play or even a professional production. He'll no doubt love the story, characters, costumes, and music. Discuss the play to find out what he liked and didn't like.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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