The benefits of drama and play
Every day, practitioners from all sorts of settings witness first-hand the benefits of drama for young children, and you can join them by putting our tried and tested techniques, music, and games into practice. For some, the idea of incorporating imaginative play and drama into an EYFS setting is a little daunting, but we ensure all of our drama training is accessible to everyone - regardless of prior drama experience. Feel a little shy about doing drama with early years children? Fear not! Even our drama resources (such as 'The Way I Feel') come with an accompanying drama training element so you can quickly and easily gain the confidence you need to try our using drama with your preschoolers.
1. Drama builds confidence
Even the most reticent of children take just a few weeks to gently build up their self-esteem until before long they are confident to take a full and active part in imaginative play. As the adult leading the drama activity, you'll set the tone. The sooner you feel comfortable pretending and playing with EYFS children, the sooner they'll relax and show you exactly how incredible their imaginations are. Afterall, imagination comes instinctively to early years children. For us adults, it sometimes takes a little practise and some simple techniques to help us remember how much fun it can be to use our imaginations. With your new-found skills will come an increasing confidence for you too.
2. Drama helps concentration
When pretending together, children are encouraged to listen to each other's ideas and thoughts and to take turns. For EYFS children, concentration can be hard won, not so with our approach! Our drama games and activities allow children to recognise the value of concentration; a skill that is vital in the world outside their home.
3. Drama helps develop language and communication skills
Learning new songs, playing new games and participating in pretend play (when children must take on the language of the role they are playing), all contribute to a child's developing vocabulary. They are encouraged to express themselves both verbally and through facial expression and body language; the key to making them better communicators. And if a child in their early years can express themselves more clearly their well-being is boosted and they're more likely to be engaged in their learning.
4. Drama encourages children to co-operate
Every activity we teach, from playing drama games to improvisation to singing together, requires co-operation. Children quickly realise that to get the best out of each activity, cooperation is a much-needed skill! In our course, 'How to Become an Expert in Early Years Imaginative Play', we'll show you just how easy (and powerful!) it is to use drama to manage transitions and daily routines in your EYFS setting.
5. Drama supports numeracy skills
When learning through drama and play, children don't ever guess they are learning. Counting the number of beats in a song, counting the number of stars on a camping trip or working out how many eggs to put in a cake are just a few examples of how being involved in a drama can help to develop essential cognitive skills.
6. Drama helps children to understand the world around them
Even without costumes or props, we help children explore a range of different themes and introduce children to a variety of real and imaginary situations, sparking their interest in the world in which they live and making them more inquisitive (and therefore more interesting!) little people. Drama can create a safe, supportive environment for early years children to trial situations before they happen (perhaps, for example, a trip to the dentist is causing anxiety) or to experience the wonder of the world (imagine jumping through the snow and building a snowman when it's sunny outside your window!)
7. Drama develops emotional intelligence
By encouraging children to 'act out' a range of emotions in a safe and supportive environment, children are better able to understand their feelings and develop empathy with others. For EYFS settings, developing the ability to recognise, name and manage big emotions is crucial to a happy environment. Drama for well-being is incredibly powerful. Take a look at our well-being activity pack, 'The Way I Feel' and discover how we use drama and play to develop communication skills in early years settings.
8. Drama assists physical development
We harness children's eagerness to pretend and move to teach simple movement sequences, play drama games, and interpret action songs - all designed to help children gain mastery over their growing bodies. The joy and sense of well-being that comes from physical exertion is bettered only when the imagination is at play!
9. Drama develops creativity
Creative people can view things in new ways and from different perspectives. They can think on their feet and generate new ideas. Our child-led approach to improvisation and pretend play encourages the development of creativity as children lead the direction of the drama themselves, come up with solutions to problems when in role, and respond imaginatively to a range of pretend situations.
10. Drama nurtures friendships
By its very nature drama can create strong bonds between children and between children and their grown-ups as they laugh, learn and grow together!