What age your toddler can start
Children can enrol onto drama classes from around 2 years onwards, though most formal drama classes that involve structured learning usually start at around 4 years.
What your child will do
From around 2 years old, your child will start to develop an active imagination. Attending a drama class can help to harness some of that imagination that is now more receptive to role-play and exploring pretend play-worlds.
Weekly age specific sessions can follow a theme, which allows your child to constantly explore new possibilities and creative expression.
Drama instruction is usually be blended with other creative outlets including music, song and movement to provide a rounded, enjoyable and entertaining experience.
Classes will vary from week to week in terms of actual content (one week your little one might be flying on a magical carpet across the desert and the next, prowling through the jungle), but a class format could start with an opening exercise to get everyone invigorated and excited, followed by specific activities around that week’s theme including group activities.
Helping your child to express himself
There may be some formal instruction from the class teacher as she tries to get all the children to really challenge and stretch their imaginations and interpretations.
Drama class environments are safe and welcoming and allow your child to fully express and stretch himself as he explores magical and interesting stories and sounds. They are fully interactive, though your child will only be encouraged to do as much as he would like.
Classes are great fun and as well as engaging in suggested play, they may also be time for free expression or free play for younger children.
Some drama class providers use the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and national curriculum to underpin class content. Older preschoolers may be introduced to structured tuition in singing and dancing as well as drama. Singing will help to develop the use of voice and understanding in how sounds are formed and varied with pitch and tone. Dancing will usually be done as a group and can help to improve co-ordination and balance.
How learning drama benefits your child
A few of the benefits that your child will gain from attending a drama focused class include social skills, creative expression, enhanced vocabulary and improved concentration and memory as he starts the process of learning lines.
Classes are usually kept to small numbers so that individuals don’t feel overwhelmed and are able to develop their confidence through active inclusion and performance.
Class costs tend to be to between (£8-15 per session) depending on your area. A registration fee may also apply depending on the requirements of the drama school you sign up to.