Calling all drama queens and comedians

School is out for the summer, which is great fun for the kids and a bunch of extra work and shuffling for you.  It’s challenging to make the transition from having the kids in school all day to having them home, or finding enough activities to keep them busy and engaged.

Some children really thrive on a slow paced, relaxed, summer schedule.  But other kids go a little bonkers when you take away the social outlet of school.  If you’ve got a drama queen or a comedian on your hands, consider sending them to an acting camp.

Through my work with young people I’ve found that lots of kids who seem to be “acting out” or are “too wild” just need an appropriate outlet for their energy and enthusiasm about life.  They need an activity that is both intellectually and physically challenging, so that they’re engaging many different parts of their brain.  Acting camp could be just the thing these kids are craving.

During an acting camp, kids get to play fun games that teach them the basics of improvisation and acting.  With those tools in their back pockets, many young people can redirect their “wild” energy into comedy improv, or putting on a production either by themselves, with friends or siblings, or with a church group or neighborhood group.

And, as their skills develop, you’ll enjoy their antics more and more, and they’ll get the positive attention they’re really craving.  It’s really a win-win.

But if acting camp isn’t available in your area or doesn’t fit into your budget well, the internet is filled with information about super fun comedy improv games you can play with your family without any special training.

One of my favorite sites for that kind of information is Improv 4 Kids

Here are a few fun improv games off the top of my head:

1) Yes And- Go around the circle and create something fun like the most fun amusement park, the best sandwich, the ideal playground, or the coolest new invention.  Each person adds an idea and then the next person exclaims, “YES!! And…” and adds another dimension to the vision.

2) Making up a silly song- This is easiest with a familiar tune and a list of words that rhyme.  You might want to start off with Raffi’s “Down by the Bay” and then branch out when the kids have the hang of it.

3) Using props in interesting ways- Get some stuff from the kitchen and around the house and put it into a box.  Set an egg timer and then let your child reach into the box, grab something and pretend it’s something else.  Robin Williams is particularly good at this game!

So, I hope you’ll check out all the possibilities in your area for acting and improv classes for kids.  Who knows, maybe you’ll spark a life long love of theatre!  As always I would love to hear your thoughts and stories.  Please leave me a comment!  And have a wonderful week, Shelly

Oh, and I was interviewed in Inspired Lady Radio on Monday.  If you’d like to listen to the show which features me and Lori Petro, go to  BlogTalkRadio “Thanks, but this is my child“.