Performance art for kids is one way to combine singing, rhythm, dance, expression, and visual art and boost children’s self-esteem all at the same time. When children are part of an art production, it’s not just memorable and exciting for the kids, but for the families too. The performances become afternoons or evenings that connect many people of all ages in the community.
After weeks of hearing Big Sister practice her butterfly song and dance routine, just a few days ago we got to see her on stage. So that Little Sister could see we sat as close as possible. There was quite a group of adults that had helped with costumes, directing, practicing, and supervising, but the stars were the children. It was a celebration of the amazing capabilities of our kids.
This was a school production but as I watched, it was easy to see the importance of all the learning that had happened at home beforehand and was still happening for the kids. School only builds on what parents and caregivers have already started.
What were some of these? Obviously, language was one. Kids first learn to talk and communicate at home. Being able to follow instructions was another. For a performance, there are constant and complicated instructions. When singing, not only do children need to learn the songs but it’s really helpful if they have practiced singing along with others at home. As they sing in a group, kids make tiny changes to their voices and timing. Some previous practice makes this much easier. Noticing the rhythm, coordinating singing and moving, watching others for clues, and remembering the words and steps are also part of the package of skills.
Performance art takes a lot of brain power! It also takes some emotional skills like knowing how to wait, having to stay calm and patient, behaviors for being a member of a group, handling stress, and more. Seeing all those people in the audience can be pretty scary and kids need to feel confident even though they are nervous too. No matter the production, there are social and emotional demands for everyone.
Often, community groups and preschools will have opportunities for children to perform for an audience, with or without a stage. Performance activities are another form of art for kids and build on all those times when kids have said “Watch me.” Would your child like to do something for you and maybe others to enjoy today?