Kids love drama games and activities. However, finding great drama games for kids can be challenging. I love teaching drama to young children because kids are always excited for drama class and engaged during activities.
I have put together a collection of 5 of my favorite, and my children’s favorite activities and games that I have done, many times, over the years.
They are ideal for young children and serve as a great introduction to acting and structured pretend play.
So let your children’s imagination run wild and creativity fill the room!
Introducing Drama Games for Kids
This drama activity is so simple, yet memorable. Nothing like a little ‘drama magic’ to hook kids in and get them excited about drama. I usually use this activity in my first drama class each year.
All you need are some sparkles to do this drama activity. Without children watching, put sparkles in the palm of your hand and close it tight so that no sparkles fall out.
Start by asking children if they know what drama means or what we do in drama class.
Suddenly start moving your hand with the sparkles, just a little, but act surprised, like you were not in control of the movement. (Keep the sparkles hidden). Dramatically, stop the movement, but act a bit confused about what has happened.
Tell children that it must just be a bit of drama magic. Continue talking, but have your hand move around a few times while talking.
Next, ask children to open their hand and put in some ‘drama magic’ in their hand and close it up really tight. Children simply pretend to be sprinkling the magic into their hand. (As though they are adding spices to something they baked.)
Talk about what drama is and randomly move your hand, for what appears to be beyond your control and even leading you around the room a bit.
As the children are watching, and usually laughing, they are intrigued and will often move their hands around too. Finally, I catch my hand and ask children to do the same.
It’s time to release the drama magic. We all hold our hand still and open and we all blow our hands open on the count of 3… My first row of children get a bit covered in ‘drama magic’! The excitement has them hooked and thrilled to start drama class!
Small Group Drama Activity for Kids
This next drama game for kids is one of my favorites! I have used this activity in the intermediate grades all the way down to children in kindergarten. There are two ways to do the activity, depending how much time you have to prepare.
All you need are a collection of objects!
One way you can do the activity is by preparing ahead of time. I create 5 bags filled with 5 objects for my 25 students. Each of the objects in the bag are different from the others in the bag and the other groups objects.
The objects you choose can be anything. If you collect them ahead of time you will likely end up with a bigger variety of objects.
It is best if you can find 5 objects that don’t immediately connect to each other. For example, I avoided using measuring cups and oven mitts. They can be connected too easily to cooking. A better choice would be measuring cups and a ball.
The more unrelated the objects, the more challenging, and interesting the drama will be.
Once you have the bags of objects, divide the children into groups. Give each group a bag of objects. There needs to be an object for each child in the group.
Children are then challenged to prepare a short skit that includes each of the objects. Somehow children have to come up with a way to naturally connect the objects together to make a story. The objects do not have to be the focus of the skit, but each object needs to be in the skit, and make sense, in some way.
Allow groups some time to prepare and then present their skits.
Alternatively, if you are short on time, and do not prepare the bags ahead of time, you can also simply have each child choose one object from the room and then create groups after objects have been chosen.
It is fascinating to see what children can come up with!
Drama / Dance Activity #3
Drama and dance are often taught together because they involve movement and creativity. We had done an art activity where each child created a fan out of paper. They loved using their fans, so I wanted to find another activity that involved the fans.
Find various types of music, from fast to slow and quiet and calming to loud and energetic. Move around using the fans to follow the beat and rhythm of the music. Children loved having a prop to using as they moved.
This activity serves as a great drama warm up to get children moving their bodies in different, creative ways.
I repeated this activity with an older group, and purchased paper fans in bulk (link at bottom).
Acting Games for Kids
It’s a baseball bat! It’s a fairy wand! No, it’s a boat! This is a great drama game to get children to use their imagination and pretend. I took my group outside for this drama game for kids and simply had a long stick that I brought out with us!
Part of drama and acting is make believe. Getting to pretend to be someone else and stepping into different worlds and stories.
For this activity, I start by telling children the story of my great-great-great grandfather Jack as I held onto the stick:
Jack did not always listen to his mother very well and one day when he went to the market, he got some seeds instead of what his mother had asked him to buy. The seeds were special though, and took Jack to amazing other worlds. One place he visited was the home of a giant. After looking around the giant’s house, he was spotted by the giant. Jack knew he needed to run, but he really wanted something to prove that he had seen a giant and been in a giant’s house. Without thinking, he grabbed the giant’s wooden spoon and ran. Jack did get the spoon back home, but not without falling and the top of the spoon breaking off. Regardless, Jack kept the spoon handle as a special memory for many years and it is now passed down through the generations in my family.
It may look like just a stick, but look closely, because it is so much more!
Many children will recognize the story as part of “Jack and the Beanstalk”, but also wonder about the origins of the story.
After telling the story, I give children the opportunity to take the stick and tell everyone what the stick is to them. Each child is given the opportunity to share their idea of what their stick could be.
You will be impressed what they come up with!
You can even use popsicle sticks for children to think of something else the stick is.
(Make sure to set some rules first about how the sticks need to be properly used for the activity.)
Drama Games for Kids – Fabric
I purchased a bunch of fabric cloths years ago and use them constantly in my classroom and with my kids at home. It is amazing all of the uses for the material!
Children loved the previous activity with the sticks so much, that I wanted to carry on with the idea of a plain object being able to be countless other things with a bit of imagination.
Give a small group of children a piece of fabric and let their imagination tell what the fabric could be. It could be a superheroes cape or it could be the picnic blanket from a royal tea. It could be a piece of fabric from their favorite celebrities blanket.
I started by presenting the fabric as a special cloak that was able to turn things invisible. The more engaging and detailed the story, the more interesting and captivated the audience will be.
Children love listening to the stories and it gives them an opportunity for their creative ideas to come out.
I hope that these activities give you some ideas to try out with your group of children. There are a lot of benefits to a successful drama class including lots of smiles and memories.
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More Hands-On Teaching Ideas
If you are looking for more drama games for kids and activities to do in the classroom, or at home with kids, below are some of my favourite and most popular learning activities.
From story plays using small props and story reenactments, to STEM challenges and escape room puzzles there are lots of things to keep kids busy and learning.
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