Honing Your Child’s Expression Through Speech And Drama
It is never too early to hone your child’s creative expression. This is because children are precocious learners, and their formative years are crucial in shaping their future as this is a period of rapid social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development for a child.
One of the ways you can ignite your child’s imagination and hone their creative expression is through imaginative play that facilitates learning for them. And that is where speech and drama sessions come into play. By encouraging your child to engage in dramatic play, they are able to act out and communicate their thoughts, emotions, and wishes.
This is because speech and drama is a powerful building block to help your child learn effective communication. Let me share why it is a vital module in many early childhood educational courses in Singapore, and how we as parents can encourage creative expressions in our kids’ early years.
Speech and drama: an outlet for creative expression
Speech and drama not only provides children with an outlet to express their feelings and thoughts, but also challenges their perception of themselves and the world around them. Through acting out imaginary situations and roles, they are able to think creatively and critically and learn how to express themselves in front of their peers.
One of my favourite parenting tips that I love to share with other parents when they ask for creative scenarios to incorporate into their child’s role playing activities is to provide their kid with a chance to view the world from another perspective, as this helps to instill empathy and tolerance. For example, by taking on the role of a teacher or a parent, the child can learn to understand others’ perspectives.
Furthermore, these creative expressions help the child to practise appropriate behaviour, learn how to respond constructively to feedback and criticism, and enable them to grasp the consequences of their actions. Through speech and drama, the child learns how to manage their emotions and communicate their feelings.
In my early childhood educational courses, I will always strive to give my students agency and encourage them to be creative during their speech and drama classes. By providing children with a safe and supportive learning environment where kids are actively encouraged to make their decisions and explore new possibilities, they are able to come up with interesting solutions to various problems faced by their role-playing characters.
How to encourage creative expressions through speech and drama
1. Sharing sessions with puppets
Sharing is an essential virtue we as parents aim to incorporate in our child from an early age. And at the centre of drama work is positive communication, which is a vital component to the sharing of ideas.
However, it is understandable if your child is hesitant in communicating their thoughts. After all, even we as adults can sometimes struggle to communicate with each other.
An excellent idea is to incorporate a puppet into the sharing session, as the imaginative layer of the puppet helps to create a safe environment for your child to experiment with sharing their thoughts. Additionally, you can start small by first encouraging your child to share something simple, such as their name, and then build onwards from this first step.
This activity is best done in a group, so you may want to consider arranging a playdate with other parents. Through simple sharing sessions with their peers, your child can learn to communicate more effectively in a group setting, which is crucial in a school environment.
Furthermore, the sharing of the puppet as it is passed around functions as a visual stimulus, making it easier for every child to understand when their turn is coming up. Once your child gains the confidence to share their name effectively in a group setting, you can encourage them to open up further and share their age, feelings, and thoughts.
2. Listen attentively to what your child has to say
Communication is an essential part of speech and drama, and naturally listening is a crucial element of that. After all, communication is a two-way street. This means you should learn to listen to what your child has to say as well.
When your child sees that you are actively listening to what they have to say, they feel valued, respected, and understood, even if they might not be able to fully grasp such concepts at their tender age. Additionally, it helps to build a bond between you and your child and develops their trust in you.
Moreover, at their tender age, your child may be feeling plenty of emotions that they do not have the words for. When you listen to your child, you can help them to process through the various emotions they are feeling, teach them how to express those feelings, and educate them on how to manage their emotions.
“Communication is a two-way street. This means you should learn to listen to what your child has to say as well.
When your child sees that you are actively listening to what they have to say, they feel valued, respected, and understood.”Carean Oh, Writers Studio
3. Incorporate non-verbal communication into the play sessions
Speech and drama is not just about words; communication involves non-verbal cues like expressions and body languages as well. At their tender age, your child may not possess the vocabulary to fully articulate how they feel. So when words fail, an excellent way to convey their feelings is to express their emotions through non-verbal communication cues.
You can try a simple game of “How are you feeling” with your kid. The rules are simple; you try to convey what you are feeling through your facial expressions and body language and your child has to guess the emotion you are trying to convey. Set a time limit for each round, and when the time is up, you can reverse the role and let your child act out their feelings while it is your turn to make a guess.
4. Give your child the most conducive environment to excel
A conducive environment is crucial in bringing out the best in your child. Under the guidance of early childhood educators, who are experienced in early childhood development and education pedagogy, you can keep abreast of your child’s learning and development and take the necessary steps to provide additional support if needed.
Are you looking for helpful parenting tips to help nurture your child’s creative expression through speech and drama classes? If so, do not hesitate to reach out to me today to find out more!
This article is brought to you by Carean Oh, Writers Studio, a passionate educator.