I have a degree in theater arts and used to teach acting to kids ages 3-17 in San Francisco prior to becoming a psychologist. I always intended to do some improvisation with our kids and now that they are four, it seemed like the perfect time. The theme for this week’s Playful Preschool is hats. We have a lot of hats for dress up and pretend play which I decided to use for some basic improvisation. While we did this with our preschoolers, this game can be played with children of all ages. The level of sophistication in terms of dialogue will rise with older children.
Benefits of improvisation:
- It teaches children to think on their feet
- It stimulates imagination and creativity
- It builds literacy skills by having kids create their own stories
- It builds social skills by having kids interact with each other or an adult.
- They learn to share and adapt in order to respond to whatever lines their partner creates.
Improvisation with Hats:
You will need:
- Hats (Any type: The dinosaur hat is from the dollar store.)
- Two or more children (or one adult can play with one child)
Place the hats in the center of the game. I put them on a table and had our kids pick hats two at a time. Then, I encouraged them to have a conversation using the hats to create characters. In the picture above, Grayson was a builder and Ryder was a police officer. They had a conversation about the need for a new police station which Grayson was asked to build. In the next picture, Capri was a firefighter and Xayden was a police officer. He tried to give her a ticket for going too fast, but she told him he could not give her at ticket because she was driving fast to fight the fire. In another scene, Grayson was a dinosaur and Ryder was a farmer. Grayson told Ryder how much he liked to eat the leaves off of the farmer’s trees and expressed appreciation to the farmer for growing his food. There are endless possibilities for this game.
Hat Theme Preschool Activities from the #PLAYfulPreschool Team: