by Norah Vawter
This month, our theme in classes and on this blog is FRIENDSHIP.
We have all kinds of kiddos in our classes – different races, nationalities, backgrounds, language skills, and ability levels. Some are differently abled and need extra support in class. All are welcome. We love diverse classes because differences teach us so much. CARE Actor classes are a fantastic place for kids to make friends because of the way improv creates a safe space for kids to let loose. We also strive to make our classes feel warm and welcome places.
There’s a special magic that happens when we play improv games or act out skits, taking on a new character’s identity. Kids who are ordinarily shy, reserved, or serious can fall apart with silliness on stage or during a game. They can’t stop laughing! The improv games we use in classes help kids find common ground and bond through play and laughter. When we work together to create cool stuff with our imaginations, we learn to support each other. This forges a special bond, because we’re having fun together.
CARE Actor Dramatic Kids playing an improv game.
“Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” - Albert Camus
It’s often the small moments that make me see how this is working. For example, my class was playing an intense game of “Zip Zap Zop.” One of the girls goofed, got eliminated from the game, and was confused about what had happened. An older boy, who’s outspoken, started laughing at her. I was afraid he was being unkind. I was about to step in when I heard the girl’s delighted laughter. She knew he wasn’t being mean! He was treating her like one of the gang. And it was okay to make a mistake. This was a little moment, but it’s exactly what CARE Actor strives for – to create a safe space where kids can become more confident and support each other through creative expression.
Read on for two fun activities you can do at home!
Lots of laughter during CARE Actor's Family Improv
This classic theater improv game is a great way to practice supporting each other and going with the flow. No props or materials needed!
A Handful of Compliments
This deceptively simple activity encourages the participants to recognize what they appreciate about one another.
Photo Credit: Pexels Stock Images