Last year I was looking at all of the summer camp options for my kids, and I did not know where to start. I have twins, third graders, who are not into sports, drawing, or animals. We needed to find something fun for them to keep them engaged for the summer but we did not know where to begin.
Luckily, we found a local drama camp. A friend has sent their kids to Theatre of the Imagination and had a good experience. Her kids, like mine, were not necessarily interested in acting but did like to play pretend around the house. They would sing their favorite songs from movie musicals and dance around to the radio. But getting on a stage was utterly foreign to them.
When our kids came home after the first day, they were excited. They were sharing the drama games they learned, and showing off all of their new, what they called “funny” voices. They got out all of the blankets on the couch and made a stage curtain to show off their latest idea, “Dessert! The Musical!”
If you don’t know what you should do with your child this summer, put them in an acting camp. Here are the benefits we found:
Making new friends
As loud as my kids are, they are timid in public. They both have had trouble making new friends. Drama camp puts them in a place where everyone interacts all the time. It was not that the kids had to speak. They got to talk. They are encouraged to share their weird ideas (and my kids have nothing but weird ideas!). This shared collective help them bond with other kids from other schools. Now they have their weirdness in common.
Their shyness extends to speaking in public. My kids never raise their hands in class. They don’t want to go up to the board and try the problem. They are so afraid of making mistakes that they hide behind their textbooks when the teachers ask for a volunteer.
Drama camp got them out of that shell. Getting up in front of their classmates is now no different than playing with friends at recess. Their view of the blackboard is no longer scary. They used to fear talking in front of others, as if someone would eat them if they said a word wrong. After a few drama classes, that is gone now.
Waterfall of ideas
My kids always like to create, but that is in overdrive now. They were at dinner the other night, using the silverware as puppets and putting on a show for the three-year-old at the following table in the restaurant. They had that little boy smiling for 30 minutes straight, and our waiter liked it too.
I like that now their ideas are flowing much more freely. It has made writing papers and essays much more effortless. Now they will talk out their homework assignments and get them done faster. Before, bringing them even to admit they didn’t know the answer was a chore.
Find a drama camp for your kiddos if you need a good summer activity. They might never get on a stage again, but we are so happy that we found an outlet for their energy and ideas. I now see how getting kids on a stage can help them in their lives in so many ways.
We are fans of Mr. Miles and his crew at Theatre of the Imagination (we are enrolled for four weeks this summer). I encourage families to find their nearest drama group. Just find a stage, any stage, and you will be amazed at how it can help your child.
We want to thank the O’Brien family for sharing their experiences with everyone. If you are looking for fun Summer Drama Camps near Overland Park, come give us a try. Whether or not your kids have ever been on a stage, acting classes for kids can be a great tool to help them learn and grow.