Friday, September 11, 2009

Creative Dramatics Playtimes

Interaction and exploration are central to Please Touch Museum's mission of creating learning opportunities through play. Today, I spoke to Alice Gonglewski, Creative Dramatics Manager at Please Touch, about our Creative Dramatics playtimes, which run every Tuesday and Thursday at 11 a.m. throughout September.

Pinky: What are Creative Dramatics playtimes?
Alice: These fun playtimes create an opportunity for kids and their grown-ups to participate in facilitated dramatic and imaginary play activities. The playtimes are designed to offer special in-depth dramatic explorations of a topic or subject. The interactions are always adjusted to complement the child's interest in and reaction to the props and games.

Pinky: What can kids (and adults!) learn during the programming?
Alice: That you don't have to be a trained actor to enjoy drama! The same way that anyone can benefit from making art, anyone can benefit from drama games and exploration. Everyone is invited to participate in playtimes for as long (or short) a time as they wish! The activities incorporate many different elements of drama such as movement, pretending, improvisation, role playing, sensory exploration, and emotional awareness. We use props, costumes, books, stories, and pictures to explore the subjects or themes of the playtime. We pretend to do or be different things using our bodies and imaginations.

Pinky: That sounds like loads of fun! After taking part in a Creative Dramatics playtime, what can parents take home and do with their kids outside of the museum?
Alice: Encourage movement and pretending with your child! Young children love to "be" animals, machines, or people doing different jobs. Kids also benefit from dramatic exploration that develops emotional awareness. Acting out familiar stories can help a child understand human behavior and develop communication skills. Above all, cultivate your child’s imagination. Allow plenty of time for open-ended play. Challenge your child occasionally to look at things from a different perspective: What do you think it would be like to live inside a pumpkin? Or encourage them to dream big: What will cars be able to do when you are a grown-up? Thinking outside the box is often what solves the world’s problems, so it’s our job as adults to nurture the next generation of creative thinkers!

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We're all about learning through play.

Join Pinky, one of Please Touch Museum's resident puppets, on an inside look into all the fun, educational things happening at Philly's Children's Museum. This blog is not just about what we do at the museum, but about the educational philosophy behind why we do what we do.