Four-year-old children can benefit highly from creative drama games. There is no pressure to perform, and the emphasis at this age is on the process rather than the product. Four-year-old children are often energetic and enjoy "being" characters, but oftentimes they have a short attention span. Drama games can include such activities as story enactment, puppetry, singing songs and mirroring.
Fairy Tale Enactment
Fairy tale enactment is one drama game that 4-year-old children are likely to enjoy. Fairy tales and stories should have simple plots with interesting characters. Children at this age find pleasure in acting out stories with humorous situations and characters, in addition to acting as inanimate objects. Teachers can add extra characters to the plot so that every child has a role to play. Four-year-old children can act out fairy tales such as Jack in the Beanstalk, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Hansel and Gretel.
Puppets engage young children easily, and children react to them as if they were real. Four-year-old children can use puppets in "pretend play." This encourages creativity, develops the imagination and expands a child's vocabulary. Puppets can be used for educational purposes at the same time, to learn letters, numbers or problem-solving skills. A puppet exercise for 4-year-old children is to use finger puppets in a mini-play. The play should be kept short and simple as kids of this age group cannot memorise a lot of dialogue at once. Children can also create simple props and accessories to go along with the play.
Songs and Role-Playing
Songs can be physical and engaging. Such songs as "The Wheels on the Bus" and "Itsy Bitsy Spider" can provide small and simple vocabulary but keep children animated. Children can move about and develop imagination in relation to the song. Before performing any song, show kids a picture or toy model of the song's main object and explain all of its parts and what they do. The children can then stand in a circle and use props to act out the action verbs such as honking a horn for "The Wheels on the Bus." Children can also move body parts such as arms to depict bus wheels going around.
In the game of mirroring, young children have the opportunity to act silly and be physically and intellectually challenged. Two children stand facing one another. The first child should be told what actions to perform ahead of time. When the first child completes an action, the second child needs to do exactly what the first child does. This game offers a number of benefits: 4-year-old children can develop their physical awareness, concentration and communication skills, and learn to follow the leader and complete appropriate activities at the right time.
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