The Arts has shown, time and again, that they help children to develop not only artistic skills, but thinking, communication and analytical skills.
But what does drama specifically do in contributing to a child’s ultimate success? Think about what acting and creative drama is. Children participate in a fictional world where they set up scenarios and react to them. They are practicing how to respond emotionally and verbally in a context where anything is possible and nothing is wrong. They can behave as if they have competencies that they aspire to in real life and be treated as someone who already has those abilities.
Through these pretend w
orlds children safely use, practice and develop real skills like communication, team work, perseverance, public speaking, group problem solving, negotiation, and generating ideas. Although they are developing these skills in a fictional context the skills development itself is nonetheless real and lasting. Thus, drama enables children to rehearse success.
For example, in drama a child may have the problem, “You are lost in the cold, dark woods. What must you do to stay warm? How do you eat?” Although in real life this is probably not going to happen, the problem solving skills used and developed in solving this imaginary problem are real. So, the child becomes more competent and confident at problem solving.
Taken a step further, as children continue to practice these “What if” situations, they are given opportunities to exercise empathy. They get to work together to find connections and mutual respect every time they rehearse a new situation. This can benefit them in real life social interactions not only in the future but in their daily life.
Through drama children become more socially confident and better able to work with others in a team. They become more comfortable expressing themselves, standing up for injustice and become generally braver about taking personal risks in relation to what they say and do.
This article was contributed by Tamara Solum of Drama Kids. Visit their website for locations throughout Sarasota & Manatee Counties: http://dramakids.com/sarasota-manatee-county-fl/