I just wanted to thank Anne-Marie again for coming out today. The other moms only had positive things to say about the class. My son really loved it. He told me many times that his favorite part was looking down the water hole.
Allison Clough, Easton Moms Group, PA.

My life as a Theatre Tots’ facilitator by Hannah Parsonnage

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What does a Theatre Tots’ facilitator do?

In general, I deliver drama sessions and children’s party entertainment for 3 – 7 yr olds using the Theatre Tots’ original songs, exercises and stories

What happens in a drama session?

In a nursery setting a basic class will last anything from 20 – 60 minutes depending on what the nursery has requested and depending on age, abilities and sometimes the logistics

Schools have so much to get through in a day with a limited supply of adults and space. It is always important to be able to adapt the sessions to meet the needs of the children and the school

No matter the length, a Theatre Tots’ session will almost always include the following two warm up songs – the ‘Hello’ song and ‘Magic Shoes’ – with actions that the children can follow I regularly pull magic shoes from behind my ears and can sing ’Hello’ in 6 different ways (important skills) The children become so familiar with the warm up they begin to play and explore within this framework They can change the colours of their shoes and voice their opinions about the time it takes to blow them up like a balloon to the right size I am always encouraged by the children’s comments especially by quieter members of the group – “Mine are too big, they are too small, mine are all the colours of the rainbow” Our magic shoes will, of course, have been tailored to fit the theme i.e. flippers for ‘under the sea’ theme, space boots for obvious reasons, clown shoes for the circus You can take things a step further and begin to pull all sorts of things from behind your ears – animals, useful tools, things to eat – whatever is necessary to engage, educate and excite their imagination

After the warm up we always delve into the magic box to see what might help us tell the story It could reveal a Rainbow cloth for our ‘under the sea’ theme “Poor Rainbow – the rainbow has been trapped under some angry rocks and they wouldn’t let him go” Or it could reveal some sea creature masks. Once, I brought the jungle masks for the ‘under the sea’ story. To avert disaster I decided the magic box, when opened (with the magic words being sung full pelt and repeated louder each time) would reveal nothing. Shock horror!!!! The children’s response was surprise and delight after the box had stopped flying around their heads because of its lightness How would we manage? Gasps again and more excitement although one very astute child said (in hushed tones) “Hannah, I think you forgot the masks” My response “Well you could be right” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)! Always hold your hands up when your cover is blown Children don’t like to be lied to but they love a good yarn

Finally, the story is delivered with accompanying music and ‘goodbye’ song . During this time props are returned to the box . Fill the box with the children’s thoughts and favourite part of the story “What would you tell Rainbow about yourself? if Rainbow could grant you a wish, what would it be?” It could be anything to help them reflect on the story

For myself, I ask the children to improvise and use their imagination in every session I facilitate I think it is OK for me to do the same –improvise and use imagination – when faced with a challenge even if that is of my own making