Acting lessons for kids can be a lot of fun. These lessons can help foster creativity and imagination in kids as well as give them confidence to present themselves well in any situation they encounter.
Acting for Learning
Acting lessons for kids are about much more than running around on stage acting goofy, although this can certainly be an aspect of acting for young kids. Not only do kids learn how to shed their inhibitions on stage, but they also can learn how to adapt quickly to a variety of situations. Kids can also learn about history, literature, and a variety of other topics using acting as a learning tool. There are a variety of acting lessons that are available to young kids:
- Introduction to Acting teaches basic acting techniques such as stage directions, voice projection, and role adaptations.
- Pantomime teaches kids how to act without only using their bodies and facial expressions with no props and sometimes without speaking.
- Improvisation teaches kids how to act on the spur of the moment without a written script.
- Tech Classes teach kids the fundamentals about the backstage work including stage makeup, set design and construction, and lighting and other technological aspects of theater.
- Stage Combat teaches kids how to move on stage in a variety of scenarios.
- Specific Acting Classes go beyond the basic introduction to acting lessons for kids and concentrate on specific methods of acting and may explore specific genres such as Shakespearean plays or musicals.
Some parents may seek out acting lessons for kids that are very specific to one certain task. For example, some kids may have a voice coach to shed an accent or learn different accents while other kids may receive training in acting for commercials or other television projects. What type of class you choose for your child depends on what your child is interested in along with their level of acting experience.
Stars and Stage Parents
The vast majority of kids who take acting lessons will never become celebrity actors. When parents enroll kids into acting lessons, they should do it for a few reasons:
- The child has expressed interest in acting.
- The child has an extroverted personality that would make acting a lot of fun.
- The child wants to try something new.
- The child needs something for socialization.
Parents should not force kids to take or stay in acting lessons if:
- The child is adamantly opposed to acting.
- The child tries the class and detests it, feeling uncomfortable and miserable.
- The parents have grand plans to create a Hollywood star despite the wishes or the child.
- The parents are trying to let their own stars shine through their children.
Acting lessons for kids can be a touchy subject. Parents want to be involved with their children's pursuits and want to push their kids to do well in everything they try, but there is indeed a fine line between involved parent and stage parent when it comes to acting.
Group and Individual Classes
At a young age, children will usually do best with acting classes within a group setting. One-on-one acting instruction for younger kids may be intimidating and probably won't be nearly as much fun for the child involved.
There are exceptions to this rule. Some children have a natural talent for acting and truly want to work hard to hone their craft. In this instance, one-on-one instruction can be a good idea.
Acting without Classes
You don't need to enroll your kids into a formal acting class in order to teach them the basic fundamentals of acting. Any game that involves imagination and acting out helps kids to learn the fundamentals. Even the youngest kids can enjoy acting games at home with the help of a parent.
Try this acting game with your kids: Sit on the ground and pretend to open a box. Act as though you are pulling something out of the box, and then react to whatever it is you pull out of the box. If it's a puppy, act out petting it. If it's a milkshake, act out drinking it. When everyone has reacted to the item, pass the imaginary box on to the next person who then pulls an item out and everyone reacts to it.
Games like these can spark an interest in acting for kids while also allowing some great imaginary play.