For teachers, field trips can be one of the most challenging times of the year. There are transports to coordinate, reserve to do and often a classroom full of rambunctious children to the corral. While theater field travel is a great way to reveal the young minds to art, keeping children focused throughout the performance can be tough. Here are some tips to help parents prepare their children for their upcoming experience at a performing arts center.
Discuss Play before time
Whether it's the child's first trip to the theater or their fifth, it's always good to discuss the game in advance. Read the plot together and let them ask questions at home or in the classroom. Live games can be confusing, but if they are familiar with the main plot points in the game, they will be able to absorb more performance and be better prepared to appreciate the spectacle.
Explain the difference between movies and live theater
The children are used to movies full of spotted special effects. For many, the difference between entertainment that they feel and play can be surprising. Before the field trip discusses the difference between movies and games. Help them understand that each performance is alive and that the actors are not able to repeat a scene to get it right. The more they understand the efforts and the experiences, the more prepared they will be for the performance.
While most theater excursions do not require formal clothing, it is important to have children dress appropriately. The theaters become chilly when the crew dampens the lights and if the children are not prepared, they can fight to pay attention or disturb other theater directors through fidgeting. Make sure they bring a jacket and encourage them to wear long trousers and closed shoes. Remember that most spaces are air conditioned and, depending on the season, can be colder than the school room.
Go over the Rules
Before a field trip, it is important that the children understand the rules and expectations before, during and after the performance. Parents should explain the importance of being quiet inside the auditorium and making sure they understand why. Let them know that the actors can hear what the audience is saying during the performance and talking can distract them. While some talk can be expected during a child-friendly show, encourage children to do their best to be quiet and respectful until the outcome is over.
Volunteer as a Chaperone
Theater field trips can be more successful with several chaperones to help the teacher manage the school group. The more adults who are on hand to help the children to their places or help them find the bathroom during the middle of the performance, the more fun the experience will be. If possible, parents should consider volunteering as a chaperon, especially if they are concerned about their child's behavior. That way, they can keep an eye on them during performance and make sure they behave as they should.
These tips help make every theater excursion a success and help kids enjoy performance.