Top 5 Tips for Taking Young Children to the Theatre
Going to the theatre can be a magical thing for people of any age, and if you love seeing live shows on stage, then getting your children into it at a young age can be a really nice thing to do. If you are visiting London, there are a wealth of family friendly shows you can visit complete with amazing dance performances and songs that will keep you and your kids enthralled. Even outside of London, you can see touring stage shows that can help your child get into the theatre. Here are some tips for taking young children to see a show for the first time:
Choose Something with Music
Kids have fairly short attention spans in some ways, but also like familiar things (which is why they often want to watch the same movie several hundred times!). If you choose something with songs, they are more likely to be engaged than by watching a play that is just about story. There is a reason why most popular Disney movies and kids cartoons are musicals! Even very young children respond well to singing and dancing, so even if they are too young to understand the story of the show, they are still sure to be entertained. The West End of London is home to loads of great musicals, and some, like the Lion King, feature stories they may already know which give them the familiarity perk too!
Make It a Special Treat
Going to London on a trip to see a show is a wonderful thing to do, and even if you live in another part of the city going up West can be a special occasion. Make sure your child knows that seeing the show is something to really look forward to, and you can build up a sense of excitement and magic for them. If you live outside of London you can also consider organising theatre breaks where you can not only see a show but also go shopping and stay in a beautiful hotel!
Nothing will distract you like a hungry kid and since even matinee shows finish later than many children are used to eating, it is usually best to go for a big lunch beforehand (or dinner if you are going to an evening performance).
If your child is old enough that he or she can read, buying a programme at the show can be a good way to help them know more about what is going on, and also give them a great keepsake of the occasion. If you want to make it really special, you can even wait around by the stage door after the show and get some of the actors to sign the programme to make a unique memento!
Kids really pick up on your mood, so even if you are seeing a children's show that in no way would normally appeal to you, let loose and have fun! They will associate seeing shows with having a good time together, and when they are a little older you can bond over shows that are more to your taste!
Taking kids to the theatre can be really good fun, so why not book your child's first stage show experience today!