How to add some creative and dramatic flair to your stay-at-home schooling bag of tricks. 

So you are stuck. At home. With your kids. And like Frodo and his Ring, you are resisting the pull of the digital screen to save you from the monsters of isolation. Let’s avoid mentioning the irony that you are here, googling ‘How to avoid screen time with kids during isolation’ and instead celebrate you, the parent, for your good intentions. 

You are right of course. Our kids spend far too much time sucked into the vortex of a TV, computer, tablet or phone. And now that they are at home with you 24/7 this problem is amplified along with the temptation to pacify them with a device. On top of this you are expected to get the little gremlins to sit down and plow through the growing pile of lessons and homework your school has sent you… that you haven’t completed… because of the Screens of Power.

Well O’Grady Drama is here to offer some reprieve and professional words of advice.

Firstly, don’t panic. You don’t need to be a teacher (at least not in the ‘apple on the desk/ guitar slinging/ test grading’ way). 

Secondly, breathe and follow these simple steps to help create a supportive environment for learning at home. 

1 – Make a space dedicated to school work and focus. Keep it uncluttered, distraction free but comfortable.

2 – Allow plenty of natural light.

3 – Proudly display their work that they complete in a visible location. 

4 – Stick to a routine or rhythm similar to their school schedule.

Finally (and here’s the real kicker in our opinion), don’t forget to save time for creativity and innovation!

School teachers will be frantically trying to keep your children up to date with reading, writing, and mathematics, but will probably forget about creative and performing arts (unless they are legends!). Developing creativity is so fundamental to your child’ s education, not to mention their mental health and well being whilst being socially isolated from their peers. 

Ah, but we hear you groan. We see you reach in fear for your little hobbit pocketses. Resist! Here are our hot little creative ideas to help keep your child from ‘falling behind’. 

Uno! – Fun drama ideas for kids

One Word Stories : get cosy with your budding young minstrel and work together to tell a story, taking turns to add, you guessed it, one word at a time. 

Dress ups : oh so easy to do and no fancy store- bought costumes necessary. Dressing up helps children explore roles, build empathy, and discover the wonders of their own imagination. 

Dance Mode : fans of ‘Bluey’ on ABC Kids will know (and fear) the power of dance mode. Whack on some tunes, don’t be scared to crank it up a little, and dance like no one is watching.

As an extra challenge, take it to the driveway to entertain your neighbours from a safe distance (we all need a little brightness at the moment).

Online Drama classes for kids – okay, okay, sometimes you will need to reach for that screen. Heck, even Frodo had to use the Ring on occasions! Lots of drama schools are turning to the internet to offer online learning too. Consider enrolling in online acting classes for young children like our Inter-act Online

See here for more ideas

Dos! – Get Musical

Create a homemade musical instrument : combine arts and craft, science, and human culture in this one simple yet fun activity.

Dance with your hands : play various genres of music and allow your child to respond and express with crayons, paint, charcoal, you name it. 

Stream it : compose some music or learn some songs, practise, practise, practise and then live stream your performance to friends and family. Why not dress up and use your homemade instruments too?

Tres! – Read Aloud

That’s it really. Practice reading with expression and fluency and make that story come to life!

So, don’t get all hung up on the three R’s of education – remember to throw in some creative play too. Not only is it keeping your kids up to pace with their curriculum requirements, it’s just plain stay-at-home fun.