The Quinte Children’s Theatre put on another outstanding and lively performance for its’ young people and families on November 15th , when it hosted Cindy Cook (from the Polka Dot Door), with her sidekick, Sant-Apoot. It was such a welcome treat – a blast from the past, and, an intimate and personal connection with the people on stage and in the crowd. Unfortunately, seeing youngsters all dressed up for a day or night at the theatre is a sight so rare for children who live in an age where technology (living inside the box) seems to be our only means of entertainment.
Did you know, though, that bringing your child to the theatre can actually promote healthy development in your youngster?
“Who knew that learning could be this much fun?” I caught myself saying to an adult attendee sitting beside me. As Cindy Cook engaged the children wholeheartedly with her funny jokes, energetic personality, and entertaining teaching style, I couldn’t help but think: “What if every school’s classroom teacher were this enticing, and promoted healthy development and learning curriculum in this captivating and interactive way?” If only all the world classrooms were a stage, I thought, reflecting on my Montessori teaching background. Cindy Hook taught songs, phonics (with her special friend, Spelling Bee), new vocabulary, actions, music and rhythm skills, dance, theatre etiquette – all within a one hour show!
When I watched my daughter dancing in the aisles, laughing, shouting out letter sounds, forming a bond by hugging Sant-Apoot (which is, by the way, Inuit for ‘polar bear’), and lost in Cindy Hook’s silly jokes, (not to mention, her very friendly on-stage personality), I really understood the many benefits of children’s theatre on a child’s healthy social-emotional , physical, and overall development.
I decided to research the health benefits, and, not surprisingly, the benefits are numerous! Heather Schiff (article link below), a clinical psychologist and drama therapist, explains that when we expose our children to theatre, at a young age, they develop an appreciation for the arts. This encourages “dramatic play…a child’s way of symbolically expressing and resolving internal conflict releasing pent-up feelings, exploring hopes, fears, and wishes, and discovering new life roles and stances, which is central to any child’s development.” When we encourage imagination, and creative thinking, at a young age, children are better able to deal with life’s challenges, express their feeling, ideas, and become our leaders of the future. Neuroscientists have found that when we use both sides of our brains at the same time (left and right), as we do when engaged in theatre productions, our brains achieve optimal performance and learning is fun!
I think that the Quinte Children’s Theatre, and, in this case, Cindy Cook’s performance, inspires children to get out of their ‘comfort zone’, and just be free to be themselves – to dance, have fun, socialize, connect and empathize with others, learn more about themselves and their own interests, hopes, and dreams….. and maybe, just maybe, even learn along the way! In fact, the children were so engaged and excited, in the performance that Cindy had to kindly ask them to climb down off the stage more than once! The self-discipline involved with trying hard not to reach out and hug SANT-APOOT was too much for them! And, for this reason, lessons in theatre etiquette and self-control were highly valuable.
Quinte Children’s Theatre is such a benefit and an asset to our community and, our little and growing future leaders! It also needs your support for it to continue to thrive in our city.
So, if you want to reap the many benefits of children’s theatre for your developing child, I encourage you to attend one of the many Quinte Children’s Theatre Productions in Belleville.
LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT'S COMING UP AT THE QUINTE CHILDREN'S THEATRE:
Check out the website www.quintechildrenstheatre.ca for more information.
Visit the following link and reference on the benefits of children's theatre for your child and your family!