Since all of us are spending a lot of time at home, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite games you can play with your family! So take a break from watching TV and get your imaginations working by trying one or all of these ideas together.
Suggestions for Families with Elementary to High School Students:
1. Questions Only
Pick two people to be the performers in your scene. The performers are given a scenario or a setting to act out, however – they may only speak in questions. If they say anything that is not a question (or if they repeat a question that has already been said), they are out and someone new takes their place and continues the scene. The topic can be changed if/when the current one gets stale. Some fun scenarios to try might include: it’s raining meatballs, a trip to the zoo, or your toast is on fire.
2. One-Minute Story
Choose a story that everyone in the family knows well. It could be a classic fairytale like The Three Little Pigs or a book you all love to read together. Once you’ve chosen the story, pick two to three people to be the performers in your scene. Whoever is watching the performers will be in charge of watching the time. Using a stopwatch or a timer, performers will have one minute to act out the beginning, middle, and end of the story using their bodies and voices. If they are able to do this successfully, performers will then have just 30 seconds to act out the story. Finally, for a tricky challenge, performers will have just 10 seconds to act out the entire story!
3. Fashion Show
Put on a fashion show! First, decide as a family what the theme will be for your show. Maybe it will be holiday themed or based around a season like Summertime Styles. Then, decide what roles everyone in your family will play. Who will be the model(s) going down the catwalk? Will you have an emcee, a wardrobe designer, or a photographer? Then, have everyone in the family set up the space. Decide where models will enter and exit, where the audience will sit, what costumes the models will wear, and what music you’ll play. Maybe you can even “invite” some friends and family to watch the show digitally. If you have fun with this, try one of the silly variations to this game below!
Silly Version of Fashion Show—Idea 1: Rehearse a show in which everything goes wrong! Example: The emcee trips over the microphone cord, the music won’t start playing, or models wear things that don’t fit. Think of all the silliness you can!
Silly Version of Fashion Show—Idea 2: Create a ‘Wacky Wardrobe” Fashion Show. Have models put their hair in silly styles and make all the costumes yourself using things like paper plates, toilet paper, and paper grocery bags!
For this game, you will create an original story together as a family by taking turns saying one line each. The only rule is that every line must alternate between “Unfortunately…” and “Fortunately…” For example:
Person A: Unfortunately, the grocery store was out of cheddar cheese.
Person B: Fortunately, there was one box of mac and cheese left that came with a packet of cheese.
Person C: Unfortunately, when they went to pay for the mac and cheese, they realized they left their wallet at home.
Person A: Fortunately, they found a few dollars in their coat pocket.
Suggestions for Families with Pre-Kindergarten to Early Elementary Students:
1. Duck, Duck, Fruit!
This is a fun variation of the classic game Duck, Duck, Goose. Instead of “goose,” the person that is “it” tags another player and assigns a category such as fruit, sports, cereal, TV shows, books, etc. Instead of a chase, the tagged person stays in place and tries to name three items in the given category before the “it” person runs around the circle and gets back to them. If they can name three things, then “it” repeats the process with a new category. You can assign a higher number if three seems too simple.
2. Object Pose
Using a theme such as food or vehicles or a favorite book with great images for ideas, have your child work with you (or a sibling!) to create objects using only their bodies. For example, if the object was a pizza pie, maybe both players would hold hands and make their arms curved to look like a round pizza. If you’re looking for a challenge, try coming up with multiple ways to create the object with your body or take away a body part they can use for one round (for example, make a pizza without using your arms).
3. Puppet Show
Work with your student to come up with their own story using the following ad lib:
“Yesterday, I discovered my _____ was missing from ____ and decided to go _____ to look for it.”
Use any household items or toys you’d like as props or small costume pieces, or create your own popsicle stick or plastic spoon puppets to act out your story!
About the Blogger – Danielle Mathers
Danielle Mathers is the School Partnerships Manager at Imagination Stage. She is an arts educator with over five years of experience teaching, managing and directing programs, and creating performing arts experiences for young people. Danielle recently moved to the DC area from New York. While living in NY, Danielle worked as Program Director and as a teaching artist for children ages 3-18 with Broadway Workshop for six years. She also served as the Artistic Associate at NYC Children’s Theatre. Danielle is also passionate about arts management and was a Research Assistant for Dr. Tobie Stein during the writing of her book Leadership in The Performing Arts. At Imagination Stage, Danielle creates and manages many arts integration residency programs and also organizes after school arts enrichment opportunities in schools across Maryland and DC. She holds a MA from Brooklyn College and a BA in Theatre and Music from Muhlenberg College.
Our Commitment To You
Keep coming back to our blog and social media for more ideas and activities for you and your little ones to do at home. While we are currently unable to utilize our typical frameworks of live theatre and best-practice arts education, Imagination Stage is committed to doing everything we can to continue serving our children and families during this unprecedented time.
Imagination Stage has always had a grand vision: to empower ALL young people to discover their voices and identities through performing arts education and professional theatre. For the past 40 years, we are proud to have empowered 1.5 million young people and their families through theatre performance and education experiences. You make these experiences possible.
We are dedicated to making sure that our community and staff remain safe and our arts and education programming remain strong. In light of the current global health crisis, for the next two weeks, we are suspending all programming including professional theatre, education, and community initiatives. We are working hard to ensure our operations and mission are not impacted by this necessary closure. Your donations are critical to helping us achieve this goal. Thank you for being part of our community. Your support, now more than ever, is vital to keeping our mission alive.