child to the theater at a young age is a wonderful experience that will
create memories of a lifetime. It will hopefully teach them to
love the arts and set a tradition that they will carry on forever.
As a parent however, it is important to select the right play, at the
right time, and to set some rules prior to the excursion. Below you
will find some tips to help make going to the theatre with your children
a terrific experience.
introduce you child to the theatre you should start with a short,
around an hour, production in a children's theater. Try and
get an aisle seat so that you will not disturb others if you need to
leave for any reason.
move on to bigger and better productions always check
on the show's running time before you buy tickets.
Choose according to your child's attention span. If the show
is long then make sure there is an intermission.
show time that will work well
for the youngest child. Avoid
nap time or evening productions that will go past bed time.
Matinee performances are
usually a great option for families with very young children and
ticket prices may be reduced for these performances.
Make sure you
check to confirm
that play is family-friendly before you go.
Research the play and read reviews and remember that the name of a play
is not always an indication of the content. Keep in mind that age
appropriate material is the key to a successful event. Ensure
that it will not scare younger children but will be entertaining for
is a good for young children. Explain to them what they will
be seeing. Be sure to let them know that it is a live theater
with actors on the stage. If possible read them a book about
the play, watch the movie on TV or rent the DVD. This will
allow the kids to feel comfortable with the story and then relax and
enjoy the performance instead of asking you a lot of questions
This is not true for teens so consider a fresh alternative if you
are taking your 15 year old.
Plays with audience
interaction usually help to keep the little ones entertained and
the child as to how they will be expected to behave in the theater.
Let them know that they should not talk and if they do they must use
their "Indoor Voice", that means a low whisper, at all times. Let them know that
they must sit still and can never kick the sit in front of them.
Explain toyour teenshow it is different than going to the movies and
let them know that cells phones must be turned off and that texting
up to give the experience a special feeling. This is a good
opportunity for kids to practice manners and behavior in a formal
your young child is well rested and has eaten prior to the
performance. Bring a snack for your child, but make sure it is a
"quiet" snack. A child or adult opening a candy wrapper during a
performance can be surprisingly loud. You do not want to get into
the situation where at intermission they need a snack and have to
use the bathroom at the same time. This could cause a
have an assigned seat then consider keeping them active doing
something else and bring them in to the theatre about 20 minutes before the show
begins. Make sure you take
them to the restroom before the show starts.
Bring something "quiet" to amuse your child during the waiting
period before the show begins. During this waiting period reiterate
that they will not be able to get up or talk during the performance
unless it is an emergency.
child needs to be consoled for any reason, leave the theater.
Do not allow an upset child to remain in the theater to disturb
others. Constantly be aware of your child's behavior. Do
not get absorbed in the play and forget your responsibilities.
excitement to the event and see if the theatre offers children a
Check with the
theatre to see if they offer booster seats for very young children
so that they will be able to see better.
walk at intermission to allow them to have a bit of a break and a
change of scenery.