Shakespeare for Kids

Top 6 Shakespeare for Kids Activities

Shakespeare for Kids: Shakespeare Live!
Shakespeare for Kids: Shakespeare Live!. Photo © Jon P. Morgan

Shakespeare for kids should be fun – and the younger you get into it, the better! My Shakespeare for kids activities are sure to spark an early interest in the Bard ... but these ideas are just for starters. If you have your own ideas, please share them on our Readers Respond: Your Shakespeare for Kids Activities page.

The key thing is not to get bogged down in the detail and the language - that comes later!

For starters, it is about getting your kids excited about Shakespeare and perhaps saying some snippets of text.

Here are my top Shakespeare for kids games and activities for some family fun!

Top 6 Shakespeare for Kids Activities

  1. Build Shakespeare’s Globe: Start by building your own model of Shakespeare’s Globe. There’s a great free resource at Papertoys.com where you can print out, cut out and assemble the Globe. You can download the Globe construction kit here: www.papertoys.com/globe.htm
  2. Do a Bit of Acting: Kids hate reading Shakespeare (I certainly did!), so get them on their feet. Extract a short script extract and do some drama. The two best scenes for this are the witches scene from Macbeth and the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. They will probably already know the words to these scene extracts – even if they didn’t realize it was Shakespeare!
  3. Stage a (choreographed) fight: Get some sponge swords and choreograph the opening swashbuckling scene from Romeo and Juliet in the back garden. “Do you bite your thumb at me, sir?” If possible, film it on your home video camera and watch it back the next day. If your kids are up for a bit of direction, see how much of the scene you can get through. If they are too young, put them into two teams: Montagues and Capulets. You can them theme any two player/team game into a Romeo and Juliet adventure.
  1. Tableau: Work together to tell the story of a popular Shakespeare play in just ten freeze frames (tableau). Photograph each one on a digital camera and print them out. You can now have fun getting the photos into the right order and sticking speech bubbles to them with selected lines from the play.
  1. Draw a Shakespeare Character: For older kids, the best way to do a basic character study is to pick the name of a Shakespeare character out from a hat. Talk about who they might be, what they are like, are they good or evil ... and then let them loose on with the pens, crayons and paints. As they are drawing/painting, keep talking about the character and encourage them to add the details into their picture. Trust me, you will be surprised at how much they will learn.
  2. Shakespeare Dress Up: Get the dressing up box out and put in the middle of the floor. Let your kids pick a Shakespeare character and ask them to dress up as the character. You will need to be ready to tell them all about the character as they are choosing the clothes. When ready, give them a line from the play to practice. This works well if you take a photo and review them with your kids afterwards to reinforce who the character is in their minds.

 

Please do share your own Shakespeare for kids activities (big or small) with fellow readers on our Readers Respond: Your Shakespeare for Kids Activities page.

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Your Citation
Jamieson, Lee. "Shakespeare for Kids." ThoughtCo, Mar. 1, 2016, thoughtco.com/shakespeare-for-kids-2985297. Jamieson, Lee. (2016, March 1). Shakespeare for Kids. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/shakespeare-for-kids-2985297 Jamieson, Lee. "Shakespeare for Kids." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/shakespeare-for-kids-2985297 (accessed November 21, 2017).