When your child acts out a poem or story, she shows her own understanding of what it is about. She also grows as a reader by connecting emotions with written words.
Play acting helps a child learn that there are more and less important parts to a story. She also learns how one thing in a story follows another.
What You Need
Poems or stories written from a child's point of view
Things to use in a child's play (dress-up clothes, puppets)
What to Do
Read a poem slowly to your child. Read it with feeling, making the words seem important.
If your child has a poem she especially likes, ask her to act it out. Ask her to make a face to show the way the character in the poem is feeling. Making different faces adds emotion to the performer's voice. After her performance, praise her for doing a good job.
Tell your child that the family would love to see her perform her poem. Set a time when everyone can be together. When your child finishes her performance, encourage her to take a bow as everyone claps and cheers loudly.
Encourage your child to make up her own play from a story that she has read or heard. Tell her that it can be make-believe or from real life. Help her to find or make things to go with the story—a pretend crown, stuffed animals, a broomstick, or whatever the story needs. Some of her friends or family also can help. You can write down the words or, if she is old enough, help her to write them. Then help her to stage the play for everyone to see!