Family Theatre - Why You Should Go

For most families, the idea of taking their children to the theatre can fill them with dread. With expectation of good behaviour and perfectly sitting on seats, most parents think that they should wait until they are older to let them experience the stage. For us, we decided that Max would be immersed in theatre from a young age. With his first show at 8 months and then attending stage school from the age of 5, he's loved theatre for as long as he can remember. 

Here's a few reasons why I think 2018 should be the year that you take the plunge and head to the theatre. 

There is more variety than you realise.
With more shows than ever gracing our stages, it's amazing to see the variety of shows out there. With everything from musicals that will fill those pre-teens hearts with music, or interactive shows for pre-schoolers to get them laughing. There is literally something for everyone. From an early age we opted to take Max to interactive shows that were aimed at the pre-school age. This involved a short 45 minute play, where noise was encouraged and play was applauded. We still love to go to these shows and they are the perfect introduction for little ones. Now he is getting older, he loves plays where there are daring adventures, musicals he can sing along to and pantomimes that he can shout at the top of his lungs. With so much variety, it's easy to get stuck in.

It sparks the imagination.

There is something magical about seeing a child create a world, play with their toys and immerse themselves in their imagination. And watching a show on stage is no different. It takes children to a new place, introduces them to new characters and scenarios, teaches them history and cultures. The theatre shows them things that they wouldn't ever get to experience in a way that is easy for them to understand. With stories tailored to different age groups, you can tell that the story is going to be told in a compassionate way that they will leave having learnt a moral of a story. 

It teaches social skills.

Heading to the theatre is perfect for teaching your kids social skills. From showing them how to sit quietly, to teaching manners and patience, the theatre is perfect for showing kids how to behave in different situations. Of course, they aren't expected to be quiet and shows will be adjusted for different ages. So don't worry if they dance or whisper to begin with, they are enjoying themselves. It may take some trips, but no child is perfect first time. And if it's something they enjoy, then encourage them to see the theatre.

It's a lot more accessible.

With theatre's understanding that some families can't prioritise theatre, most shows are made accessible for families. From local theatre's hosting cheaper shows, to discounts and things such as Kids Week. There is no time like the present to take your child to the theatre. Not only is it financially accessible, it's also accessible for different needs. With some shows having everything from relaxed performances, to sign language interpreters on stage. It's now more inclusive than ever. 

It's an introduction to the creative arts. 

Finally whilst Max has always loved the theatre, he loves nothing more than watching films or reading books. For some children, seeing their favourite book come alive would be a dream come true. Children's theatre is working more than ever to adapt literary and film classics for the audiences. From David Walliams' books to School Of Rock, there is something for everyone to love and enjoy. 

Why not make 2018 the year that you go to the theatre, escape for a few hours and find the magic of the stage. 

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