benefits of exposing kids to the arts

7 Benefits to Exposing Your Kids to Theatre

by

Christine Coughlin

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Lifestyle

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Did you know exposing your kids to the theatre can create more creative, empathetic humans, encourage growth and inspire their minds? Not to mention you’ll feel like a rock star parent for finding such a clever way to combine fun and education. You, parenting genius, you! 😘

If you’re looking for a unique way to connect with your kids, then make sure to check out the family-friendly shows at The Carousel Theatre for Young People on Granville Island for your next family date night.

Check out the 2022/23 Carousel Theatre for Young People Season lineup below.

7 Benefits of Exposing Children to the Theatre


An Introduction to Different World Views

Social stories are proven to help kids understand the world and create empathy. The theatre provides a safe environment for kids to experiment with thoughts and other people’s ideas by giving a sneak peek into the lives and issues that matter to others.

Illuminate Our Sameness

The theatre can highlight how a group you’ve considered “other” from you is more like you than you previously knew.

Increase Communication Skills

An evening at the theatre can open the floor to delicate conversations within the family. We love to go for dinner or dessert and tea after each performance to discuss the takeaways from the show. From our experience, the conversations continue long after the evening is over. 💛

Conversation Starters

– What did you think the lesson or moral of the performance was? Do you agree with the messaging?

– Did you notice any themes from the performance in your real life?

– Were you confused by anything in the play?

– Who was your favourite character and why?

– Who was your least favourite character and why?

– What surprised you the most about the play? 

– What costume was your favourite? 

– Did you like the set? What did you like the most about it?

Encourage Self-Expression

Theatre has been called the art of the imagination. Exposing your kids to the theatre shows them what healthy self-expression can look like. Kids that can channel their energy into the arts are often more confident and have higher levels of resilience.

Increase Creativity

Immersing your children in environments full of creative people living creatively will be nothing short of inspiring. It can also show your child what types of opportunities are available in creative fields.

See themselves reflected back to themselves

As kids develop and begin the work of defining themselves in the world, they need access to ways of thinking and acting that may not be reflected in their immediate family or social circles. The theatre can help children who feel “othered” feel less alone.

Helps to Nurture a Home Environment of Life-Long Learning

Making a habit of attending the theatre and having big conversations shows your child that you’re committed to being a student of life.

The Carousel Theatre for Young People even creates resource guides to accompany many of their performances. Using these tools can teach your child how to access information when they don’t have the answers and shows you aren’t afraid to do the same. Three cheers for lifelong learning!! 🎉

We had the opportunity to attend several shows during the 2021/2022 season at The Carousel Theatre for Young People. Not only did it become a much-anticipated adventure to break up our routines, but each performance opened up engaging conversations with my kids about the world and other people’s perspectives.

Last year’s shows helped us tackle topics like bullying, not making assumptions about others, gender identity, emotional regulation, self-awareness and more. This year’s lineup promises to be just as impressive.

Check out the 2022/23 Carousel Theatre for Young People Season lineup below.

I was incredibly grateful for the educator resources that The Carousel staff created to accompany the shows so that I could further my education on topics I don’t have much experience with.

For example, the educator resource from “Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls” is one I will revisit as I continue my learning journey in sexual orientation, gender identity (SOGI) and Trans Advocacy. You can find the “Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls” Educator Resource Guide Here.

Parenting Hack- Date Your Kids

As a family of five (including lots of introverts and “sensitive” types 😅), one of our best parenting hacks has been individual date nights with the kids. By dividing and conquering, we are honouring each other’s differences and better able to connect more deeply with each kid.

2022/2023 Carousel Theatre for Young People Shows

The Carousel Theatre for Young People works passionately to curate an educational and entertaining season to encourage growth and nourish creative souls.

Check out the family-friendly shows on Granville Island at The Carousel Theatre for Young People.

Carousel Theatre for Young People

FROZEN RIVER 
nîkwatin sîpiy

A MANITOBA THEATRE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE PRODUCTION
CO-WRITTEN BY MICHAELA WASHBURN, JOELLE PETERS AND CARRIE COSTELLO

In nîkwatin sîpiy, Grandmother Moon tells the story of two eleven-year-olds, born under the same blood moon but in different parts of the world. This new play follows their stories as they meet in a forest and that of their descendants who meet in the present day in what is known as Manitoba. A broken promise from the past can be righted when there is an openness to learn from those who have protected and honoured the waterways for centuries.

Runs: September 28, 2022 – October 16, 2022
Run Time: 65 minutes
Venue: Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island, Vancouver BC

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit The Carousel Theatre For Young People


STILES & DREWE’S 
THE 3 LITTLE PIGS

A CAROUSEL THEATRE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE PRODUCTION
MUSIC BY GEORGE STILES
BOOK & LYRICS BY ANTHONY DREWE

Take three little superstar Piglets, their devoted single-parent Mom, a misunderstood Big Bad Wolf and the award-winning tuneful wit of Stiles and Drewe, and you’ve got the perfect “Great Big Little Broadway Show” for audiences of three years old and up. This very curly musical tail will huff, puff and blow you away!

Runs: November 30, 2022 – December 30, 2022
Run Time: 45 minutes
Venue: Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island, Vancouver BC

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit The Carousel Theatre For Young People.


CLÉMENTINE 
A (TRUE) STORY

A KLEINE COMPAGNIE PRODUCTION IN ASSOCIATION WITH ALLIANCE FRANCAISE
WRITTEN AND CREATED BY ANAÏS PELLIN WITH THE COLLABORATION OF THE ACTORS

Whimsical puppetry & heartfelt storytelling help young Clementine navigate tough family changes and find the true meaning of love. Bright, bubbly & entertaining, this show for kids ages 6+ and their grown-ups tackles a tricky topic with humour, honesty & optimism.

En route to her family vacation, Clémentine suddenly learns that her parents are no longer in love. The word “divorce” hurts to hear. She promises herself to do everything she can to prevent it. But does a little girl really get to decide her parents’ story?

Navigating episodes of her everyday life throughout the seasons, with the help of her little sister Laura, Clémentine tames her sadness and finds the strength to mourn the image she had of the “fairy tale family.”

Runs: February 7, 2023 – February 18, 2023
Run Time: 45 minutes
Venue: Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island, Vancouver BC

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit The Carousel Theatre for Young People.


OZ

A CAROUSEL THEATRE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE & KALEIDOSCOPE THEATRE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE CO-PRODUCTION
WRITTEN BY PATRICK SHANAHAN
DIRECTED BY JENNICA GRIENKE

L. Frank Baum is in trouble—forty-four years old and on the eve of his greatest creative work—he is a “jack of all trades” but success eludes him. It is 1899 in Chicago, and Baum is putting the finishing touches on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but putting dreams on paper is elusive business. Baum is struggling with some definite plot problems, no title and no ending! Like the cyclone in his story, Baum’s housekeeper, Bridgey, and a little girl named Dot get swept up in the mad vortex of his tale, as Baum enlists them to help him improvise the story.

Suddenly, an overstuffed Victorian study becomes a magical land, a black, horsehair footstool becomes Toto; a ceiling fan with scarves becomes the cyclone; stuffing from the sofa, a potbelly stove, and a bearskin rug become the Scarecrow, the Tinman and the Cowardly Lion. Somewhere in the heart of this frenzy is the whole creative process, and in the end, we realize that Baum is the real wizard of Oz, but he needs an assistant … our imaginations.

Runs: March 1, 2023 – March 26, 2023
Run Time: 90 minutes
Venue: Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island, Vancouver BC

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit The Carousel Theatre for Young People’s website.


ALPHONSE

A THEATURTLE PRODUCTION
WRITTEN BY WAJDI MOUAWAD

Alphonse is lost, walking along a country road, weaving an intricate web of stories, while everyone is searching for him: parents, friends, teachers, the police. What they find is the thing we often give up in order to grow up.

Runs: May 2, 2023 – May 7, 2023
Run time: 75 minutes
Venue: The Picnic Pavillion, Granville Island, Vancouver BC

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit The Carousel Theatre for Young People’s website.


Have you attended any shows at The Carousel Theater for Young People? I’d love to hear about your experience.

XX
Christine

About the Author

Christine Coughlin blogger and writer
Christine Coughlin
@IAmChristineCoughlin

Christine lives on the West Coast of Canada with her husband, their three kids and approximately one million plant babies.

She is in the exploratory “In-Between” phase of rediscovering herself after being a stay-at-home mom for the last decade. She loves all adventures on the water or in the forest and connecting with other open-hearted, lifelong learners.

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