Best performance and creative home schooling resources

Best performance and creative home schooling resources
Lights, camera, action – the show must go on! Whatever kind of performance your child enjoys, from drama and dance to film-making and puppeteering, we've picked some of the best at-home activities and resources to help them learn new skills and show off their talents. Get ready to clap and cheer as soon as you hear the swish of the curtain!
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Build your own Royal Albert Hall paper theatre

Are you ready to make your own architectural jewel (in miniature)? It’s time to get crafty with a Royal Albert Hall puppet theatre.

Challenge yourself to colour a few of the (many, many) auditorium seats, see if you can spot Albert the cat and choose some puppets to grace your stage!

If making your own performance venue has inspired you to think about theatres, take a virtual tour of 11 beautiful stages across the world or step into 95 amazing performance spaces (virtually) with Google Streetview.

We also love the kids' set design lecture from YouTuber Theatre with Mrs. Hancock.

Best puppetry training academy

 
Tell your own stories on the kitchen table with video introductions to the art of puppetry from Moth Physical Theatre Puppetry Training Academy, filmed at the Museum of London Docklands.

Find out how to create your own puppets (just like the professionals!), learn the three basic rules that good puppetry relies on, find out how to work as a puppetry team and add personality to your creations, thinking about mannerisms and backstories to unlock creativity.

Best AR inspiration

Looking for a really original way to inspire your child to tell stories and perform? Use augmented reality! Primary teacher Miss P offers a step-by-step guide to filming videos of incredible animals in your home, using AR – so why not challenge your child to produce a video of them sharing tea with a tiger or washing a penguin in the sink?

If your child loves playing with AR, apps like FxGuru make it easy to add big-budget Hollywood horror, sci-fi and action movie special effects to any video: "blow up" a pile of leaves, film an "alien invasion" in your street or add a "ghost" to a selfie!

Best opera and ballet creative fun

Explore the magical world of the theatre from the comfort of your home with the Royal Opera House's creative learning at home activities to get families singing, dancing and making. 

Fairytale adventures, fabulous creatures, heroes and villains, magic and trickery – all of this (and more!) is on offer as you learn famous ballet steps, compose your own music, create special effects (including making your own snow machine!), try some choreography and produce a design portfolio. 

If your child enjoys watching ballet, Northern Ballet's performance of Little Red Riding Hood is available on Cbeebies iPlayer and it's the perfect introduction to classical dance for young childdren.

Best theatre challenges for kids

All the world’s a stage – including your living room!

We love the Mousetrap Theatre Projects #EveryHomeATheatre challenges: make a musical-inspired video (by recreating a scene from your favourite show, remixing a classic showtune or composing your own), write some super scenes, learn the quickstep and the Charleston and find out how to get everyone you know laughing with your own comedy set. 

Best literary-inspired activities

 
Part of the Puffin Festival of Big Dreams, one of the brilliant online / virtual festivals for families organised in the last few months. In the Puppet Theatre Workshop author Hana Tooke demonstrates how to make a puppet theatre using just an old box, some paint and some pencils or stiff wire.

If you enjoyed this activity, catch up on all the festival fun by watching the Puffin Festival of Big Dreams playlist: join authors, illustrators and even real puffins for creative challenges, stargazing, a Wimpy Kid studio tour and storytime magic!

Best costumes, sets, props, sound and lighting effects planners

Work some sartorial magic with the Museum of London Create a Costume interactive game. Design a jacket, shoe or dress: add shapes and patterns and buttons, some colour and admire your design, before looking at examples of real costumes. 

Then download and consult the free M-SET Activity Book, a step-by-step guide from the Barbican packed with great ideas to help you make a multi-sensory show at home. Learn how to transform furniture, toys, utensils and clothing into sets, props, sound and lighting effects and bring your stories to life!

Best movie activities for young people

Does your child dream of a career on the big screen, or a life in the entertainment business? With quizzes to help match their skills and personality to interesting film careers, thaumatrope templates, hair and make-up and costume design resources and loads of film-making ideas, Into Film at-home activities will keep film buffs occupied for hours.

There are also Film Guides for ages 5-7 and ages 7-11, informal discussion prompts and extension activities for after watching a film at home.

Best family dance workshops

 
The Sadler's Wells family dance workshops are designed for children aged 2 to 6, but many of the activities offer a fun challenge for older primary school kids too. There are 10 different movement activities, from learning how to balance and how to move like your favourite animal to dancing the way colours make you feel.

The workshops are led by Cherie Coleman, who runs the popular Family Fridays sessions at Sadler’s Wells theatre in London.

Learning to dance can enhance cognitive development, encourage creativity, increase flexibility and range of movement and help to develop physical strength and stamina. Time to get moving!

Best drama practice for budding actors

Help your child practise and showcase their acting skills remotely by helping them learn some monologues written specially for kids.

Beat by Beat is offering 15 free kids' monologues to download, extracted from its popular book Contemporary Monologues for Young Actors. Intended for actors aged 7-14, the monologues can be recorded on a phone as if they were a real "virtual audition" (and Beat by Beat offer lots of suggestions to help your child film great quality video to show off their talent!).

Or download a play from the Roustabout Home Delivery series: short, accessible play scripts to rehearse and perform in your home, with clear stage directions to make the acting (or directing) process as enjoyable as possible.

Best Shakespeare activity

Explore Shakespeare's texts creatively from home with the Royal Shakespeare Company's Activity Toolkits.

Each one contains a number of short activities about the play (choose from Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, Othello and Much Ado About Nothing). Watch RSC actors using the Toolkit activities, then have a go yourself!

Best drama sessions for KS1 and KS2

BBC School Radio Primary Drama
BBC School Radio Primary Drama resources have been developed specially for the KS1 drama and KS2 drama curriculum and aim to offer interactive learning opportunities to boost children's confidence.

The language is carefully structured and there are movement and role-play activities to encourage imaginative, co-operative responses. Explore traditional stories, create your own drama and download performance scripts, special effects sounds and backing music. Are you ready for curtain up?

Best for step-by-step theatre workshops

 
If your child is keen to try out lots of different creative techniques and projects, the Little Angel Theatre stay-at-home activity guides will keep them entertained and busy (for hours!).

The guides are easy to follow and use simple household materials; KS1 children will need some adult support but the activities aimed at KS2 kids (ages 7-11) can be completed independently. Are you ready to make a mouse finger puppet, a magic cauldron sun catcher, a snapping Jabberwocky puppet, paper towel roses and a fox marionette?

Best for budding composers and music makers

The Wigmore Hall Music at Home website is packed with free live streamed concerts, music-discovery activities and resources for families, teachers and learners at home.

Why not try the composition ideas (warm-ups, singing exercises and composing fun), make some music (whether you're a trained musician or not), explore musical styles through family concerts and create your own musical world in your living-room concert hall.