How to direct a kid play

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How to direct a kid playChild directed play (CDP) is a special form of one-to-one play between you and your child in which your child directs and leads. CDP can be used with children who are between about 2 and 10 with slight adjustments for age or developmental level. Research shows that playing with your child in this way can:

  • Build a sense of self-direction and self-confidence in your child
  • Foster child language and social development
  • Allow your child to receive focused attention from you without having to misbehave to get it
  • Strengthen your parent-child bond
  • Help you practice parenting skills

How to do CDP

Look for a good time to join your child in play. Watch him or her. Get down on the floor together and within reason move where your child moves.

  • Describe your child’s play, much like a radio sports announcer describes an exciting game. For example, you might say, “There goes the car over the bridge.” You don’t have to describe every detail, and will want to focus your attention on appropriate child behaviors.
  • Imitate your child’s play activities. For example, if your child were building a tower with blocks, you might say, “Great idea. I’m going to build a tower too!”
  • Repeat, with more detail, what your child has just said. For instance, if your child says, “There’s the bus,” you could say, “Yes, there goes the long, yellow bus up the hill.” This is a good way to help a young child learn more words without direct teaching. Do your best to repeat without turning what you say into a question.
  • Give your child praise during play, identifying specific behaviors that you want to encourage. For example, you might say, “You’re really being careful with those blocks,” rather than, “Good job.” Try to comment on what your child does and how it’s done: “I see you’re stacking those blocks very carefully.”
  • Allow your child to play with toys in any way that is not harmful. Keep in mind, there is no one right way to play with a toy.

How to direct a kid play

One of the biggest challenges and disappointments of the current pandemic situation is the loss of live theatre production opportunities. Shows have been cancelled and postponed and we don’t have a clear idea of when they will be able to resume. Students miss their friends and “show families,” teachers miss their students, and everyone misses the opportunity to be creative and have fun performing. However, we theatre types are enterprising people, and we will not be stopped in the pursuit of performances! Virtual productions are popping up everywhere now, specifically designed to be performed online, and they are a wonderful way to keep your students together and keep their love of theatre alive. If you’re thinking about doing a virtual production, here are a few tips.

1. Choose your content.

Show selection is always one of the first things you must consider, regardless of whether the performance will be online or in person. Will you choose an existing script, or create a new, original piece with your students? Will you do a vignette play, a series of monologues, or a standard script adapted for social distancing? Will your play be full-length or one-act? (For a first-time virtual production, it’s better to err on the shorter side.) Are you moving to an online version of your cut-short school production, or starting from scratch?

Many playwrights are adapting or creating new pieces to be performed online. Check out Theatrefolk’s collection of virtual plays here . Remember, when producing an existing script, you must always purchase the rights to perform the play, regardless of whether it’s a virtual production or not. If you’re creating your own original piece, you won’t need to budget money towards the script, but you will need to budget time to write and edit the material, on top of rehearsals.

Musicals are more challenging to produce virtually than plays, due to differences in technology quality and the high likelihood of video and audio lag. If you do decide to tackle a musical, you will need to record and edit the music together. You will need a guide vocal or click track to keep your students in unison, as well as lots of rehearsal time.

2. Choose your cast.

You’ll need to make some decisions regarding casting. Will you assign roles based on your knowledge of your students, or have them audition? Or will the group determine who should play what role together? If you choose to have auditions, you will need to decide whether to have students perform their auditions live using a video conferencing program, or have them record audition pieces and submit them to you. If you go the live route, you will also need to decide whether to have your students audition “in front of each other” during a group video conference, or sign up for a time slot and audition “one on one” with you.

Is this a class production, or an extracurricular activity? Will rehearsals occur during school hours, or on evenings and weekends? Will students be graded on their participation and performances, or is it just for fun? Either way, like an “in-person” production, cast members must commit to being available to attend virtual rehearsals, as well as film and submit lines, scenes, and any other material as needed, by their assigned due dates. They must have access to the required technology – while most tablets and phones have webcams built into them, some older computers do not – as well as a stable internet connection. Students may need to create their own costume or prop items. If necessary, have students and their families sign a contract that lays out all the commitments for the virtual production in advance.

3. Get your tech in order.

Will you stream your production live, or will you film the scenes and edit them together? Streaming your production live is exciting and gives students a feeling of being in the moment for their performance. Filming and editing allows you to redo mistakes, as well as add special effects and music during the editing process. Editing videos together takes a lot of RAM on your computer, and you may need to enlist the help of a videographer or editor if you aren’t particularly tech-savvy.

Using headphones while rehearsing/performing can help to avoid echo, but if your students are using Bluetooth or AirPod earphones, ensure all other Bluetooth devices are turned off in the house to avoid sound mix-ups. Be aware that some audio will sound tinny no matter what you do. If students are performing live, remind them and their families that they can’t watch the live stream on a device in the same room that they are performing in!

Always do a technology test before starting the performance, especially if you are performing live.

4. Rehearse your material.

Students will need to work with their teacher/director to consider how to frame their webcam (horizontal or “landscape” orientation is best, rather than vertical or “portrait,” unless specifically requested), where to position themselves within the frame, how to light the scene, and how to ensure they’ll be heard.

You’ll need to schedule full-cast rehearsals as well as small group/individual rehearsals. The full-cast rehearsals will be challenging, as students will want to socialize (just like at “in-person” rehearsals!), and it might be hard to keep everyone quiet. However, these rehearsals are important for creating camaraderie and a sense of community while physically separate.

If you choose to have students film their scenes/monologues themselves and submit the footage, be sure to give them clear submission deadlines, to ensure that you receive them on time and in the correct format. You don’t want to have to chase down missing scenes or re-film scenes that are pixelated or inaudible.

If you are adapting a production that was originally going to be performed in person, you may also need to schedule some time with your students to grieve for the production that was, and adjust to what the production will end up being. It’s not the same, and it won’t be the same. But it will still be a special experience.

Kerry Hishon is a director, actor, writer and stage combatant from London, Ontario, Canada. She blogs at .

Special thanks to Alyssa Elaine, Kris Garrett, Allison Green, Jess McGettrick, Brice Williams, Stephanie Wendell and Melanie Slabaugh Clay for submitting their real-life tips, experiences, and advice via social media.

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This article was co-authored by Kendall Payne. Kendall Payne is a Writer, Director, and Stand-up Comedian based in Brooklyn, New York. Kendall specializes in directing, writing, and producing comedic short films. Her films have screened at Indie Short Fest, Brooklyn Comedy Collective, Channel 101 NY, and 8 Ball TV. She has also written and directed content for the Netflix is a Joke social channels and has written marketing scripts for Between Two Ferns: The Movie, Astronomy Club, Wine Country, Bash Brothers, Stand Up Specials and more. Kendall runs an IRL internet comedy show at Caveat called Extremely Online, and a comedy show for @ssholes called Sugarp!ss at Easy Lover. She studied at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and at New York University (NYU) Tisch in the TV Writing Certificate Program.

There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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You’ve decided to make a movie, which can be a lot of fun! Keep in mind, though, that you will need to do a lot of things to get to a finished movie. You’ll need to create a story, find people to act in your movie, set up scenes, take footage, and edit your movie. Don’t worry, though, if you take it step-by-step and do it with people you like, it will definitely seem more like fun than work!

This article was co-authored by Kendall Payne. Kendall Payne is a Writer, Director, and Stand-up Comedian based in Brooklyn, New York. Kendall specializes in directing, writing, and producing comedic short films. Her films have screened at Indie Short Fest, Brooklyn Comedy Collective, Channel 101 NY, and 8 Ball TV. She has also written and directed content for the Netflix is a Joke social channels and has written marketing scripts for Between Two Ferns: The Movie, Astronomy Club, Wine Country, Bash Brothers, Stand Up Specials and more. Kendall runs an IRL internet comedy show at Caveat called Extremely Online, and a comedy show for @ssholes called Sugarp!ss at Easy Lover. She studied at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and at New York University (NYU) Tisch in the TV Writing Certificate Program.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 26 testimonials and 97% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

This article has been viewed 573,059 times.

Becoming a film director is a dream job for many people. If you’re ready and willing to put in the time, have creative vision and an impressive ability to make something out of nothing, then becoming a film director might be the perfect job for you. Just keep in mind that film directing jobs are highly competitive and it may take years or even decades to accomplish your goal. However, if this is your dream, then you should go for it!

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When directing a play, the director’s main role is to fully manage the production by understanding how to delegate responsibility, inspire the actors and crew, make sound decisions and put together a compelling production that aligns with the script. The director must devote an inordinate amount of time and energy to ensuring that the cast knows their lines, the props are built and working, the rehearsals are running smoothly, the lights and audio are working and a number of other production tasks.

Read the play over and over again until you fully understand the plot, characters, dialogue, setting and overall theme of the play. This will help in realizing your vision for how you want this play to be executed.

Compose a scene sketch of how you envision the play. Take a notepad, plain white printing paper or even notecards and illustrate where you want certain characters on the stage. This will be handy to reference during rehearsals.

Encourage the actors to portray their characters in a way that does the play justice. Write down notes on each actor to aid in your critique. If the actors are not feeling comfortable or are clashing, have them try different improvisation exercises to get them focused and put the rhythm of the play back on track. Have actors practice their lines and give pointers on their style and delivery. Be upfront with your critique to avoid wasting time. Actors will also have questions about the backstory or biography of their character, so have pertinent points available for them.

Be assertive with and supportive of both the cast and the stage crew. Everyone looks at the director to guide and motivate them throughout the project. Be calm even in during challenging scenarios.

Make sure that the stage manager is scheduling regular rehearsals. Sit in different sections of the theater to ensure that you can hear the actors. Make sure the lighting is satisfactory and not too bright or too dark. Time the cues for each entrance and exit so that the play flows in a reasonable time. Overall, the director should ensure that each of the elements of production is running well.

Erica Dallas has been published in periodical such as “The Commercial Appeal,” “MidSouth Magazine” and “Black Enterprise Magazine.” She is a native Memphian and graduate of the University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Arts in sociology. Erica is currently pursuing a Master of Science in teaching.

June 17, 2014 | 3 min read | Steffani Cameron

Kids’ playhouses are where childhood memories are made. Thinking of creating your own kids playhouse? Take a look at these suggestions and follow the links to get free plans.

I’m 40 now, and I still remember our childhood playhouse with great fondness. There’s something almost right-of-passage about a kid having a playhouse. It’s like going down the rabbithole, you know? No grown-ups allowed!

One of my dearest friends finished his kids’ playhouse last year, sacrificing weekend after weekend to get the thing made, and I think he doesn’t regret a moment of it. It’s something his kids will enjoy for years yet.

If you’re thinking about giving your kids the ultimate gift, a playhouse, then here are some great free designs with full playhouse plans found online.

No Shortage of Ideas for Kids’ Playhouse Plans

It’s a big world of free designs on the internet, and this is just the start of it! Scour the web for your upcoming projects and you’ll have no shortage of ideas. If you’re looking for supplies for your project we have a large selection of good hardwood, cheap laminate planks and LVT tile that are perfect for a stylish kids’ playhouse.

Free Kids’ Playhouse Plans to Inspire You

1. Platform with Swings

If you’re looking for something that’s open and geared for younger play, this is a great plan. It includes two swings and is a large self-supporting platform designed to go around a tree. Without walls to hide the kids, this is a perfect place for a three-year-old to become a master climber and swinger!

2. Full-Meal Deal Playhouse

Complete with a slide and climbing wall, this is similar to the playhouse my friend’s kids now love. With something this attractive, you’ll never feel like the playhouse is a eyesore in the yard, and your kids will be proud of the beautiful space that’s all their own.

3. A Tiny Little Playhouse

Little people like little spaces, so as small as this playhouse is, it’s definitely going to be a hit with the little ‘uns in your life. Unbelievably, this crafty Ana White project uses just a single sheet of plywood, ensuring this comes in at a steal, unlike my friend’s $1,800 playhouse!

4. A Princess Playhouse

There’s an unmistakably girly-feel to this design, but in the best way. If your daughter’s looking for a perfect spot to play and serve tea and do all those things, this is a pretty good little place for that. Another small-footprint design, it’s something that’ll fit in yards of all sizes.

This was the kind of space I liked as a kid — where you could see for, um, 60 feet or so, but hey! It seemed like the kind of outpost fort you’d have in the Wild West, and that was my kind of deal. Imagine there’s a wave of incoming attackers, or the ground is crawling with snakes — have no fear! The outpost is the perfect place to get a good look and form a plan of attack. To your posts!

5. The Pallet Playhouse

I’ve seen some pretty funny plans for pallet “playhouses” that look like the skidrow of playhouses, where you’d be as likely to find a streetkid living covered in cardboard for warmth. I’m all for upcycling, but it doesn’t need to look like you hauled it out of the trash. Case in point is this absolutely fantastic little playhouse that is comprised only of pallets broken down and used as reclaimed wood. You wouldn’t know it, would you? It’s beautiful!

6. The Play Fort

A cross between a fort and a playhouse, this is a great little project. I love the corrugated plastic that makes the roof into a giant window, keeping the inside nice and bright for playing. When you’re a bug-phobic little girl like I was, the dark corners can be frightening spaces! Not a problem here.

These days, it seems kids are having a hard time going eye-to-eye—and computers and smartphones may be partly to blame. Here are ways to get your kid to focus.

When your kid meets new people, does he look them in the eye and say hello? What about getting together with Grandma after some time apart: Does he shine his baby blues at her … or look awkwardly off to the side as they chat?

Eye contact is an important social skill that helps us signal our interest in people, that we’re listening and friendly, notes Princeton, NJ–based psychologist Eileen Kennedy-Moore, Ph.D. Even infants are more engaged if you make eye contact with them. If your child usually looks down or off in the distance while with others, he may be perceived as ill mannered—particularly by adults. Unfortunately, lack of eye contact in kids may be a growing phenomenon, and technology may be partly to blame.

Some studies indicate that excessive screen time (think smartphones and older children) may be robbing kids of the chance to develop nonverbal communication skills—the ability to communicate with others without words, and the aptitude for reading important facial emotions. However, Dr. Kennedy-Moore, who runs the “Raising Emotionally and Socially Healthy Kids” video course series at, isn’t sure tech is completely to blame. “In past years, adults also gave kids a hard time insisting they bury their noses in books,” she reminds.

Whatever the reason for less eye contact, Dr. Kennedy-Moore suggests that “seeing eye-to-eye” and a little casual conversation is an important skill for kids to master. Here’s how you encourage your toddler or older child to improve his eye contact when talking to others:

Model bad behavior. Role-play with your child. Let him say hi to you, while you respond by looking off to the side and quietly muttering a greeting. Talk about how that felt to your child. Your kid will see pretty quickly that this approach doesn’t exude friendliness. Explain that this is how others feel when he doesn’t look at them, smile and say a few words.

Offer a script. Kids are often awkward meeting people—even someone they know—because they just don’t know what to say. Help them memorize a routine that includes four simple steps: Look the person in the eye, smile, say hi, and use the person’s name. Show your child how skipping any one of these steps just isn’t as friendly.

Try the eyebrows. If looking someone in the eye is too awkward, Dr. Kennedy-Moore suggests coaching your child to look the person between the eyebrows instead—right at the top of the nose. To the other person, this will appear to be perfect eye contact, but it’s a little easier for shy kids who are just learning how to connect with others.

Turn them into anthropologists. Challenge your child to watch schoolmates and friends for a day. When they see each other for the first time, or walk into a social group, how often do the other kids say hi and look at each other? “They’ll notice right away that other children do it a lot, and they may realize they should try to do the same,” says Dr. Kennedy-Moore.

Try another script with grandparents/adults. Since conversation with adults can be just as tough as the eye contact part, help your child prep ahead of time. Coach him to start by smiling and looking the person in the eyes (or between the eyebrows). Dr. Kennedy-Moore’s formula for talking is “great plus one fact.” Meaning: When Grandpa starts the conversation, it will usually be a question like “How is school going?” The child’s answer can be: “Great (start positive)! In Science, we’re learning about phases of the moon (one fact).” If the question is “How was your weekend?” try “Great! Our soccer team won our match.” And so on.

Be patient. Eye contact can be a very intimate thing, even for adults, reminds Dr. Kennedy-Moore. Hey, that’s why we face forward in an elevator of strangers instead of looking right at them. With a little coaching, though, your child can get comfortable with this key social skill in no time.

Nothing breaks a parent’s heart like seeing her child struggle to make friends. Sometimes, all our kids need is a little guidance to forge bonds and avoid ADHD-related social slip-ups. These 17 strategies will help.

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How to direct a kid play

Sometimes, children with attention deficit disorder need help figuring out how to make friends — and keep them. Parents can make a big difference — without stepping on toes — by helping a child with ADHD start a conversation or by “supervising from the window.”

Use these strategies to become your child’s friendship coach and guide his social development:

How to Make Friends

Get to the root of the problem. Children with ADHD often have little sense of how they’re perceived by their peers, and will commit social blunders without realizing it. Help them by discussing what went wrong, why it happened, and what your child could (not should) do differently next time. Be as sensitive with your child as you would be with a close adult friend — too much negative feedback can hurt your child’s self-esteem.

On the flip side, when your child has a successful interaction, congratulate him.

Watch your child closely. Whenever he’s playing with other kids, make sure you can see and hear what’s going on. Be ready to intervene if he picks a fight, starts telling fibs, or does something dangerous in an effort to impress others.

Consider team sports. Joining an ADHD-friendly team or organized activity can help children with ADHD realize everything isn’t about them. The lessons learned in sports can overflow into their social lives, and you may see your child start to develop healthy friendships.

Don’t just dive in. Call the coach of the sports team before the first practice. Ask him questions to figure out whether or not your child — and his ADHD — would be welcome. If you decide to take the plunge, go with your child to meet the coach and/or some teammates before the first get-together. Remember, transitions are hard for kids with ADHD.

Beware of her competitive spirit. Children with ADHD can have some difficulty with competitive play — gloating when they win and raging when they lose. If your child has a hard time with these situations, encourage her to develop athletic skills that don’t require teamwork, like running, swimming, or martial arts.

Know they’ll find their way. Most socially isolated children will eventually learn to get a better handle on their behaviors and understand how friendships work. Once kids hit adolescence, they tend to act on the powerful urge to ‘fit in.’

There’s nothing wrong with having just a few friends. A child doesn’t need to be in the ‘in’ group or get invited to lots of parties to be happy. In fact, studies show that having even one close friend is all it takes for a child to develop social self-confidence.

Find a mentor. A child with ADHD may be more likely to take advice or instruction from a ‘big brother’ or ‘big sister’ than from you. Ask the big sibling of one of your child’s classmates if he will be an informal mentor to your child. Many schools understand the importance of mentors and have programs to connect kids.

Follow the love. If your child is a Minecraft fiend, look for other video-game fans to potentially be his friend. A shared interest will help your child feel confident and engaged.

Start out with one-on-one play. One-on-one play dates usually work best for children with ADHD. With threesomes, it’s easy for your child to feel left out — or ganged up on.

Seek out younger playmates. Children with ADHD tend to be more immature than their peers (and painfully aware of it). As your child is growing up, it’s often helpful if she develops friendships with children a year or two younger — this way, she won’t feel left behind.

Set a good example. Show your child how to act in social situations by making an effort to forge friendships with the parents of your child’s peers. Stay connected to the community through clubs or organizations as well.

Take teasing head on. Teasing, bullying and playful banter are an inevitable part of childhood, but kids with ADHD often don’t know how to respond. Parents should encourage their children to stand up to teasing, but to not overreact, which might escalate the problem.

Keep play dates short. For kids age 10 or under, three hours or less is probably best. Coach your child on how to behave beforehand, and talk about how things went after it’s over.

Let kids go — but not completely. Experts recommended that parents let teens sort out social situations on their own, but don’t back away completely. A recent study of seventh- through twelfth-graders suggests that teens who have close relationships with their parents — those who talk often, share activities, and are affectionate with each other — also tend to have good friendships.

Consider medication. If impulsive behavior — dominating play, interrupting, jumping from one thing to the next — keeps other kids away, medication is probably necessary. In fact, your child may need to be “covered” by ADHD medications even after the school day ends.

Make sure the dosage is right. Puberty, when all sorts of hormone changes kick in, is a good time to look at your child’s medication or dose. Often, what worked before puberty may no longer have the same effect.

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