A few months ago I guest posted over at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom about introducing your kids to live Shakespeare, and I forgot to tell everyone. Actually, it’s more like, my life was so busy getting school started it just slipped off my to do list.
So, if you click on the picture below (my guest post has been deleted, ignore that), you’ll see my first 10 tips to introduce your kids to live Shakespeare, this is all part of my greater reading lessons, because to truly understand the English language you should know Shakespeare.
This fall Jeff and I went to see “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” it’s my absolute FAVORITE Shakespeare play and showed how different LIVE Shakespeare can be from a movie and different nights the actors will bring out different things.
My attempt to reconstruct my original 10 tips to Introduce your kids to live Shakespeare
As I said, my original post is no more, so here are my guesses at what these tips might have been:
- Go to Shakespeare in the Park. Almost any major city has some form of this. This will be the most kid friendly version because your kids can relax and sit however they want.
- Get there early, so you can pick seats conducive for kids. I like to get there a couple of hours early so we can eat a nice leisurely picnic, the kids can run around and play, so by the time the play starts they’re ready to sit still.
- Pick a comedy. I realize you may have no choice in this one, it’s all in what the company picks, but comedies are a much better introduction than tragedy.
- Read a kid-friendly picture book or storybook of the play you’re going to see, such as Illustrated Stories of Shakespeare or Tales from Shakespeare.
- Brings snacks and drinks, I am not above bribing my child with food in certain instances.
- Treat it as a fun event, not a serious cultural experience.
- Let them bring toys and games to entertain themselves while the show isn’t on.
- Talk about what you expect when they’re at the play (Similar to going to local theater).
- Ummmm, some other tip, I really wish the original post wasn’t deleted
- And something else, who knows I may come back and update this with others I’ve thought of.
10 More tips to Introduce your kids to live Shakespeare
11. Preview the play before you take your kids (not always possible, but a good idea). This version was not kid-friendly. They were much more suggestive than I necessarily want my kids to see. Some plays will more likely have this problem than others. This obviously becomes less problematic as your kids get older.
12. Read some passages from the King James Bible. Shakespeare and the King James Bible both have similar phrasing.
13. If you’re going to a comedy talk to them about Shakespeare’s tropes: mistaken identities, twins separated at birth, girls dressed as guys, oh and at least one wedding at the end.
14. If you’re like me, you might have quoted a few Shakespeare lines at your kids. No seriously, future Ticia saying this part, when we saw Julius Caesar my daughter said, “You quote Shakespeare at me all the time.” Have them keep an ear out for quotes they’ve heard. Now, I’m thinking a Shakespeare quotes Bingo could be fun.
15. Don’t get upset if they can’t focus.
16. Let your kids be kids. When it’s intermission let them run around and get all those wiggles out.
17. DON’T make it into a big discussion of the themes. Save that for later.
18. More on snacks, let the snacks be something they don’t usually get. This associates Shakespeare with good times.
19. DON’T freak out if your kid falls asleep, going back to one of the first 10 tips, you might need to leave, but they might also just fall asleep (my daughter did at one of our early plays).
20. Get there early. In my top 10, I mentioned picking your seats, and Shakespeare in the park. Get there early so the kids can play at the park, can get their energy out, and so you have the pick of seats.
By the by, does anyone have a good suggestion for a movie version of “Julius Caesar”? I’d LOVE to show the kids Julius Caesar when we get there, but I don’t know of a good version.
And thank you all for your prayers, well wishes, comments, and emails. They were a great help as I traveled up to Colorado for my Grandma’s funeral. The funeral was as good as a funeral can be, but it’s still not fun.
We’re now safely home, my house is a mess I need to clean with all of the unpacking, AND I’ve lost our chicken mummy. We’d completed the last step right before we left, and I have a sneaking suspicion my friend who watched the dog threw it away (Future Ticia can confirm she did, this mummified chicken did not turn out as well as the first one).