September 1, 2014

Theatre and Your Child’s Education

When it comes to theatre many will think of entertainment as the primary goal of many shows and for the most part this is correct. But theatre has much more to offer than just this and thanks to the focus that many plays receive from the school curriculum (as part of the English Syllabus), theatre can also have an educational benefit as well. In many cases this could apply to any Shakespearean play arriving on the stage, but it can apply to others as well as many playwrights have found their work in the classroom.

But starting with Shakespeare the West End (and other London theatres) regularly features a play from the Bard or two. In 2011, for example, audiences flocked to the Wyndham’s Theatre to witness David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing, whilst the Haymarket Theatre was also the home to The Tempest with Ralph Fiennes in a lead role. Meanwhile venues like the Old Vic Theatre also welcomed the likes of Richard III and more, making London a great place to visit stand-out plays with educational value.

But other important playwrights can also have their work staged in the capital, such as Arthur Miller (The Crucible, Broken Glass, All My Sons) or Samuel Beckett (Waiting for Godot). In the case of the former, The Crucible appeared at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park in 2010, Broken Glass at the Vaudeville Theatre in 2011 and All My Sons at the Apollo Theatre in 2010.

So there is a lot to find in the West End and other London theatres that will provide a great educational twist to the already-memorable trip to see a stand-out show.

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Ideas to educate, entertain and aid your child this Christmas

If you’re a parent with small children then you’re probably half dreading Christmas at the moment. The kids are probably already sky high at the thought of Santa’s visit and all those presents he’s going to bring – and there’s still a couple of weeks to go! One of the most difficult times to keep young ones entertained and happy over the Christmas period is Christmas Day itself. They’re undoubtedly cranky after being up half the night, all the grown-ups are tired and having a doze in front of the TV and you’re busy wishing you bought a stop snoring surgery treatment for your husband rather than that new computer game he wanted. Naturally, it’s left to mum to keep them entertained. If you’re lucky the presents they got that morning will still have a novelty factor, but in case they’ve already grown tired of the toys already here are a few Christmas Day hints to keep the kids happy.

One of the best things you can do with children of any age is to take them outside for a walk, especially if you’ve been lucky enough to enjoy a White Christmas. Unless the weather is really bad, everyone will appreciate the chance to get wrapped up warm and get some fresh air. You can either head out before dinner and work up an appetite or pop out between the Queen’s speech and dusk, to walk off some of that Christmas Pudding!

It may seem like an easy option, but don’t disregard the power of the TV on Christmas Day. The internet and adverts for Private Clinic Harley Street establishments can be forgotten. There is always a family film on somewhere and even if they’re unsuitable for your own children because of their age, there is bound to be a DVD somewhere in the pile of gifts. Sure, it’s a bit of a cop out but it’s your Christmas Day too!

Really eager mums can get a head start on next year’s Christmas by getting the children to help with a craft project. Take down some of your cards and transform them with some ribbon and glitter into gift tags or even tree decorations. Older children will amazingly appreciate the quiet time after all the chaos of Christmas morning – and they’ll be helping you out without them even realising it!

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