Tips and Advice on Taking Children to the Theatre

Age Limits

It is a good idea to adhere to the age limits of a given performance. It would be such a shame to take a child not quite old enough for a certain performance to the theatre and give him or her a fright, or conversely, bore an older child by taking him or her to a performance for toddlers. It is better to wait till you find a performance in the appropriate category.

 

Preparation

Prepare the child for the experience – not by telling the child what the performance is about, since you never know how the child will experience it. It would probably be a better idea to prepare the child by telling him or her what kind of place the theatre is. You could focus on the opening of the performance, when all the senses are engaged, and encourage the child to embrace the experience. This also involves doing your best to be quiet and avoid small talk. You might even prepare the child for the fact that the lights will occasionally be subdued in the theatre.

 

Arrive in Good Time

Please arrive no later than 10-15 minutes before the performance begins. It can be a pleasant experience for the child to get used to the location before entering the darkened theatre to experience and sense all the aspects of the theatre event.

 

The Bathroom

It is always a good idea to visit the bathroom prior to a performance. If you need to take a child to the bathroom in the middle of a performance, you will disturb the rest of the audience.

 

The Joy of Recognition and Repetition

You may wish to see a performance more than once. Often there are so many aspects to absorb in a theatre performance that the child appreciates it even more the second time, particularly the joy of recognition and the resulting energy. (You might have noticed this pattern at home, when the child watches cartoons or animated classics. Often the child’s response improves the more he or she watches them.)

 

Enjoy!

Have a wonderful time and enjoy the event. Open up the senses and embrace the entire experience. And save the sweets, the fruit, and the juice for later, when the performance is over. The performance already offers plenty of stimuli to focus on, so munching sweets and fruit would only distract the children and the other spectators. And if your child suddenly feels sad, upset, or uncomfortable, then just leave the room quietly.