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Games to play with seven year olds and upwards

Lucy Quick, Principal of Perform Drama SchoolHere's a selection of drama games and exercises we use in our weekly classes to help boost children's confidence, concentration, communication and coordination skills. Click on the game titles to read more. 

My name is...

This is a really useful game for helping children introduce themselves and others.

You'll need a couple of toys: stuffed animals are ideal. Sit in a circle with two soft toys next to you and two soft toys next to your child. Introduce yourself and the toys next to you clearly and confidently. For example:

"My name is Sophie, this is George and this is Daniel."

Then ask your child to do the same.

Now make up a silly name for yourself and the toys next to you. For example:

"My name is Stereo, this is Bottom and this is Guitar."

Again ask your child to do the same.

The focus is to get your child to introduce themselves and the toys confidently. As you child becomes more confident you can make the game more advanced by adding further details to the introduction. For example:

"My name is Sophie, and custard is my favourite food. This is George and jelly is his favourite food. This is Daniel and his favourite food is mashed potato."

Memory Game

This is a fun game with a serious purpose: to develop concentration and learning skills. Your child's brain is an amazingly flexible and responsive muscle and it will develop really quickly with only a little exercise.  

You'll need six toys or everyday household objects. Lay them out in front of your child and give them 30 seconds to remember what's there. Then have them close their eyes while you remove one object. When they open their eyes they have to tell you which object you've removed.

You can make this game more advanced by having more objects to begin with, and/or moving the objects around when you remove one. You can play along too: just close your eyes whilst your child removes an object and guess what they've removed.

The Number Game

At Perform we play this game to help improve the children's listening skills.

Ask your child to sit cross-legged on the floor. Explain that you are going to count from 1-5, and when you say 5 they must stand up as quickly as they can. Count 1, 2, 3, 4 then shout 5 - they should get this right.

Next explain that you are going to count from 1-10, but this time they must stand up on 10 rather than 5. Once they've got the hang of it, try to trick them, for example, shouting 7 and see if they stand up, or say the numbers in a random order e.g. 1, 5, 3, 7, 2, 10!

Just say 'No!'

We created this game following a request from a parent when her daughter was struggling to stand up to her friends. It's aims are to get children to articulate why they don't want to do something and give their reasons clearly and with strength.

If you play at home, you can perhaps pick out a situation pertinent to your child. You play Child A and your child should play Child B. Child A is trying to persuade Child B to do something which is naughty (eg steal something from another child). Child B has to explain why they don't want to do it while Child A tries to pressurise them into doing so.

This should lead to a conversation which should continue until Child A backs down.

What are you doing?

This is an hilarious game that can be played by the whole family - and the sillier it gets, the better!

Get everyone to sit in a circle. The first person should stand up and mime an activity - eg. brushing their hair. The person next to them should then get up and say "What are you doing?" Rather than saying what they are actually doing they should say another activity - eg "I'm eating a cake." The person who asked the question must then mime eating a cake and the first person can sit down.

Keep the game going by rotating around the circle so that everyone has a couple of turns.

George loves going to Perform, he says "It's really great, we play cool games and have loads of fun." I'm loving George's enthusiasm and can't wait to see the performance.

– Miss Nikki Butler

Miguel and Diego are enjoying the Perform classes very much! They loved practicing the choreography together at home and singing the songs wherever we go.

– Patricia Martin

We did another popular drama club before and Thaleia was nowhere near as much enthusiastic about it. She absolutely loves these classes and I love the resources and the updates every week.

Many thanks!

– Dr Sabrina Ong

Thursday is Louis' favourite day of the week purely because he gets to go to his Perform class. He enjoys every moment and I believe it's the best class we have ever signed up to. 

– Sharon Bonfield

Raeya loves Perform! She is happy when she goes and even happier for the rest of the evening once I’ve picked her up. The teachers are bubbly and fun and Raeya adores them already.

– Mrs Meera Desa

This is a fab class! Katie loves it and asks each morning if today is Perform day! It was also mentioned at her recent parents' evening that her confidence in class seems to have grown so I am delighted, thank you!

– Dr Jane Spurgeon

From the very first class, George has absolutely loved it and he loves Amber. He chats about the class all week and sings the songs at home. It's lovely to see him enjoying it so much.

– Dr Susie Minson

Evelyn is very much enjoying attending her Perform classes and looks forward to them with excitement each week.

– Ms Lesley Burton

Libby absolutely loves going to perform. Every week she asks how many sleeps until perform again! I am over the moon with how much Libby enjoys the class.

– Mrs Lisa Hickey

Lola loves Perform, and Katie seems to really get the children's attention. She comes home singing the songs, and the Superhero app is her new favourite thing...

– Miss Teresa Palmer
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