Drama games and activities to help celebrate the Olympics Rio 2016

Drama games and activities to help celebrate the Olympics Rio 2016 

The Olympics kick off in Rio on the 6th of August. Here are some great drama games and activities to support drama or classroom teachers, or fun ideas for lounge room drama at home!


1. Olympics Charades

 Students to mime out different sports. You could use the Pictograms for Rio. You can do this as a whole class or in groups.

2. Pass the Sports Gear Present

You are having a send off party for Olympic athletes. Sitting in a circle, a student takes a present (size and shape, determined by the way that they carry it) to another student and puts it in front of them. They then open it and mime what is in the 'package'. The rest of the group guesses which piece of sports gear was in the parcel.

3. Medal Ceremonies / At the Finish Line

Create mimes depicting these glorious moments of victory. In groups of 4, have the medal winners walk in and receive their medals and wreaths from the presenter, sing the anthem and then congratulate each other.  Or capture that moment the cyclists or marathon runners cross that finish line!

You could use these medal templates for props!


Add in Freeze frames and thought tracking to build character.


Create mimed scenes or improvisations based around 'Drama at the Podium'... what could go wrong?


4. What are you Doing? - Olympic Style!

Student begins improvising a scene eg, practicing kicking winning goals.  A student enters the scene and asks "What are you doing?" The student kicking the ball replies with a completely different sport or related activity "I'm warming up for the 100m final". and the game continues...

5. Live - Three News

Two students are the sports experts and another the reporter. The reporter is interviewing the experts about a new sport debuting at the Rio Olympics, one that is completely made up, either by the children or offered by the audience/teacher/parent. The reporter asks question relating to the sport such as rules, the training involved. Then the experts can demonstrate the sport  - like we are watching footage on TV.

For fun someone could have a pretend remote control - add in fast forward, rewind instant replay and slow motion. (*Younger children could create mime's of different sports and apply the use of the remote control! Click here for Zany Sports Ideas!

6. Let the Games Begin ( for older students)

The Opening Ceremony is all about all the countries coming together and for the hosting country to share their culture and history. Group children into four or five.  Provide a written snippet about the countries history. The groups must then prepare a short presentation through movement, dance, dramatic reading to share their piece of history.

7. The Chores

Imagine that vacuuming the lounge was an Olympic sport! In groups of four, 2 performers are the athletes and two are the sports commentators. The athletes dramatically participate in the race to complete the challenge whilst the announcers provide the running commentary.

Some ideas for comment include:

  • The athletes race itself from warm up to finish
  • The history of the game
  • Who the reigning champions are
  • Sport skill required
  • Training involved
  • What they need to eat to be fit and healthy for this sport
  • The athletes younger days - how they got started in the sport
  • Previous set backs, wins and successes!

Again add in slow motion fast forward for fun!

8. Gibberish Meeting

Scene: the Olympic Village Cafeteria. Three players. One speaks English, they other is non English Speaking (in this case gibberish) and an interpreter/friend. The scene starts with all three eating lunch.

The English speaker says to the non English speaker: "can you please pass the salt." The translator jumps in with "(name) doesn't speak English and the scene continues with the conversation between the two and the translator - well translating! (Could also play this game as a sports interview or as podium conversations).

9. Sport Star Profile

Provide or ask for an unusual sport. - Eg: Tight rope walking. Two players. One narrates TV interview style and the other listens and acts/mimes out what the narrator is saying. A visual card prompt could be used depending on the age of the children. *See 6. The Chores for interview prompt inspiration!

10. Olympic Location and Situation.

In groups of four, children can create interesting scenes, based on the location and situation/problem provided. The players need to build characters, story line working through the motions of resolving the scenes problem.

You could replay scenes calling freeze and having another member of the group take the place of a student to change the scenes direction (a quirk could also be added Eg; can't stop dancing, does star jumps etc...

11. Your Stories, your Sports

Group of 4-5 students. Groups to select a story they all know. Such as Little Red Riding Hood. Decide on a related sport (can be as zany or unsporty as you like) e.g. a  tree chopping contest.

One player is the competition host, introducing the competitors, getting them organised and narrating the race, and presenting the winner with the prize.

And action!

Other Useful Links:

Our School Holiday Drama Class Poems

Our School Holiday Drama Class Poems

Thanks to all the children and families who attended Sunshine Drama's School Holiday Creative Drama Classes last week.

Wibbly Wobbly Jungle Bridge

The preschoolers and I had a great time on our jungle safari. We explored role play moving as different animals and making their sounds through the jungle, challenging our coordination, balance and spatial awareness.

Together we drew on our prior knowledge and imagined what the jungle looks like.

We carefully navigated trees, streams and wobbly bridges! Towards the end of the session we rested under the letter A apple tree. We picked delicious apples working on crossing the mid-line and we wrote the letter A using our lions whiskers, elephant trunks and tigers paws!

Scrambled Snake

In the Scrambled Snake session we all took on the role of Private Eye Monster Spotters. The Butterfly from the forest called the office to tell us she had sighted The Gruffalo!

Fortunately she then flew down to the office to make an official statement. We explored, telephone conversational skills, hot seating and devising open ended questions using the W's and H as prompts.

Next we carefully packed our bags (mime) and set off on our quest to hunt for the Gruffalo.

After some trekking over varied terrain and portraying a few animals along the way, we finally found him!

We made Gruffalo freeze frames following the description from the story and revisited hot seating this time to gain some insight into the Gruffalo himself - who was indeed very friendly and just wanted to join us for lunch!

Twist a Poem 

Our 'Twist a Poem' class explored three contrasting poems. With Spaghetti By Pauline Cartright, students created an improvised scene whereby a spaghetti cooking disaster occurred in the kitchen!

We work-shopped the scene to build dialogue between the characters. Following on, we used a spatula (from the cooking!), to introduce the quick thinking Theatre Sports game 'Many uses of an object'.

We then created some frozen images based on Rachel Lyman-Fields poem, I'd Like to be a Lighthouse.

Adding spoken thoughts to each still image. From there the students devised and presented a short script centred around a problem on board the ship.

Lastly, it was onto an all time favourite poem - Daddy Fell into the Pond by Alfred Noyes. We played Freeze Frame Camera, and collated descriptive language based on the natural resources found in the garden from the poem.

Learning Intentions

Although the learning intentions for each session were different to meet the needs of each age group, there were two applicable to all classes.

We are learning to:
  • Develop our quick thinking skills
  • Confidently share our creative ideas with others.
In all classes, we used some natural resources (rocks, pine cones, leaves and twigs) as a stimulus to share descriptive language. We talked about what the resources, felt, looked and sounded like.

The children provided some great descriptive language which I have collated into poems (see below) for all to enjoy.

Well done authors, you should be very proud of your  thoughtful responses! You did a fantastic job!

Wibbly Wobbly Jungle Bridge (Preschool)

Jungle Explorers

Smooth, cold rocks,
crunchy leaves,
big twigs and bumpy pine cones.

 Scrambled Snake (Years 1-4)

The Forest

Hard, smooth, wobbly rocks, it feels rough... watch it roll - thump!
Pine cones are bumpy and lumpy and long tree twigs snap!
Soft, squashy, crunchy and rustly winter leaves!

Twist a Poem  (Years 5-8)

Winter Leaves

Light, but rough like sandpaper
Crinkly, rustling
Feels like paper.
Crunchy, flakey
Coiled and springy.


Thump on the ground
Like a loud shouting human.
Heavy and round,
Rough and tough.

Tree Twigs

Sharp, pokey
like broken bones.
Flaking twigs sound like ripping trousers

Ten creative and economic school holiday activities to do in Wellington!

Screenshots from Room on the Broom and Stick Man
Holidays start next week, middle of winter… Eek!  - what to do??

Look no further, here are 10 great school holiday activities that I have located and collated for your convenience.

Naturally the first on my list are my very own Sunshine Drama Holiday Classes

Sunshine Drama enable students to explore creative thinking, build confidence and become effective communicators and performers. Come along for a creative blast and see what our lessons are all about!

Cost: Gold coin / koha donation
Date:Thursday 14th July
Session Times:
9-9.40am 3-4 yr olds - Wibbly Wobbly Jungle Bridge      
9.50-10.50am Years 1-4, Scrambled Snake
11-12pm Years 5-8, Twist a Poem
Location: Karori Community Centre, 7 Beauchamp Street, Karori
Bookings: Are essential. Click the above link or 028 402 6793 or

Kapital Kids Theatre - DinoRock - A Musical for Kids

Written and Directed by: Aaron Blackledge

Cost: $10 per person (2+ years) $9 for groups of 10 or more
Times: 11am and 1pm Tuesday – Friday and 11am on Saturdays 
Location: Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street
Ages: All ages
Bookings: 934 0468  /

Synopsis from the website:
“DinoLand is overheating, and the only way it can be stopped is if all of the volcanoes erupt at once through the power of rock music’s vibrations. Enter DinoRoar, the best dinosaur rock band there is! With very little time left and the band unsure of their song choice, things are only made worse when the bass player Snarl decides she wants complete control and decides to steal the instruments and hide them. Will the band be able to find their instruments? What song will they decide to play? Can DinoLand be saved?"

Southern Cross 

Check the link for all of the awesome activities on offer at the Southern Cross during the school holidays! From puppetry, to art classes to interactive theatre, the Southern Cross has it covered!

Below are two of their free events. Info from the Southern Cross website…

“Interactive Kids Theatre - Saturday 9th July 11am
Join Playshop Theatre in the Guest Room for some entertaining and interactive kids’ theatre, using classic fairy tales. This free event is on the second Saturday of every month in the Guest Room.

Puppet Show and Workshop - Friday 15th July 11am & Saturday 23rd July 11am

Come see Fingal from KidzStuff Theatre perform an extra special School Holiday show with her puppet pals - then make your own! This free event is on the fourth Saturday of every month in the Guest Room.”

Kidzstuff Theatre - The Owl and the Pussy Cat

Written by: Rachel Henry, Directed by: Sherilee Kahui

Cost: $10 per person (2+ years) $9 for groups of 10 or more
Times: 11am and 1pm Tuesday – Friday and 11am on Saturdays 
Location: 4 Moncrief Street, Mt Victoria
Ages: For the whole family
Bookings: / 04 385 0292

Synopsis from the website...      

“This charming new work uses rhyme, song, and dance to tell the love story of feline and fowl, as our hero Pig Robinson leads young audiences on an adventure through time, across the sea and up into the bong trees. Come along to see how the Owl met the Pussycat and just what a Jumbly is! With our usual kiwi twist on traditional fairy stories, songs and audience participation (as well as a few jokes for the adults) The Owl and the Pussycat is sure to delight!”

Junior Detective Trail - NZ Police Museum
Cost: Free admission
Times: Thursday 7 July 2016 – Sunday 31 July 2016 10:00am – 5:00pm
Location: Papakowhai Rd, Papakowhai, Porirua - Mana
Bookings: / 04 385 0292
Age: For all ages

Event Info from the website:

“The Junior Detective Trail is an activity sheet that leads children throughout the museum. The Trail is jam packed full of activities that will keep children of all ages entertained!

Plus: We have all the usual favourites including police uniform dress ups and the M.O.T. motorbike; they make a great photo opportunity for the young and the young at heart! For kids who want more of a challenge, try the Senior Detective Mystery.”

Room on the Broom and Stick Man - animated films

Cost: $5 Per person (Under 3 Free)
Times: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 11am, both weeks of the hols
Location: Nga Taonga Sound & Vision, 84 Taranaki Street
Bookings: see website
Note: “Classification: PG - some scenes might scare very young children

Synopsis from the website:

“Iggety, ziggety, zaggety, ZOOM! Multiple award-winning Room on the Broom!

A kind witch invites a surprising collection of animals to join her on her broom, much to the frustration of her cat. But is there room on the broom for so many friends? And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon?

And then, meet Stick Man! Stick Man lives in the family tree, with his Stick Lady Love and their stick children three.

Out for his regular jog, Stick Man is picked up by a playful dog and launched on a series of unfortunate adventures that take him ever further away from home. The seasons pass, until Stick Man meets a surprising friend who might just be able to help him get back. But will he make it home in time for Christmas?”

Weta Holiday Programme

Cost: $30- $50 per student
Times: 2 hr workshops and different times during the day. See the link above.
Location: Corner Camperdown Rd & Weka St, Miramar, Wellington

Ok, a little bit not so economical but I couldn’t resist adding it in!A chance to go behind the scenes and see how the magic at Weta evolves! From working with props, sculpting or rocket building, there is something for everyone! See the link for more details of each workshop.

The Magical Fantasy World of Roald Dahl

Cost: Free of charge
Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: Thursday 14th July, 11am
Miramar Library: Friday 15th July, 2pm
Karori Library: Tuesday 19th July, 11am
Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library: Tuesday 19th July, 2pm
Central Library: Wednesday 20th July, 11am
Johnsonville Library: Thursday 21st July, 11am
Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: Friday 22nd July, 11am

 Ages: 6-12 Years              
Bookings: No booking required

Event Info from the website:

“Due to the release of the movie The BFG and with 2016 being his 100th birthday, we are celebrating that amazing author - Roald Dahl.

During the school holidays kids can whizz-pop their way into a library for some whoopsy-splunkers fun! We will be exploring the life of Roald Dahl, learning Gobblefunk (the language of The BFG), competing in a clever matching game, and creating dream jars. Your kids will be frothbuggling if they miss this one.”

Hutt Welly Libraries 

This is just one of the awesome creative events our Hutt Welly Libraries have on offer these hols! Check out the above link to check out the event schedule.

Cost: Free of charge
Times: Monday 11 July 2016 3:00pm – 4:00pm  
Location: Lower Hutt War Memorial Library Cnr Queens Drive and Woburn Road, Lower Hutt
Ages: All ages                  
Bookings: No booking required
Event Info from the website:

“Join Peter Wilson, creator of the award winning children's theatre company, Little Dog Barking, and meet some of their cherished handmade puppets up close.
Peter will read the books 'Guji Guji' and 'Duck, Death and the Tulip' which their shows are based on, and demonstrate how to make your own special little puppet.”

The Great War Exhibtion: School Holiday Adventure Programme

Cost: Child Educational Tour- $5.00. For the Poppy Workshop, Book Reading, & for Supervising Adults, their is no charge
Times: Monday 11 July 2016 – Sunday 24 July 2016 10:30am – 12:30pm
Location: Dominion Museum Building, 15 Buckle Street, Wellington
Ages: All ages         
Bookings: No booking required. Children must be accompanied by a supervising adult with a maximum of 3 children per adult.


 Event Info from the website:

“Created by Sir Peter Jackson and supported by ANZ, The Great War Exhibition tells the story of the First World War in brilliant colour. This world-class exhibition melts away the last 100 years and creates an engaging experience for children to learn about and understand this pivotal time in history. Explore, learn and create with our inspiring guides these school holidays.

- Educational tours departing daily at 10:30 am, helping children to connect further with the exhibition.
- Free poppy-making workshops in our on-site cafe - creating poppies to take home or to put on the memorial in the Exhibition, available daily at 11:30 am.
- Free book readings from a selection of the stunning books from our themed Exhibition shop, available daily at 12 pm.”

“Kids also receive a complimentary adventure pack to enhance their understanding and make it all even more fun.”

Happy Holidays!

Calling all Countdown Card Collectors!!!

How to use Countdown Collector Cards in Drama

I am a self confessed Countdown Card collector. I have exchanged many 'I still need...'texts (text recipients you know who you are - I'm not alone), filed and organised, swapped and posted cards and been really nice to check out operators in the hopes they might slide an extra few cards my way! That sense of achievement as I slid the 'last' card into the pocket - so satisfying (I clearly need to get out more!).

With completed albums (out of the reach of little hands), there is still the excess that are regularly strewn around our lounge room floor with the accompanying paraphernalia - projectors, stickers, animal making sound machines and the like.

So here are some suggestions of ways to use these precious little rectangles in other creative and productive ways to engage your children or students!

Let the climbing frame become the Pirate Ship!

An adventurous pirate
Let the climbing frame become the Pirate Ship!

Parents and caregivers, here's 10 quick ideas to bring out some creativity when you're at the park with your little ones:

1. Use park play space structures to your advantage.

“Ahoy! Where be that treasure? Arrrgh!?” Build stories with your children, role playing your quest to search for buried treasure!

Utilising playground equipment is an easy way to develop gross motor skills.

Climbing and hanging help strengthen muscles, swinging and seesawing support the vestibular system, which is to do with balance.

Playgrounds help children develop their spatial awareness and depth perception, given the many levels that can be found in the construction of playground equipment.

2. Grab your binoculars, magnifying glasses and set off on your expedition! Take an explorers box and gather things of interest from nature or hunt for insects.

You could use these things to take home and create pictures, or make 3D scenes. Leaves, pine cones, stones and bark have lots of artistic potential.

3. It’s a race - explore space! Give instructions, skip to the swings, hop to the slide, balance on the rocks, wiggle like a worm to the see saw and the list continues.

Let your children share their own movement ideas too!

4. Roll!

Literally roll down any grassy slopes you can find! Rolling is a great sensory experience.
It builds strength and coordination and assists with both vestibular and midline development!

5. Cup of tea? Don't mind if I do!

Take Teddy to the park and have a picnic! Let the kids take the reins (with you as the helper) preparing food, packing and setting it out once at the park.

Pretending twigs, leafs etc are delicious foods is another fun option!

6. Take bubble wands and imagine!

Chase them, catch them, run away from them, jump on them!

Turn them into monsters, robots, fairy dust... etc. Bubble play has many educational benefits. It helps develop fine motor, oral and visual tracking skills along with hand/eye coordination.

7. Don’t just feed the ducks, be the ducks!

Quack, waddle, preen your wings! Pretend to dive and swim in the water.

Observe and talk about them, chase and feed them. You could even go home and draw them and write a story about your experience.

8. Get set go! Plan an obstacle course that uses playground equipment.

Up the steps backwards, down the slide, run and touch the swing frame, race around the rubbish bin and then up to the top of the climbing frame.

Super heroes run pretty fast! Are you game to wear your capes?

9. You can’t go wrong with Hide and Go Seek, Tag, Follow the Leader or Eye Spy. Timeless games that all children love to play!

10. Scavenger Hunt!

Kids love to look for things. Give them a bag to collect things from a list or a pencil and paper to check off found items. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Something as simple as:
  • Find a smooth leaf
  • Find a pointy leaf
  • Find a Brown leaf
  • Find a big leaf

This could be just what you need to keep your little ones busy searching!

Pirate image copyright Jenae Ryan