Circus Fun!

creative role play - sunshine drama

On Saturday we created some Circus Acts.

I present the amazing Pikachu/Juggling Skeleton, the Super Star Mouse who could balance bean bags on her back and the Clever Cat whose talent was to stand on one paw and balance magical bean bags on her head!

This was a creative role play activity.

After teacher modeling, students were asked to come up with their own costume using our sunglasses collection and animal headbands.  We discussed how our animals would move and how they might sound. Children then moved onto mastering their circus skill using bean bags.

We then had a circus performance to showcase these amazing creatures!

Exploring character through having the choice of dress up, gave students a basis to develop their character.

Concepts around stage movement were explored, along with speaking effectively on stage. We continue to master our stage bows to thank the audience for their appreciation!

Students enjoyed the challenge and had a lot of fun developing their characters circus skill!

10 Great Collaborative Games to start the Term in your Classroom

collabprative games for the classroom

10 Great Collaborative Games to start the term in your Classroom

Teamwork is an essential part of drama and performance.

It fosters how we communicate ideas, listen to others and problem solving.

Team work grows leadership and thinking skills. It teaches children to be reflective and to celebrate the successes of their combined commitment to a given task.

Sharing our individual talents in a group setting is an important skill that students will carry with them through all areas of life.

Here are some of our favourite, team building activities /challenges (in no particular order) that my students love to do!

1. Alphabet

Put children into groups of 4-6. Have them write all letters of the alphabet on cards (or provide laminated alphabet cards ready to go).

Share the cards out evenly.

The teacher calls a word.

The group must arrange themselves in the correct letter order to spell the word (add in double ups of  letters if you wish for more challenging words).

In drama - we also turn our bodies into the letters shape :)

2. Light House Keeper and Boat

In a large space, ask children to crouch down and form rocks scattered around the space.

The student who is blindfolded at the back of the space is 'The Boat'.  The Boat is guided around the rocks by the "Lighthouse Keeper' who is at the front of the space.

In drama - we get the rocks to make interesting shapes and sound effects. Sometimes the rocks are also allowed to move around the space on the Light Keepers command to add an extra challenge!

3. Newspaper Characters

Put students into groups of 3.

Give groups a set amount of newspaper and sellotape (you can limit this to make it more of a challenge).

Provide some character guidelines if you wish. Eg: fisherman, Olympic kayaker or maybe some familiar story characters.

Students are to choose one person to be the model and the other two students are the fashion designers and have to create an outfit in the time provided.

In Drama we then create improvised scenes involving the character. I provide extra costumes for the other members of the group.

4. Hula Hoop

Everyone stands in a large circle holding hands (or two or three smaller circles depending on numbers).

Have two people break hands and put their hands through a hula hoop and rejoin hands again.

The hoop must be then passed around the circle without the hands breaking.

You can time how longs it takes and try and beat the time, or try using two hoops traveling at the same time!

In Drama we cheer each other along using different character voices or turn it into an emotional circle, Eg when you have the hoop show the emotion of happiness.

5. Farm Animals (Fun Chaos!)

Have students spread out in the teaching space.

Students need to close their eyes. (I suggest playing it first with eyes open so children get the hang of it).

The teacher goes around and assigns each child farm animals (sheep, cow pig, chicken, horse).
On the teachers signal, students must crawl around making their given animal noise and find the other members of their group.

In drama excellent sound effects and movement is a must! It's an activity that fosters listening and concentration.

6. The Great Divide

Mark out a start area and a finish line (lines on a netball court are good!)

Put students into groups of 5 or 6. Students must form a line with their group members, standing side by side with their feet touching.

The aim is to cross a designated space together without anyone's feet losing contact.

Once mastered - try it as a whole class.

In drama this is a great exercise in communication and focus!

7. Human Bingo

Have a go at our Drama Human Bingo! Download the page here.

Our Drama focus here is mime and movement, communication and creative fun!

8. Tied up in Knots

The classic circle challenge!

Students stand in a circle and all put their hands in the middle, grabbing hands with someone (that is not on either side of them).

The circle then needs to 'un-knot' without letting go of any hands.

This activity supports many drama skills including listening to and the following of offers (direction) to unravel the circle!

9. Crossing the River

An oldie but a goody!

Establish a starting line (We call it 'Crooked Tree Island':) and a finish line ('Crocodile Cove'!)

In groups, students must all make it across the crocodile and piranha filled waters using only three mats or hoops. Students must be in the hoops or mats at all times.

If someone steps out - the group must start again!

In drama, we focus on the roleplay element of this activity, sometimes assigning characters traits to participants, or having one group go at a time and the rest of the class being the distracting sea life!

10. Quiet!! The Dragon is Asleep!

Firstly, set the scene for students. Choose one student to be 'Fiery the dragon' who pretends to be asleep (and then wake up).

When the dragon wakes up he plans to breathe fire on the village!

The only way to stop him is for the villagers to line up in order of height - without talking before the dragon wakes!

When everyone is in order, the students standing in line yell 'Boo'!, waking the poor frightened dragon who flies away (the dragon can add in some improvised dialogue here about he/she is feeling).

Other lining up instructions can be:

  • Age (pending if its a mixed age group)
  • Street address number (older students)
  • Alphabetical order based on first name
  • Birthday (month or day)
  • How much you like... chocolate etc
Have fun with these activities and I wish you all a sunny 2019 school year!


Highschool Drama Classes

Sunshine Drama provides a creative and fun learning environment for children of all ages. Enrolments are now open for our secondary school class for 13-15 year olds, held Tuesday evenings 7-8pm in Karori.

The class will involve developing effective speaking techniques, alongside exploring the conventions and elements of drama that contribute to characterisation, collaboration, and performance.

Extensive drama games that inspire students to think, respond and communicate on the spot will support students to build life-long skills as communicators across the board.

Students will have opportunities to perform devised scripts and improvised work, preparing for a Theatre Sports evening.

For class information or to arrange a free trial class, contact: Jenae 0274380533 or enrol now.

Little Twinkles - classes for your 4 & 5 year olds

Sunshine Drama offers a class just for little ones aged between 4 -5.5 years. Classes engage and challenge young imaginations in a fun and creative learning environment. Together we explore stories and characters through movement, voice, role play, dressing up and props!

Classes integrate brain-gym activities, have a weekly phonics focus and support children to extend their ever-growing vocabularies.

Teamwork, social skills and developing confidence with self-expression is key to our curriculum.

Little Twinkles runs Thursday afternoons 3.30 - 4 pm and Saturday mornings 9 am -9.30 am during term time. 

To discuss our classes or to arrange a free trial session, please contact Jenae on 0274 380 533.

Sunshine Drama students take the spotlight!

sunshine drama kids performances

A huge congratulations to all Sunshine Drama Students for their hard work and dedication that they put into the rehearsal process for our end of term performances!

I was really proud of the kids who did a fantastic job presenting to family and friends.

Last term we had four performances on the go!

Our Starbursts (5 year olds) took their own spin on the classic kids picture book ‘Dear Zoo’. Together we workshopped how this might look and who the characters might be! This was a great chance for the kids to have their first opportunity to work with a script and develop a colourful bunch of characters.

The Sunbeams (6-7 year olds) took on ‘The Three Little Pigs.’ The children presented their lines confidently on stage. The script involved listening to and following many detailed stage directions which made the play action packed for the audience!

students from sunshine drama karori

It was all magical for our Flares performance! (8-10 years). The devised script ‘Enchanted Trouble’ set in ‘Sparkle Dust Woods’, was so much fun to workshop, developing a captivating storyline.

A wide range of quirky characters was created including unicorns, princesses, dragons and of course ‘Spike’ the helpful hedgehog.

Dragons Salty and Hot Pepper are after Princess Lily and Lucy’s special unicorn recipe book so they can become the best chocolate makers in the land! Unicorns Sherbert and Glitter help intercept the great recipe robbery!

This script was a super challenge for this group of actors, who moved effortlessly between their characterisation and narration lines - two roles each in the play. Students were very committed and enthusiastic about the performance and this shone through in their confident performance!

With our older group, the Supernovas (11-13 years), we had an epically, fabulous devised piece to present - ‘Pandemonium at the Theatre!’ Again so much fun and enjoyment was had developing this ‘sit on the edge of your seat’ play!

zombie attack part two

One Saturday afternoon a group of friends decides to catch a movie. Little did they know their relaxing afternoon at the theatre would take a mysterious turn!

The friends meet and team up with a talking goat called ‘King Bob the Second’ with a rather interesting back story! They then meet a scary yet friendly ghost, before encountering ‘Queen Beatrice’ - the stories Villain. Queen Beatrice is Bobs long lost sister on a mission to gain back the ‘invisibility pendant’ worn by Bob.

The tale involves some moments of cast invisibility, some super comedy, and a dramatic ending, turning Queen Beatrice into a frog.

The play was set in three different spaces at St Ninians keeping the audience on their toes by following the actors and the action, lots of fun!

Utilising the space at St Ninians in this way, helped build the tension and suspense of the storyline, and created a real sense of set for the actors.

This group of young actors demonstrated superb teamwork to present a polished performance.

Again my congratulations to all involved, you should all be very proud of what you accomplished - I was a very proud teacher! I look forward to another creative and action-packed year of learning!