Author: Regina Nicolas, Physical Therapist and Sensory Integration Specialist

with Ronni Rowland, Writer

Looking for fun things to do at home with your children this summer? Try some of our hands-on, minds-on Summer Program activities!

Drama therapy uses different forms of creative arts such as drawing, movement, and story making for emotional self-expression. The benefits also include greater self-confidence and risk taking, motor skills development, and the opportunity to practice social skills through drama.

Using the popular children’s book “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae, this drama therapy activity puts your child’s imagination on center stage. The activity not only introduces different animals and actions, but also provides a fun and helpful way to express some of the more “difficult” emotions like anger or fear in a safe and non-judgmental environment! So, let your lions and tigers roar!

How To Play

  • First, play and sing along to the song “If You’re Happy and You Know It” to warm up.
  • Now, read aloud the book “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae. 
  • Take turns acting out different pages in the book.
  • Get creative and think of other animals and actions to act out. You can even include an emotion if you like! For example, “Let’s yawn like a tired panda” or “Let’s roar like an angry tiger.”t

Use props and costumes for added fun. Let the show begin!

What Can I Teach My Child?

  1. Literacy: Encourage your child to follow along while reading the book. For children who can read on their own, let them read to you. Ask your child to make predictions about which animal is on the next page.
  2. Motor Awareness/Gross Motor Skills: This activity helps children learn how to use different body movements to act out different animals and express emotions.
  3. Social Skills/Teamwork: Help your child identify and express different types of animals, actions, and emotions to expand communication skills. Understanding emotions fosters empathy and caring—toward others and oneself.
  4. Imagination: Providing children with a creative outlet can help them express emotions in healthy ways. Nurturing an active imagination in a supportive environment lays a strong foundation for creative and critical thinking.

For more therapeutic summer activities, be sure to sign your child up for ELG’s immersive Summer Program! ELG’s experienced specialists have designed each activity to target and enhance different areas, from social skills and self-regulation to motor skills and sensory integration. Registration is on a weekly basis. Email [email protected] to register or for more information.

Summer Program Dates: July 8, 2019 – August 2, 2019

Fee: 6000 RMB / Week (Tax included)

Address: ELG Puxi Campus, No.19-20, Lane 209, ZhenNan Road, Putuo District, Shanghai 200333, China