Virtual March Break Camp

Our very favourite thing is to get creative with children and to watch where their creativity will take them. So along those lines, we’re getting creative with how we connect with our students and families during this time. We will be running a VIRTUAL March Break Camp, sharing some of the activities and resources that we love on our website and through Facebook and Instagram. 
Follow along, share our posts, invite your friends to join us, and be sure share the fun by tagging us @canadianchildrenstheatre. Let’s fill our homes and our feeds with fun and creativity! 

Creative Movement Activity

Easter Egg Hunt

Before the Easter Bunny comes and fills those plastic eggs with treats, let's use them for a fun movement activity! Download and print our Creative Movement Easter Egg Hunt containing spring-themed creative movement prompts. Cut into slips of paper, put them inside the plastic eggs and hide them around the house. As the children find the eggs, they can move and dance as the action suggests - jump in puddles, hop like a bunny, tip toe past a skunk and MORE!

Don't have plastic eggs to fill? Not to worry! Simply print out the actions and hide the slips of paper for a movement treasure hunt!

Easter Crafts

As we head into the Easter Long Weekend, we wanted to share a few more of our favourite Easter crafts for inspiration.

Bunny Mask - We used a paper plate with the centre removed for this craft, but bristol board or paper cut into a circle will also work in a pinch. We glued cotton balls around the circle and threaded white pipe cleaners through small slits cut into the sides of the paper plate for the whiskers. We glued popsicle sticks behind the ears for stability, but floppy bunny ears are fun too!  

Easter Egg Wreath - Again we used a paper plate with the centre removed for this craft, but bristol board and paper are a great replacement. We created an egg template to cut eggs from various materials - wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, foam, construction paper - and then glued them to the wreath shape. Add a string or ribbon and hang it in a window or on your front door for a colourful decoration! 

Easter Basket - We used the same egg template as above to cut the egg shapes out of white paper. We then used markers and crayons to decorate our own eggs and glued them into the basket. The basket is cut from construction paper and glued to the background, but it could just as easily be drawn onto plain white paper and coloured in.

Have fun. We can't wait to see what you create!      

Friday April 3rd

WonderPhil Magic Live Stream Magic Show

It's Friday! We can't think of a better way to celebrate the end of the week than with a magic show by WonderPhil Magic, live streamed on Facebook this afternoon at 1pm. Prepare to be amazed! Be sure to have playing cards and a coin on hand, because he will be teaching a couple of tricks too!

 

Follow this link to the Facebook Live Event and RSVP that you will attend. At 1pm you should get a notification on Facebook. That notification will take you right to the live stream. If not, the live stream will also be posted in the event feed under the Discussion section. 

Thursday April 2nd

Preschool Drop-in - Easter Crafts

This week, we would have begun the Easter theme at our Preschool Drop-in Program. Here are some of our favourite Easter crafts for inspiration.

 

Bunny Hat - We used white bristol board for this craft, but paper will do. Create a band to fit your child's head and draw on the eyes. The nose is made from two hearts - one white and one pink. We glued popsicle sticks behind the ears for stability, but floppy bunny ears are fun too!

 

Lamb Craft - This adorable little lamb is made with a doily, but if you don't have these in your craft bin, it's also fun to make your own the same way that you would make a paper snowflake. Alternatively, a white circle with cotton balls or a plain white paper circle works well too. The feet, head and ears are cut from black construction paper. The grass is also cut from construction paper, but you could also give the kids markers to decorate their own background.

 

Chick Craft - This cute little chick is made from construction paper. The wings are long strips glued into a loop. For the beak, cut a diamond shape and fold it in half so that it can open and close. If you don't have feathers, make your own out of paper. And again the background - grass, flower and butterfly - can be made using markers. 

 

Have fun. We can't wait to see what you create!      

Wednesday April 1st

Creative Movement

It's Wednesday...let's get up and MOVE!

 

Wee Sing has a wonderfully creative album that combines imaginative play, music and movement. Wee Sing and Pretend includes some of our favourites (listed below). If your child has participated in our dance and theatre programs, they will likely recognize a couple of these:

The Land of Slow Motion

A Walk Through the Forest

The Toy Shop at Midnight

Rock Band

Animal Action

Oh, When

Tuesday March 31st

Paper Bag Puppets

This classic craft has been around for years and has really stood the test of time! Paper bag puppets are both a wonderful craft to create and also an activity that sparks imaginative play and can be used again and again. Once the kids have assembled their puppets, they can bring them to life by creating their own stories and performing their own puppet shows. 

Paper bag puppets can be as simple or complex as you wish. Whether it’s just paper and markers you create your puppets with, or you decorate with yarn, googly eyes, stickers, and buttons, they’re a great project any time.

A google image search of paper bag puppets will provide you with an endless number of ideas. Search for paper bag puppet templates and you will find a number of printable options for children to colour, cut out and glue to a paper bag - perfect for those who are getting a little low on craft supplies!

Monday March 30th

Create a Story

We love storytelling at the Canadian Children's Theatre Co.! We especially love to create our own stories and act them out. Here are a few resources and ideas for creating stories together at home:  


Rory's Story Cubes - We picked up this set at Indigo several years ago and it has provided hours of imaginative play for all ages. Simply roll the cubes and create a story starting with "Once upon a time..." using the nine symbols on the faces of the dice. In turn, each player becomes the Narrator, choosing a symbol that sparks their imagination and adding to the adventure. It's a great game to play as a family -  everyone contributes, anyone can become a great storyteller and there are no wrong answers.

Story Generator Flashcards - Using the story cubes as inspiration, we made our own set of Story Generator Flashcards! They are available to download and print HERE Place them in a hat, or bowl, or box in the middle of your table. Each family member takes a turn choosing a flashcard and adds a sentence to the story as they go using the card as inspiration.  

 

Make Your Own - Get the kids involved by asking them to draw pictures that can be used as story generators. (We've included a blank page at the end of our Story Generator Flashcards) 

Story Stones - Next time you go for a walk, have the kids search for and collect rocks. Once you get home, the kids can paint pictures on the rocks they find (both sides even!) and then use them in the same way as the Story Cubes and Flashcards. 

Extra Fun - Once you have created a story, the kids can rehearse and perform it as a play! 

Extra Extra Fun - Children can use their story generator cubes, cards, drawings and stones as inspiration to write and illustrate their own book.

Saturday March 28th

Virtual Theme Park Visits

It's no surprise that we at the Canadian Children's Theatre Co. love everything Disney, so let's take a trip to our favourite theme parks this weekend. 

Google Street View allows you to walk through your favourite Disney Parks - Disneyland, Magic Kingdom Park, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Epcot and MORE! You can even enjoy some of the rides virtually from your living room. We've provided some links below. Have a magical weekend!

Frozen Ever After - Epcot

The Seas with Nemo & Friends - Epcot

Space Mountain - Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom

It's a Small World - Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom

Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure - Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom

Peter Pan's Flight - Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom

Pirates of the Caribbean - Adventureland at Magic Kingdom

Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin - Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom

Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway - Disney's Hollywood Studios

Slinky Dog Dash - Disney's Hollywood Studios

Friday March 27th

Play in a Day! - Thomas' Snowsuit

Before you put those snowsuits away for good, let's act out one of our favourite Robert Munsch stories - Thomas' Snowsuit. The kids roar with laughter when we read this story, but acting it out is even more fun!

Be sure to check out our Play-in-a-Day post from Friday March 20th for more information about how we execute an entire play in a day. Here are some tips and tricks especially for Thomas' Snowsuit...

Don't have the right number of actors? Not to worry - the mother can also play the teacher or the principal, you can add a sibling at the beginning, or a custodian or secretary at school. You can have a father instead of a mother in your version, or instead of Thomas, your child can play themselves.  

 

The best part of this story is when the characters get their clothes all mixed up. Have fun when you're choosing costumes. What would a teacher wear? What would a principal wear? You might not have an ugly brown snowsuit, but you can mix and match some winter clothes instead. We use shorts and a t-shirt for Thomas' underwear and a nightgown for the Teacher's underwear. Bathing suits would be fun too! 

You can hold up a sheet for when they have to switch clothes, or they can hide behind the furniture. As they're struggling to get Thomas into his snowsuit behind the sheet, play some fun music - William Tell Overture or Flight of the Bumble Bee.

We can't wait to see what your production looks like. Don't forget to share your videos and pics with us!

Thursday March 26th

Preschool Drop-in Superhero Theme

We sure are missing the little ones who visit us at our Preschool Drop-in Program. On Thursdays moving forward, will be posting the crafts and activities that would normally be featured at Preschool Drop-in that week.

This week we have superheroes on our mind - from medical professionals, to the grocery store employees, to the individuals who are packing, shipping and delivering all the items that we're ordering from the safety of our home. Our world is full of everyday heroes! Become a superhero for the day in honour of all of the heroes of our community keeping us healthy and safe. Be sure to share this with them - send them a picture, tag them in a post, let them know how much they are appreciated. 

  

This superhero cape is made out of a plastic tablecloth, some duct tape and foam shapes. You could use a garbage bag, an old piece of clothing, an old towel, a piece of felt with paper, tape, stickers, markers...whatever you have on hand. 

The superhero crown is made of coloured construction paper, but any paper and some crayons or markers will work too.

We can't wait to see what you create!

Wednesday March 25th

Kids Choreography

It's time to get up and dance!

This is a fun and engaging way for children to choreograph their own dance routines to their favourite songs. First, cut up some strips of paper and write down as many dance moves as you can think of. They can be anything from a classic plie or skip, to a more modern dab or floss, to an old favourite Macarena or Hand Jive.  Put all of the dance moves into a hat or a bowl or a box. Then borrow a dice from a board game. Have the kids pick a dance move from the hat (ie. raise the roof), then roll the dice (it's a 6!). Write down the first part of their dance routine - Raise the Roof 6 times - then choose another dance move and roll the dice again! 

For a more advanced option, the children can choose their favourite song and go through the dance moves to see which ones would suit that song the best. They can then listen to the song and create their own dance routine, with or without using the dice.  

Once they've rehearsed their dance routine, they can choose costumes, clear a stage area, set up an audience and perform their very own dance recital!

What song will you be dancing to today? Be sure to share your photos and videos with us!

Tuesday March 24th

Comedy Club

Kids love jokes and riddles and we could all use a good laugh right now, so why not create your own Kids Comedy Club right in your living room?

Have the kids choose their favourite jokes or find some new ones. If you don't have a joke book at home, a simple 'Jokes for Kids' search will provide them with an endless selection. You can also get more specific. If your kids love animals, search for 'Animal Jokes for Kids'. If they love sports, search for 'Sports Jokes for Kids'. You can even find Knock Knock jokes with their name in it! 

Once they find their favourites, create your own comedy club. Make a sign, create a microphone, find a drum and cymbals to create a ba-dum-ching sound effect...you can even invite family and friends to join the audience through FaceTime or Skype! Let's fill the world with laughter today :)

Monday March 23rd

Box of Props

We have all kinds of unique props that the kids love to play with and we often pull out a little bucket of them on the first day of camp for ice breaker and improv games. The first step of this activity is to send the kids around the house on a prop hunt. You might not have a sponge popsicle or a giant pair of plastic scissors, but we bet that the kids will be able to find some unique items in their toy bin, or a whisk from the kitchen, or even a scarf from the front hall closet - anything will do! Here are a couple activities you can do with a box of props...

Prop Charades

Have your child pick an item and then think about what they can turn it into. It can be anything BUT what it is. Turn a whisk into a microphone, or a purse, or a hockey stick, or a pet cat - it just can't be a whisk! Once they decide on an item, they have to keep it a secret. Have them act out what they have turned it into - no talking, just like charades - and the family get to guess where their imagination has taken them. Once someone guesses, pass the item on to someone else and see what they can come up with. Then take turns with all of the other items the kids have collected.

Prop Skits

Choose 2 to 3 props from your collection. Have the kids act out a story that incorporates all of the chosen props. They can do this improv-style, or they can rehearse it for a while and then present it, or they can write a story and act it out. There are endless combinations and possibilities for endless hours of imaginative fun!

Saturday March 21st

Musicals and Shows you can watch online

This one is especially for our older participants looking for more content, but there are great family options too!

Discover a musical you've never seen before or enjoy an old favourite! Broadway World has made a list of musicals and shows that you can watch from the comfort of your couch! Follow the link below for a complete list including options on Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Prime Video and Broadway HD (offering a free 7-day trial right now).

Broadway From Home

Friday March 20th

Play-in-a-Day! - Mortimer

Friday at March Break Camp features our Play-in-a-Day program! We couldn't think of a better activity for the rainy, windy day that we are having here in Aurora. This is one of our most popular workshops we offer as it takes children through the entire theatrical process in one day - from planning, to casting, to creating backdrops and props, to costume design, to blocking, to acting and all the way to a performance! Here are some steps you can follow at home...

Choose a story - a family favourite, a well-known fairy tale, or something new. We were planning to perform Mortimer by Robert Munsch with our campers today so we will use that as our example.

Read and discuss the story. We talk about our favourite parts, the characters, the setting, the props required, and then we make a list - our production meeting portion of the day.

Casting and read-through. Decide who will play which role(s). The great thing about Mortimer is that you have the majority of the characters right in your own home! There is a child, their parents, their siblings...and a couple of police officers. You can either double-cast for the roles you don't have or create puppets or print colouring pages. Don't have seventeen brothers and sisters? Tailor the story to fit your needs. Read through the story with each actor saying their lines - embellish, ad lib, elaborate as much as you want. 

Setting. In our program we paint backdrops on banner paper for the different settings of the play. If you don't have large paper rolls at home, you can simply draw smaller ones that you can hang up, or use furniture or items from around the house to create the settings. In the case of Mortimer, you could simply act out the story in your home - start in the living room, go up the stairs, to your child's bedroom, and then back down again.

 

Props. We were planning to make some homemade noisemakers and shakers for the children to use while they sing "Clang, clang, rattle bing bang..." You can use anything from around the house - a water bottle filled with pasta, a tupperware container filled with rice, or google homemade instruments. For other stories, create a scavenger hunt around the house to find the props that you need. You can also print colouring pages of the items, or have the children make them as a craft. 

 

Costumes. For Mortimer, all you need are pyjamas! Don't have a police uniform? Find some blue clothing or add a badge to a suit jacket. If you're working on another story, get creative! Use a grey blanket for the big bad wolf, a yellow scarf for Rapunzel's hair, pink clothing for the three little pigs...

 

Act it Out. This is the fun part! Act out the story and add as much creative flare as you can. Practice all day long, or only once - whatever suits you. 

 

It's Showtime! Although we can't invite neighbours, family or friends to this performance, get creative! Use Facetime to perform for Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Friends or record it and watch it later. Just be sure to take lots of pictures and share them with us :)

 

This program can be as simple or as complex as you choose. The children can simply act out portions of a book as you read it, or it can be tailored to last a full week - stretch it out, work on a different component each day and then perform it at the end of the week!

Looking for more? Munsch at Play and Munsch at Play Act 2 are two great resources available from Indigo or Amazon featuring some of Robert Munsch's classic stories, turned into plays. 

Thursday March 19th

First Day of Spring Crafts

Spring arrives today! 

We would like to share with you our favourite spring crafts that would be featured at our Preschool Drop-in Program at this time of year. Don't have all of the materials? Don't worry, we have provided some alternatives. Don't have those supplies either? Let your imagination run wild and simply use these pictures as inspiration for outdoor activities, songs to sing or imaginative games to play. 

Umbrella Craft

We turned half a paper plate into an umbrella with foam shapes to make a flower design, but kids could use stickers, stamps or crayons to make it their own. We cut a handle and raindrops out of construction paper. Don't have yarn to hang the raindrops? Use gift wrap ribbon or string or narrow strips of paper! Don't have paper plates? Just use paper!

Once your umbrellas are ready, put on Singin' in the Rain and dance around living room looking for imaginary puddles to jump in! 

Growing Flowers

Watch the tulips grow! Cut a slit in 1/4 of the way up a paper plate. Cover the top with blue paper and the bottom with green, cut to look like grass 2/3 of the way up the paper plate to cover the slit. Create flowers using your favourite colours. We glued two to the paper and one to a popsicle stick so children can raise it up and down and watch their garden grow. 

We used a paper plate for this craft, but you could easily use a piece of blue paper. Cut the grass piece a little higher to cover the slit that you make in the blue paper and be sure to only glue the grass along the edges so that the flower can move freely.   

Splashing Boot

Splashing in puddles is a very popular children's activity and if you can't do it outside today, make a craft instead!

Freestyle a puddle shape, cut some raindrops of blue paper, choose their favourite colour for the rain boot and glue it all on a piece of paper. We used bingo dabbers for the polka dots, but kids can use stickers, stamps or simply colour their own design. This version was all made with construction paper, but if you don't have any at home, it can be drawn out and coloured in instead!

Robin's Nest

We are all looking forward to our first robin sighting of the year. Hang one in your house to get the kids excited about their arrival. 

The pieces of this robin and the nest were all cut out of construction paper, but you could cut the pieces out of white paper, have the kids colour each piece and then glue it all together. Don't have yarn for the nest? Use anything from around the house - torn and crumpled newspaper or magazines work well too!

Wednesday March 18th

Let's Dance!

Wednesday would have been Dance Day at our March Break Camp. So let’s get up and dance!! 
Our students LOVE freeze dance. In addition to putting on their favourite songs and having them dance their hearts out, here are a few creative ideas for freeze dance...

 
The Kiboomers have a wonderful freeze dance album - Freeze Dance Songs for Learning. Search them on YouTube or your favourite music streaming app and choose from Animal, Alphabet, Colors or Party Freeze Dance. Any one of the tracks is always a hit. 

Emoji Freeze: Kids love emojis! Call one out, or show them a pic on your phone and have them dance and freeze like that emoji. 

Fictional Character Freeze Dance: have them dance and freeze like Elsa, Donald Duck, Elmo, Harry Potter, The Cat in the Hat, Peppa Pig, Mary Poppins...

Object Freeze Dance: How would a whisk dance? Or a fork? Or a snowflake? Or a ball? Or a tree? Or an airplane? The options are endless!
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Located at:

75 Mary Street, Unit #11

Aurora, ON, L4G 1G3

Tel.: 416-995-4486

Email: jennifer.martin@childrenstheatre.ca