Drama Games and Acting for Kids: Pantomime Ball Toss
Everybody likes to toss a ball around! This fun activity is a histrionic take on an old game. It is a good opportunity for kids to work together, pay attention to each other, and use their imaginations. It also helps children develop physical awareness of self and theatrical acting skills.
Toss the Object
Bring your class to a large space, either a cafeteria, a gym, or outside if the weather permits. Have them spread out and stand in a big circle. Tell them that they will pantomime a game of catch, but that each person must change the ball, or object, into something else before passing it on.
The teacher begins the game. Bend over and pick up an imaginary object. Take your time with this while the students watch. Mold the imaginary object in your hands, and slowly let it take form. The pace you set and the detail you show will set the tone for how the students perform the activity.
For example, show that you are holding a baseball. By moving your hands around the imaginary ball, you show the students the size and shape of your object.
The way you throw the object to the next person (anybody else in the circle) demonstrates to onlookers what is that size and shape object. To pantomime throwing a baseball, you wind up your arm, lift one leg and lean back on the other, then throw as hard as you can across the circle.
The person you throw to must catch what you threw. Hopefully, each participant will demonstrate an understanding of the object that was thrown to them.
Now, its the next guy's turn! Once he has the baseball, he can make it what he wants. As he molds and shapes the object in his hands, it becomes bigger. It stays round but becomes as big as a basketball. Eventually, he is dribbling his basketball. When ready, he bounces it to another child in the circle.
All About Creativity
This is an exercise in, among other things, creativity, so please don't think objects are limited to balls. The girl who catches the basketball dribbles it for a moment. Then she holds it in her hands, and begins to mold it. It does not seem to change size so much as shape. It seems to have a long tail. Eventually, she demonstrates that she is holding a balloon, and she hands the string to child standing next to her. And so on...
This fun activity is a great way to bring kids together, get them to tune into each other, and prepare to work together in a cooperative manner. It also gets their creative juices flowing, and enhances their sense of physical self-awareness. Enjoy!