Theatre tips & treats for families looking for online half term entertainment

In Audio, Children's theatre, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Online shows, Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Touring by The Family StageLeave a Comment

After a gruelling half term of home learning, families across the country are gearing up for another half term holiday with nowhere to go. But staying at home doesn’t have to mean having nothing to do, with a wide range of online activities available to entertain children of all ages. In this blog, we’ve rounded up some of our top tips for keeping things creative while cooped up with the kids this half term.

1. Find new favourite shows with Children’s Theatre Digital (ages 0-12)
With a wealth of family-friendly theatre available online, it can be difficult to know where to look. But things have got a whole lot easier thanks to Children’s Theatre Digital, a new website which curates content for up to age 12 from around the world. It’s divided into handy categories, including interactive, multi-sensory and screen-free, and lots of the content is directly playable from the site, making it easier than ever to beam high quality, family-friendly theatre into your living room.

2. Spend Half Term at Half Moon (ages 3-12)
Family theatre specialists Half Moon Theatre has you covered this half term, with two shows (Dust for ages 4-9 and Guantanamo Boy for ages 12+) streaming for free all week and a Winter Warmer Festival featuring an array of activities including storytelling, crafts and music and drama. Half Moon also has more exciting shows coming up online this season.

3. Go on a living room woodland adventure
Creating new adventures for families to enjoy this half term, PDSW has co-commissioned Second Hand Dance’s Night Tree. This magical film is about one very  special tree and a family’s gift to all the creatures in the wintry woods. Based on Eve Bunting’s book of the same name, this wonderfully endearing story encourages generosity in caring for  nature and each other in a gentle sensory journey to explore from home. A special vegan, gluten and nut free woodland picnic can be ordered from PDSW’s local independent Green Label Kitchen to accompany the films for those based in the Bournemouth area.

The film is accompanied by a free print-at-home activity pack that includes details on  how to create your own forest floor, bird feeder, and drawings and how to make a delicious hot  chocolate. On Saturday and Sunday, there will also be a chance to learn to Ceilidh with the team  from Second Hand Dance in a Zoom workshop inspired by the Night Tree.

Accessibility: Night Tree will have both audio described and captioned versions available; the activity pack is also available in an audio format; the Zoom workshop will have BSL and closed captions available.

4. Pick up Good Vibrations with Sonia Sabri Company

Sonia Sabri Company have a free online festival taking place over half term. Lok Virsa: Good Vibrations is now in its 7th year and it celebrates some of the rarely experienced traditional and folkloric art of music, crafts and dance rooted in the lands of the Indian subcontinent. They would usually hold the festival at a theatre or arts centre but this year they are hosting it online with an eclectic programme of incredible UK based and international artists.All the events are free and include dance workshops, performances, music and arts & crafts workshops.

Head over to their website www.ssco.org.uk for the full festival schedule or take a look at their Facebook page to book your FREE place on the arts and crafts workshops.Join in the fun and help spread positivity, promote healing and unite communities.

5. Go on an interactive online adventure with Sir Willoughby’s Challenge (ages 6-12)

Greenwich Theatre: 12 to 20 February (Tickets £15)

Although Greenwich Theatre’s live Christmas production of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase was cancelled due to Covid-19, the accompanying interactive adventure Sir Willoughby’s Challenge is available to play this half term. Join members of the cast live from the Greenwich Theatre stage for an interactive, online scavenger hunt. There are slots available at 11am and 2pm every day, and the experience lasts 45 minutes. Find out more and buy tickets here.

6. Choose your own adventure

The Anarchist’s Mobile Library (ages 6+)

Greenwich Theatre: 20 to 21 February (Tickets £10)

Another interactive online experience coming up at Greenwich Theatre is The Anarchist’s Mobile Library. Available in audio and BSL format, this choose your own adventure style format was an absolute hit in our house. Check out our review here then find out more and book tickets here.

Select A Quest (ages 6+)

From Oliver-nominated Pins and Needles Productions and award-winning writer Bea Roberts, comes a new, interactive online adventure, Select A Quest. A stimulating and entertaining mission for ages 6+. Expect a vibrant mix of mystery, silliness and fun as families get together to explore the 27 scenes set across six levels, leading to one winner, one curse and a whole lot o’violent deaths. Select a Quest offers audiences an eclectic and innovative theatrical experience in the comfort of your own home. With multiple paths to choose from, once you start it will be hard to leave. Read our review here.

7. Play at home

Put on a play with Fly High Stories (ages 4 -9)

After all this stagey activity , you might feel inspired to create your own. show. Head to Fly High Stories where you can find plenty of projects, including short scripts for small people written by some of the biggest names in the business! They have extended their Christmas 12 Tiny Plays project to last through lockdown, so check it out while you still can!

Make your own musical (ages 6-14)

Head to Make Your Own Musicals where you can buy a downloadable children’s activity pack that has everything they need to put together their own performance (including a writing guide, backing track and sound effects). With several themes to choose from, the activity packs are suitable for ages 6-14 (but with help suggested for under 8s) and can be ordered for either solo performers or groups. Perfect for keeping stagey kids occupied at home. And, as a bonus, you’ll have another show to watch at the end too!

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The Family Stage
The Family Stage is a blog following the lives of two musical mad mums who are attempting to sustain their theatregoing habit after adopting two little girls. Born out of Mummy’s indecision over whether to become a theatre blogger or mummy blogger, it attempts to straddle the boundary between the two worlds. But with family life revolving around extracurricular activities of the performing arts variety, and weekends filled with family theatre, Mummy finds that her musings remain distinctly stagey. When the munchkins are in bed, Mummy and Mrs Mummy take it in turns to go to grown-up shows, ensuring that they have something to talk about besides children.
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The Family Stage on FacebookThe Family Stage on RssThe Family Stage on Twitter
The Family Stage
The Family Stage is a blog following the lives of two musical mad mums who are attempting to sustain their theatregoing habit after adopting two little girls. Born out of Mummy’s indecision over whether to become a theatre blogger or mummy blogger, it attempts to straddle the boundary between the two worlds. But with family life revolving around extracurricular activities of the performing arts variety, and weekends filled with family theatre, Mummy finds that her musings remain distinctly stagey. When the munchkins are in bed, Mummy and Mrs Mummy take it in turns to go to grown-up shows, ensuring that they have something to talk about besides children.

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