A Family Play

Toddler using a puppet during playtime at day care

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to retell stories and take on roles. Dramatic arts activities like this one build language and vocabulary, help children learn about literary elements, such as character and plot and develop creativity and imagination.

Materials Needed:

  • Simple props

Participants: This activity is intended for adult/child interaction.


  1. Read a favorite picture book or folktale together. Talk about the characters. What do they look like? What do they sound like? Describe the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
  2. Say to your child, “Let’s retell the story, but this time, let’s be the characters. Who would you like to be?” As you retell the story, encourage your child to take on the role and dialogue of the chosen character. Keep it casual and fun, offering prompts when needed.
  3. Try putting on a simple play or puppet show of the story. If your child is interested, add a few props or costumes. Record the show to share with extended family and friends.
Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
Toddler using a puppet during playtime at day care

Recommended for you