Bite-sized brain snacks for Chicago’s early learners.
A family talent show is a wonderful way to celebrate each member's unique talents and encourage continual learning! Announce your plan to host a family talent show in a few days. Invite each family member to participate by writing his or her name and a talent or skill on a sign-up list. On the day of your show, use your list to welcome each person to the stage with a round of applause!
Each member of your family is unique and will shine in different ways! By celebrating funny talents or newly acquired skills, you are honoring each person in a special way. You are saying, "We see you and we love you because you're YOU!" This builds self-awareness and confidence in one's own personal qualities. A family talent show is also a completely free way to help children practice being respectful audience members. By watching and applauding for other family members, your child is learning to see and appreciate the personal qualities and contributions of others.
Take a moment to talk with your child after you've had a family talent show. Ask, "How did you feel before the show? Were you excited? Nervous? How did you feel while you were performing? What were you thinking about? How did it make you feel to hear your family clapping for you?" You may want to write down some of your child's thoughts in your family journal. This may be helpful to revisit the next time your child has to try something new or intimidating!
Some children may feel too shy to stand and perform in front of everyone. That's okay! Be creative. Ask your child what might make him or her feel more comfortable. Reassure that no matter what, your family is there to encourage. Other children may not be able to think of any talents. Help them brainstorm a list of the talents or skills that you see in them!
Some children may seem too confident and want to dominate the talent show! Take care to not squelch their confidence. Have a gentle conversation about what makes them want to show so many skills and talents. How does doing that make them feel? Then, ask them to consider sharing that feeling with other family members by allowing "air time" for everyone. It may be that this child just needs to be reassured that this isn't a one-time event. Make plans now for another family talent show and encourage the child to save a few surprises for the next one!
"The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes" by Mark Pett.
Don't keep all the fun to just your family! Invite your friends and neighbors to participate in a small community talent show. Let your children take the lead in planning and organizing. There are so many opportunities for practical and authentic learning! How many people will participate? How long will it take if each talent is about a minute long? Children can write and announce from a simple "program" of events.