Most of us have memories of taking part in the school nativity or Christmas play. Those of us that are now parents will also remember with pride our young children taking part. Most parents want their children to have a speaking part in the play but far too often the child gets very nervous and can't be heard. This can actually be very stressful for your child so you will want to make this as much of an enjoyable experience as possible.
Try to practise at home with your child but make sure you keep it fun. Although you want the words to be heard don't put too much pressure on your child. The play will be just as memorable and meaningful even if there are a few mistakes in it. One of the biggest problems with children is that they speak too quietly when performing and too quickly. You will have to continually remind them to slow down.
The first thing they should do is learn the words - until the words are in their head they will always struggle with expression. They will be trying to remember too many things at once. If the words are memorised they will be spoken with little effort so that all the effort can be put into the actual performance of the words.
When you practise, make sure your child doesn't speak too quickly. Encourage them to open their mouth wide enough for the sound to get out and make sure they pause at the end of a sentence.
If they practise in front of a mirror they will be able to see if they open their mouths wide enough for the sound to get out of their mouth.
Try to get them to practise while they are standing or sitting away from you. Practising in the kitchen is great but imagine the size of the school hall and try to put as much distance between you and your child as possible.
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