20 July 2022

How to prepare your child for a theatre show

The pandemic has stopped many families from enjoying exciting activities together, but now attractions are open again, you have the chance to introduce your kids to the magic that London has to offer. If you’ve got tickets to one of the fantastic London theatre shows for children, and you want to ensure they’re properly prepared before they take their seat, here are some top tips.

Talk about the show

A great way to get your child prepared for a show is to talk to them in advance about what they might expect. You can start by telling them several days ahead that you’ll be going to the theatre, and explaining that there will be singing and dancing, and warning them that it will be quite loud. You can also brief them on the story – if, for example, you’re seeing The Tiger Who Came to Tea, it’s a good idea to read them the book first.

Book the right seats

Children’s plays are going to be full of little ones, so most members of the audience will understand if you need to get up during the performance, but if you suspect your child might need to get out of their seat more than others – if they’re only just potty trained, for example – make sure you choose a seat that’s on or close to the aisle.

Arrive in plenty of time

Keep stress levels low by allowing yourself plenty of time to get to the theatre. Take a toilet break and get them into their seat 10 or 15 minutes before the show starts, so that if they need a booster or cushion to help them see better, you have time to find an usher and request one.

Bring snacks

The best West End shows for kids are scheduled for their attention span, and are usually around an hour long with no interval. This makes it much easier to manage young children. But even if they’ve had a good breakfast or lunch, kids get hungry – so bring or buy some snacks and drinks in case they need a top up during the performance.

Keep their needs in mind

All kids react differently to loud noises and new environments, so ensure you have their specific needs in mind when preparing for the theatre trip. If your child struggles with loud noises, for example, it might be worth investing in some ear defenders to stop them getting anxious. If you have an energetic child that loves to dance, don’t insist they stay in their seat for the whole performance – let them get up and dance when it’s appropriate. Children who get easily overwhelmed by lots of sensory stimulation might need a brief break to chill out, so take them into the foyer and let them have some space to calm down if they need it.

The theatre can be a wonderful experience for children if they are well prepared, and there are some excellent productions designed especially for kids, such as the hit show The Tiger Who Came to Tea. Get your London theatre tickets today and introduce the magic of the stage to your little ones.