Special Topics


 by Esther Jantzen, guest poster

Children love to show their parents or others what they’re doing and learning.  This activity is a way for family members, including the grown-ups, to demonstrate what they are interested in or enjoy. It helps kids become confident when they talk or perform in front of others. It’s wonderful to see the light in their faces when they feel successful! Here is a way to do this activity:

1) Plan a Family Show & Tell evening. Decide the date and time in advance so each person can prepare something to show. Make a big, fun deal of this occasion. You might want to order pizza or make special food, and invite relatives or friends.

2) All family members (even the adults) get time on ‘stage’ and everyone’s undivided attention. Here are some show ideas. You and your children may think of others:

Show a school paper, a drawing, a toy, or something you made. Sing a song or dance to your favorite music.  Show how to crochet, knit, or do origami.  Show how to build or cook something.  Show how to do karate, judo or martial arts. Tell a joke or story, do a comedy routine, an impersonation, or a short skit.  Play a musical instrument. Read a short-short story or a poem or even a rap.

3) Find a space in your house where everyone can sit together. Decide where the ‘presenter’ will stand or sit, and who will go first. (Sometimes you may need to go outside for a presentation.)

4) Let the show begin! If someone is very afraid to do this, let them ‘pass’ and encourage them for the next Showtime! This is intended to be fun. Laugh together and enjoy! Rules for Showtime!

  • Everyone has to listen to or watch the person presenting.
  • Only positive comments are allowed.
  • Everyone claps after each person’s presentation. Make this a family tradition that you do once or twice a year, or even more often!
  • Take a few pictures.

Showtime! supports the English-Language Arts Content Standards related to oral communication, speaking applications, and oral delivery strategies. 

Esther Jantzen, Ed.D, is a mother, an educator and the author of Plus It! How to Easily Turn Everyday Activities into Learning Adventures for Kids available at www.plusitbook.com and the Way to Go! Family Learning Journal available through www.jantzenbooks.com

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One Comment

  • Andrea

    Esther, I always enjoy your contributions. I recently had the opportunity to put together my favorite gift for a pre-schooler…… the famous “dress up box” (or in this case ‘suitcase’). It’s so much fun to see the difference between the combinations I envisioned and the ones the little guys put together.