I took the children to the theatre today for Kids Week. Having two under three there was slim pickings so we opted for "The Tiger Who Came to Tea." We used the trip as an opportunity to bring the book to life. Prior to the trip we read the story as well as age appropriate books about tigers, painted tigers and had tea parties in readiness.
We had children aged one to five with us and they were all delighted by it. It is advertised for age 3+ but my one year old was enthralled and loved it. I was anxious she'd be scared of the tiger but he was a friendly, bright orange creature who she loved waving at and watching. I think knowing the book prior to the trip really helped her. The show, at fifty five minutes, was a perfect length. A few bits of audience participation, both dancing and singing, meant there wasn't a moment for them to be bored.
However, the journey to and from London seemed epic. Stairs and escalators meant that it wasn't really a pushchair friendly trip and we all came home exhausted and I questioned if it really was a worthwhile event.
However, at bedtime, the Tiger That Came to Tea was chosen and the children listened with a greater interest than before and I knew that the trip had fulfilled the aim. Bringing a well known story to life through the theatre really got the children to connect with the story and it made it more real for them. Despite reservations about the journey and hustle and bustle of London, nurturing a child's imagination, creativity and interest in books is priceless and thus the day out was completely worthwhile. Now, what shall we go and see next?