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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wake Up Brother Bear

Disclosure: The littles and I were invited to preview Wake Up Brother Bear during their final dress rehearsal and received a copy of the book Wake Up Brother Bear. All opinions are my own. 

Finding things that will entertain and educate a toddler all at the same time is not always an easy task. They don't always go hand in hand. Even story time at the library while geared to their age doesn't always keep their attention (I've seen the best librarians get flustered the toddlers would rather wiggle than listen to a story they've never heard before) 

My oldest went twice on field trips to the Magik Theater and when Lexie was itty bitty, we saw the A Pirates Holiday, one of the Magik Theater's traveling shows. However the shows aren't something I'd think of when playing something for a younger toddler. Sure I'd probably bring them along if I was taking an older sibling but I'd likely worried they might not get through the entire show. 

The Magik Theaters's newest show however is specifically thought out to entertain our littlest ones.  This show is part of a collaboration with Imagination, a leader in theater for the very young. In this show, your littles will be able to not only watch the performance but also interact with it in developmentally appropriate ways.  

This special performance took place in the Pearl Studio and instead of seats and a stage, we all sat around the 'stage' - a grass (turf) circle - criss, cross applesauce style, right on the edge of the action and there were no bad seats! All the little received a bag with props inside to use to interact with the show when it was time.  Lexie LOVED these props - especially the flower and flashlight. 

During the show the children sat totally enthralled by the show. At appropriate times they were invited to participate in the show using the props they had received or props that were laid out on the performance area already. 

All the different movement and sensory opportunities to participate helped break up the time the littles were sitting.  Even when the littles weren't participating directly, the actors had their complete attention with their captivating story-telling skills.  

Toddlers especially love and learn a lot through repetition. If you've ever been around a toddler, then I'm sure you know they love to hear the same stories and songs over and over. I love that the show uses some familiar songs and a variation on a familiar story within the play because it gave the littles the sense of comfort of the familiar while still letting them experience something new.  

The props are collected as part of the play (because they had to go to bed of course - a classic toddler tool to pick up things) after being used so if you have a two year old like mine that loves to hold onto little things like mine be prepared to help them put their props up when asked. Lexie did have trouble giving up her flashlight and I was worried she would be upset the rest of the play, thankfully the play was so captivating that she quickly forgot about it (until the play was over at least.)  

If you are interested in taking your toddler (and by all means I think it's fabulous and you should go!) Wake Up Brother Bear will run Saturdays at 9:30am and Sundays at 11am December 13, 14th, 20th and 21st at the Pearl Studio. After the holidays, the show will be available to tour daycares, schools and libraries in South Texas.  

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