Act It Out


  • Favorite children’s book
  • Paper, markers, themed stickers, pictures cut-outs*

*Use with Activity Alternatives and Challenge Boosters

Step by Step Fun!

Read the book aloud and act it out, assigning each child a role. Set the scene, discuss the sequence, position everyone, and call "Action!" Encourage action using words and movements.

Activity Alternatives

  • Simplify Storyline: Break down the story into smaller segments or use stories with recurring phrases. Have the children act out only the repeated phrase as you narrate.
  • Visual Storyboard: Create a visual timeline for the story to aid understanding.
  • Incorporate Sensory Elements: Enhance engagement with textured props, scents, sounds, and lighting changes.
  • For children who need speech-language supports or with limited speech:
    • Encourage non-verbal communication: Foster the use of gestures, facial expressions, props, and a communication device in addition to words and sounds.
  • For children with mobility limitations:
    • Provide accessible props and adapt scenes for comfortable enactment from any position.
    • Encourage expression through facial, vocal, or prop-related movements.

Challenge Boosters

  • Add creative expression by acting out alternative endings or new scenes.
  • "Get in Character" by dressing up/using more complex props. Provide materials they use to create costumes/props to further elevate the challenge.
  • Create a storybook collage. Children draw or place stickers/pictures to represent key scenes in the story on separate pieces of paper and arrange the pieces to create a visual representation.

Schedule Booster: Enact familiar stories during routine car rides.

Benefits of Play

  • Cognitive development: Helps children address detail, process tasks, and execute in sequential order – critical skills for learning and follow through on daily routines.
  • Emotional/self expression and empathy: Acting out scenes allows the child to understand and manage their feelings while stepping into the shoes of various characters.
  • Bonding/relationships: Collaborative activities strengthen bonds with family and peers.
  • Imagination and creativity: Encourages the child to create and explore new scenarios.
  • Language development & communication: Enhances vocabulary, active listening, and verbal turn-taking. Provides the opportunity for playmates to practice taking turns in conversation.
  • Physical development: Movement and coordination involved in acting facilitate to motor skills.