Performing Arts programs provide an excellent avenue to encourage speech and language skills in children. Learning happens best during fun and engaging multisensory experiences, such as acting out a story, dancing to music, or singing a new song. Through performing arts programs, children gain opportunities to socialize with other children, follow directions, engage in pretend-play, further develop creativity and imagination, build narrative language skills and cultivate expressive language skills. This blog highlights 5 top performing arts programs in the Chicago area for children of all ages, including a program designed for children on the Autism spectrum.
5 Top Performing Arts Programs in Chicago for Speech and Language Development:
- Dream Big Performing Arts Workshop: Dream Big offers a variety of performing arts camps and classes for children ages 2 through 18. Classes encourage children to explore dramatic play, creative movement, music, team-work, self-expression and creativity while having fun singing, dancing, and playing games. Classes are separated by ages: “Spotlighters” (2 years), “Mini Showstoppers” (3-5 and 4-6 years), “Moving Stories” and “Creative Drama” (3-5, 5-7 years). Programs also include customized, age-appropriate parties that include singing, dancing, theatre games and other drama fun!
- Emerald City Theater: Emerald City Theater offers a variety of performing arts camps, classes and programs for children ages 3½ through 13. Classes encourage exploration of movement, silly poems and rhyming, storytelling skills, imagination, and early character work. Classes are separated by ages and include “Cat in the Hat” (3½-5 years) and “Rock Musicals” (5-8 years). Other programs offered include birthday parties, after school programs, in-school classes, and teacher development.
- Starland: Starland offers unique classes and camps in a variety of creative arts. Classes are separated by age and include “Wonderful Ones” (12-23 months), “Tiny Tots” (20-30 months), “Mommy and Me Pre-Ballet” (1½ – 2½) and “Terrific Twos” (2 years). Programs encourage development of gross and fine motor skills, body awareness, pretend play skills, imagination, and social/emotional skills.
- Compass Creative Dramatics: Compass Creative Dramatics works together with schools and community organizations to provide engaging theater programming designed that foster enrichment in arts, personal growth and character. Compass Creative Dramatics also offers a variety of performing arts camps around the Chicagoland area, including Chicago, Waukegan, Sheboygan, and Bedford, IN. Camps encourage kids to have fun and explore dramatic arts while making new friends and building imagination.
- Chicago Children’s Theater: Chicago Children’s Theater provides children and families with various classes and camps to foster creativity, social interaction, confidence and fun. Camps and classes are separated by ages: “Glee Club” (9-13 years), “Tiny Sparks” (3-5 years), and “Summer Camp” (9-13 years). Chicago Children’s Theater also offers a unique camp called “Camp Red Kite,” specifically tailored to meet the needs and interests of children on the Autism spectrum. This camp aims to encourage self-expression, social engagement, creative exploration and fun through a shared arts experience.
Click here to read about outdoor activities to promote speech and language development in your child. To learn about North Shore Pediatric Therapy’s Speech-Language Pathology Program, click here.