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Get in on the Act | Toddler Crafts

Get in on the Act

What can a slew of grandkids give a grandparent who has it all? How about a seriously good laugh?

That's exactly what the Mead family cooked up for Bammy Mead's 80th birthday: a three-act play that kept her in stitches and tears for about 45 minutes. Each act covered one stage of her life - girlhood, motherhood, and grandmotherhood - and touched on both monumental and silly events, from the day her sweetheart proposed to the time she escaped a speeding ticket by handing a flabbergasted police officer a letter to mail (it's a long story!).

The night before Bammy's party, FamilyFun.com staffer Sam Mead and his four siblings whipped up a script. The next morning, six other grandkids volunteered to act it out, and a seventh to narrate. With one quick rehearsal and scavenged costumes, the play went off without a hitch. After the curtain call, the gang presented Bammy with the handwritten script, glued on card stock and bound with string.

Materials

  • Signed copy of the script
  • Card stock
  • Glue

Instructions

  1. Collect stories from family members and pick the best ones. The Meads did this the night before, but we recommend starting at least a month in advance.
  2. Ask for a few volunteers to draft the play and assign parts. To cut back on memorization, keep the dialog to a minimum and let the narrator tell most of the story, or simply encourage your actors to ad-lib.
  3. Send the script to all of the participants. If you'd like to rehearse in advance of the gathering but your clan lives far apart, assign each skit or act to a single family. Decide on any costumes or props.
  4. Mount or print a copy of the script - signed by all of the participants - on card stock to give to the guest of honor. And consider taking some snapshots of the play to add later on.