Programs & Resources

10 Activities for Performers

Little to no prep required!

Charades or Pictionary

Activity: This is a word guessing game. Players take turns acting out or drawing a word, while other players guess the word.

To prepare:

  • Write, draw or print out cards beforehand.
  • Or use an app to prepare cards: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/charades/id653967729
  • Divide into teams if there are 4 or more people!

Suggestions:

  • Use a variety of words or pictures like action words, emotions, objects or animals!
  • Could work on categorization (e.g. sort “jungle” vs “farm” animals).
  • Could work on asking and answering wh-questions like, “who are you?”, “what are you doing?” or “what is it?”
  • With older kids, could be used to work on tense (i.e. asking what are you doing? “I’m jumping” vs. afterwards, what did you do? “I jumped”)
  • Print doubles of the cards and lay some out to help when guessing!

Dancing

Activities:

  • Choreograph a dance together!
  • Play Freeze Dance – when the music stops, everyone freezes!
  • Musical Chairs – when the music stops everyone sits. The person without a chair is out!
  • Follow the leader – take turns leading the dance, everyone else copies!

To prepare: All you need is your favourite tunes!

Suggestions:

  • Work on turn taking and awareness of others.
  • Could work on words like stop/go, fast/slow, loud/quiet.
  • Work on following directions and sequences (e.g. “first clap, then jump”)

Magic Show

Activity: Entertain yourselves by performing magic and illusions!

To prepare:

Suggestions:

  • Can work on giving and following directions with an assistant.
  • Can work on making long sentences when explaining the trick.
  • Can work on speaking slowly and in a loud and clear voice!

YouTube Tutorials

Activity: Watch or create a mock video for YouTube explaining your favourite activity or something you're good at. This could be anything from baking, yoga, makeup or simply reviewing a toy!

To prepare:

  • Create a script about what you are going to talk about including a beginning, middle and end.
  • Have a recording device such as a iPad or phone.

Suggestions:

  • Could work on following directions.
  • Could work on sequencing skills (e.g. first, then, next)
  • Could work on speaking in full sentences.
  • Work on speaking slowly and in a loud and clear voice!
  • Could watch it back and talk about things you did well, things you could work on or change for next time.

Fashion Show

Activity: Show off your best looks and walk the runway!

To prepare:

  • Gather your favourite articles of clothing and clear space for a runway!
  • Grab a camera and take pictures of each look to talk about it later.

Suggestions:

  • Work on giving and receiving compliments (e.g. I like your____/ I didn’t like____).
  • Could work on giving and following directions (e.g. Put on____/ Take off____).
  • Could work on clothing or body part vocabulary, descriptions (e.g. soft, fuzzy, wrinkly, colourful, etc.) and prepositions (on, off, under, over, etc.)

Talent Show

Activity: perform the arts of singing, dancing, lip-syncing, acting, martial arts, playing an instrument, saying poetry, telling jokes or other activities to showcase skills!

To prepare:

  • Grab any materials you may need.
  • Grab some chairs for your audience.

Suggestions:

  • Work on giving and receiving compliments (e.g. I liked____)
  • Can work on speaking slowly and in a loud and clear voice!
  • Could use online platforms like Zoom or Google Hangout to create a virtual talent show with other friends or family and take turns performing for them!

Karaoke

Activity: Sing along to your favourite songs!

To prepare: If you don’t have a karaoke machine accessible, use a computer or iPad to access YouTube. YouTube has plenty of songs available for karaoke if you search it with the words “with Lyrics” or “Karaoke version”.

Suggestions:

  • Could work on reading comprehension of your favourite songs!
  • Can work on speaking slowly and in a loud and clear voice!

Makeovers or Spa Day

Activity: Relieve stress by getting pampered at home!

To prepare:

  • Grab your favourite nail polishes, face masks, make up and outfits!
  • Take turns giving each other a make-over or some much desired pampering!

Suggestions:

  • Talk about what you’re doing to each other (e.g. I am going to____).
  • Talk about what you’d like done in full sentences (e.g. I would like____ or Can I have____ or Can you____).
  • Talk about what you like about your look and what you would change (e.g. I like my____ or I don’t like my____).

Puppet Shows or Shadow Play

Activity: Use puppets to create a story!

To prepare:

  • Grab puppets or create ones out of paper bags or mismatched socks you have around the house!
  • For shadow play, grab a light source that can be shone directly at a wall. Cut-out shapes and put them on popsicle sticks or use your hand shapes to make characters. An online tutorial can be found here.

Suggestions:

  • Could work on narrative development, creating stories with a beginning, middle and end. Address elements of the story like: setting, characters, problem, solution.
  • Work on perspective taking and emotional awareness through role-playing, by talking about what you’re thinking and feeling.

Minute to Win It

Activity: Like the TV gameshow, complete 60-second challenges that use objects that are commonly available around your house.

To prepare: Grab the items you will need for the challenges. An example of challenges you can recreate at home can be found here.

Suggestions:

  • Talk about what you’re doing like a sports announcer! Work on vocabulary of common items in your house and action words (e.g. shake, pull, eat, squish, etc.)
  • Work on giving and following directions (e.g. “When I say go, you shake!”)
  • Work on being a good teammate by practicing encouraging words you could say, “Good job!” or “Congratulations!”

References

FatChicken Studios. (2019). Charades!. Family Game Night.
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/charades/id653967729

Kilpatrick Mascott, Amy. (2017). Minute to win It games for kids and family. Teach Mama.
https://teachmama.com/minute-win-games-kids-family/

Kostelyk, Sharla. (2011). Family fun night – Minute to win it. Chaos And The Clutter [Image].
https://www.thechaosandtheclutter.com/archives/family-fun-night-minute-to-win-it

Scribble. (2012). How to make shadow puppets with your hand [Video]. YouTube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz8wP2RYy64

Unknown. (2020). First down syndrome magician to perform magic shows [Image]. Asia World Records.
http://www.asiabookofrecords.com/first-down-syndrome-magician-to- perform-magic-shows/suresh-nayak-floating-levitaion/

Unknown. (2018). This 18-year-old model with down syndrome is planning to change the world [Image]. Wow! Amazing. https://www.wowamazing.com/heartwarming/humanity/this- 18-year-old-model-with-down-syndrome-is-planning-to-change-the-world/

WhatsUpMoms. (2017). 5 Play | Magic tricks kids can do! [Video]. YouTube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2tDK9wfCYs

Down Syndrome Resource Foundation
1409 Sperling Avenue, Burnaby
British Columbia, Canada
V5B 4J8

Fax: +1 604 431 9248
Phone: +1 604 444 3773
E-mail: info@dsrf.org