Over the 15 years of OTC Comedy, we have taught improv to people of all ages. Some of the youngest I have worked with are four and five year olds. LIttle kids have the best imaginations!
We play a game with groups of tiny kids called 'Environments'. The class gets split into two groups and they take turns being the audience and the performers. The audience shouts out different environments and the performers show you how you would act/walk in that place. I love this game. I've seen kids walk on a princess castle moon, a volcano, the bottom of the ocean, inside a giant's nose, an amusement park made of fire, and a princess castle forest. I've seen kids run around screaming 'while on fire', playing basketball with giant's boogers, running in slow-mo being chased by a shark, dance around a forest castle yelling at forest animals, jump around a moon castle, and running around screaming for unknown reasons. It's the best.
I've always found it soooooo interesting/sad when kids get to an age where their imaginations start to fade. Or do we get to an age where we become embarrassed by our imaginations?
I was teaching a class, about two years ago, to a group of sixth graders. The majority of the group was so hesitant to get involved. There was a lot of giggling, but not very much participation. One day, as a warm-up, I had asked them to tell me what they were doing for Spring Break. I said, "and this is a great opportunity to use a little improv. Say whatever you want. There are absolutely no limits on your Spring Break story. Who wants to go first?" A youth raised his hand and said, "I'm going to do homework."
I reminded them that they could say anything they wanted. Another youth raised his hand and said, "we might go to St. George and see my grandma."
I reminded them that they could say anything they wanted. Another youth raised his hand and said, "I'm going to go to the moon and pick up some hot alien chicks and take them to dinner. Then, I'm going to have them help me create a flag so I can claim the moon as my own nation."
I was so excited. Until one kid said, "you can't go to the moon. That's dumb."
I can't remember how I asked the question, but it was something about them using their imaginations. The kid who thought going to the moon was dumb said, "Leah. We are twelve. This stuff isn't cool."
"That's sad to my face," I said. "It should always be cool. One day, I hope soon, you will realize it's the best. Use your imagination. Do it."
And, today, my Cedar City Off the Cuff family...I say the same to you. USE YOUR IMAGINATION. DO IT. It's not just for improvisers and kids, yo.