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Let’s Meet the Bard! A Midsummer Night’s Dream

April 23rd is William Shakespeare’s birthday, so what better way to celebrate than with this activity!

Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest British writer of all time, but his plays and poems can sometimes be quite difficult to read for adults, so how can we get our Early Years interested? Here is a fun activity based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It is best suited for older children in any size of group.

Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this activity today:

What you will need:

  • The CBeebies Storytime app on a tablet or other device, to watch their simplified version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
  • Paper cups
  • Paper straws
  • Crepe or tissue paper in a few different colours
  • Scissors
  • Grey or brown paint
  • Sticky tape

Preparing the activity:

  1. Cut out circles of crepe paper (about the diameter of the top of a pint glass).
  2. Poke a small hole in the middle of the paper circles.
  3. Tape a straw to the inside of each cup so it stands up on one side.
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Doing the activity:

Watch the CBeebies version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the children. Encourage them to talk about what they liked about the story. What points of the story can they remember? Enable a discussion about what they would do if they had a magic wishing flower of their own.

Help each child pick two or three circles of crepe paper for their flower, poke the top of the straw through and then secure with sticky tape.

The children can now paint the “plant pot” cups with the grey/brown paint and leave to dry.

Once dry, encourage the children to make a wish and blow on the flower, just like Oberon did in the story!

William Shakespeare on engraving from the 1850s. English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language.
Image from Yayimages

Tracking the activity:

30-50 months

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Self-confidence and self-awareness: “Can select and use activities and resources with help.”

Communication and Language: Listening and attention: “Listens to stories with increasing attention and recall.”

Communication and Language: Speaking: “Beginning to use more complex sentences to link thoughts (e.g. using and, because).; Can retell a simple past event in correct order (e.g. went down slide, hurt finger).”

Expressive arts and design: Exploring and using media and materials: “Uses various construction materials.”

40-60+ months

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Self-confidence and self-awareness: “Confident to speak to others about own needs, wants, interests and opinions.”

Communication and Language: Listening and attention: “Maintains attention, concentrates and sits quietly during appropriate activity.”

Communication and Language: Understanding: “Listens and responds to ideas expressed by others in conversation or discussion.”

Communication and Language: Speaking: “Links statements and sticks to a main theme or intention.; Uses talk to organise, sequence and clarify thinking, ideas, feelings and events.”

Expressive arts and design: Exploring and using media and materials: “Understands that different media can be combined to create new effects.; Manipulates materials to achieve a planned effect.; Constructs with a purpose in mind, using a variety of resources.”