Creative Play Workshops

Creative Play Workshops: Arts as Intervention for ages 2-5
Creative storytelling, dramatic play, and expressive movement activities reduce stress and support social and emotional development, coping skills, and resiliency. With curriculum development guidance and training from trauma-informed care consultant Kamyala Howard, CTC Teaching Artists align theatre arts based activities with developmentally appropriate strategies for ages 2-5.

expressive movement
creative storytelling with child-led participation
dramatic play with sensory integration
mindfulness activities


Creative Play Workshops are currently in residence at:

Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery works to end abuse and neglect and create strong, healthy families. The Crisis Nursery supports families in crisis through services including overnight residential childcare. The Crisis Nursery shelters children for up to three nights.

People Serving People is the largest and most comprehensive family shelter in Minnesota. PSP helps homeless and at-risk children and their families manage crisis situations and build a strong foundation for their long-term success, including an on-site preschool program.

Center of Excellence for Resilience is new childcare center featuring trauma-informed healing practices for children and families. The Center’s multi-generational approach helps increase the stability of children in our community through direct services–early childhood education, school-age support, and parental engagement—operating upstream from the shelter system to reach families before they need emergency shelter services.

Creative Play: Arts as Intervention Evaluation shows promising practices
: Wilder Research Report 

In 2015, CTC piloted our arts as intervention approach and 'Creative Play' curriculum with over 50 sessions at partnering sites: American Indian Montessori Childcare Center, Early Wonders, Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery, Northside Child Development Center, People Serving People, Way to Grow at Urban Ventures. Wilder Research collected observations from site staff about the Creative Play strategies that had impact on their practices: “When asked what strategies they planned to continue, many described plans to incorporate dramatic play, story-telling activities, and breathing exercises, and to encourage input from the children."

I feel like after our exposure to the trauma-informed creative arts activities we would be able to act out stories using our bodies to create a nurturing environment through social-emotional learning. It will be a wonderful way for kids to express themselves and begin to understand each other.

The stretching and breathing techniques used before each session [were] a great way to get the children's bodies ready for the activities ahead. I plan to use these or similar techniques before my group times.

I will ask the children more open-ended questions about their play and stories we are reading. Allowing time for responses from the children and accepting those responses!

Trauma-Informed Care Consultant: Kamyala Howard, MSW, LICSW has vast experience working with children and families in diverse communities, including early childhood program development, intercultural community relations, direct clinical practice, and executive leadership. Ms. Howard has a range of professional certifications, including certified Adverse Childhood Experiences trainer and an Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Graduate Certification through the University of Minnesota. She is on many advisory councils, such as Voices and Choices for Children and Children and Family Ombudsman, and is a member of the council of advisors for the Center for Early Education and Development within the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. 

CTC acknowledges critical support for the Creative Play Workshops from:

Sheltering Arms (2015-2016)

Englesma Family Foundation (2016-2017)

Minnesota State Arts Board Partners in Arts Participation (2016-2017) supports the Crisis Nursery in their partnership with Children’s Theatre Company. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Sauer Family Foundation (2017-2018)

Learn more about our valued partners:
Center of Excellence
Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery
People Serving People

Contact Education to inquire about a Creative Play residency.

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