The Biggest Little House in the Forest Children’s Theatre Company February 3, 2015 to March 15, 2015
When I reviewed Snowflake, I took my whole family and wished I had left the little ones at home. Biggest Little House is recommended for ages 2 to 5, so I only took my 3-year-old. Through the whole show, I was wishing I had brought my older kids. It is definitely a preschool play, but I think my older ones would have appreciated the puppetry and storytelling and possibly incorporated some of that into their own imagination play.
I found the play sweet and easy to enjoy. I may have enjoyed watching my son engage in the story more than the play itself. There is a lot to love when you are three: bubbles, feathers, and disco lights for dancing on top of a story told by and expert storyteller. My older kids would have enjoyed it, too — but three is the magic age in my opinion.
Here are some nice things to know in advance.
- Children are encouraged to sit in the front and adults in the back or on the sides. This didn’t sit well with my three-year-old who hasn’t been on his own much. He chose to sit on my lap for most of the show. He enjoyed his date with mommy, but if I had brought my older kids, he would have had an even better time. I didn’t see too many other children who had this issue, but if you have a shy child or one that is used to having older siblings, this is something to be prepared for.
- Biggest Little House is closer to a story hour than a play. This is what makes it a good starter experience for small children.
- No one expects little kids to remember to stay seated. They do, however, hope the adult with them will gently guide them back to their seats. Autumn Ness is great at flowing with the audience. She will gently remind a child to “find your seat” while maintaining the story she is telling.
- The audience will have a chance to touch the puppets on their way out. If your kids know this ahead of time, it might make it easier to sit still during the performance.
- Arrive early for this production. Before the play, audience members are given “Puppet Booties” to wear over their socks. There are little games — like I Spy — that you can play with your children in the lobby. When it is time to go in, Autumn will come out on her scooter to direct the audience into the theatre. I want to make some puppet booties.
- You don’t have to tell your kids that mice and frogs and roosters all eat butterflies. But it is kind of funny to see their face when you do. I’m not always the best mom.
- If you would like to read the book to your kids to prepare for this play — good luck! I had planned to read the book as part of my preparation for this review, but seriously, it is not out there. Even though it isn’t that old (published in 1986), the only copies I could find were $400 on Amazon and $162 at Barnes & Noble — and neither show a picture of the book. Hennepin County Library doesn’t even have a copy.
- John Sandford, who writes adult crime novels based in Minnesota, is NOT the illustrator of the book. Several websites link to his bio. That information is incorrect — Same name, different author/illustrator.
- Shows are Selling Out Kind of Quickly. Tickets can still be purchased, but I’m starting to see a lot of sold out shows and limited seating.
- Lap passes are available for children ages newborn to 18 months. Lap passes are $5 and are purchased at the door. You can read the Lap Seat Policy Here.
Note: I received two tickets for this review. My opinions, recommendations, weird trivia and questionable parenting advice are all my own.