Back for the 2019 season, The Biggest Little House in the Forest is the best way to introduce really small kids to live theatre. We reviewed this play in 2015.
While there are been shows where I wished I had left the little ones at home. This is the show to take them to. 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 felt my older ones would have appreciated the puppetry and storytelling and possibly incorporated some of that into their own imagination play.
*Photos by Dan Norman courtesy of Children’s’ Theatre Company
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, and of course, the story told by an 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.
- 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.
- 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 hadn’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.
- 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 online were exorbitantly priced (while I did include our Amazon affiliate link, I’m not suggesting you buy it). While not even Hennepin County Library has a copy, they do, however, have a list of good books to pair with this outing.
- 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 Sold Out Quickly in 2015. You may want to get your tickets early for this popular show.
- 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.
- Make a day of it by visiting the MIA after the show! Get the wiggles out in the Family Room at the MIA and then take a walk through your favorite exhibits.