LOIS Kennedy, 27, is a Drama Practitioner and runs a franchise of the company Debutots which provides a unique blend of interactive storytelling and dramatic play for children aged 6 months to 7 years. She currently runs classes in the Lisburn and south Belfast areas. The Fermanagh born woman, who lives with her partner Ricky bought the franchise earlier this year after previously working at Lisburn's Island Arts Centre.
I get up at 7.30am, shower and dress. I'll feed my puppy dog, have some breakfast, do housework and then once Ricky leaves I'll go into my office to go through my emails and prepare for the classes I am taking that particular day. I have recently opened my own business-a Debutots franchise, it is only the second one in Northern Ireland. Debutots is a unique blend of interactive storytelling and dramatic play for young children. I go over the stories I will be telling the children, prepare my class activities and I'll make sure I have all the bits and pieces such as the puppets and bubble machine I need for the class.
I provide storytelling and dramatic play classes in nurseries, pre-schools, after-schools clubs and holiday clubs for children up to the age of seven as well as running parent and child classes in Hillsborough Village Centre and Seymour Methodist Hall in Lisburn.
Debutots brings fictional tales to life. I combine learning and play to create unique weekly group adventures. The classes empower the little ones with confidence, creativity and a love of language. At a time when they're learning about everything Debutots makes it fun.
I arrive, at the class venue and check the room is safe and then welcome the children and their parents. Each class is an action packed half an hour and then after that the little ones get to play with the toys in the 'magical story basket' while their parents have tea and coffee. My parent and child classes are split into two age groups-Baby Story Play is for 6 months to 2 years and Early Years Drama is for 2 years to 4 years. My preparation for each one is very different!
Baby Story Play is all about exploring the magic of stories, sounds and words. It's interactive, exciting and gets parents communicating and creating with their children. The class is broken down into lots of sections including a short story with lots of actions and bubble time where we search for this week's puppet in the bubbles as we pop them. Early Years Drama classes, take the children into imaginary worlds through story where they can comfortably explore feelings, words, sounds, movement and their relationships with others - a must for raising self-esteem and developing language skills. I guide the children through each story creatively, allowing them to imagine their very own version as they all become the sights, sounds and characters. I tell the children the story and then repeat it with actions and encourage them to become the characters.
Once the class is over and everyone has said goodbye, I tidy up, pack up my car and then head on to my next appointment.
At home I work on marketing the business and I also have the administration side of things to do as welt'. I offer free trial classes so I get calls from parents interested in coming along to a class or from schools and nurseries wanting to book and I have to keep the registers up-to-date and booking forms filed. I sort through all the necessary paperwork and check everything is in order before coming out of my office at about 6pm and sitting down to dinner with Ricky.
In the evenings we enjoy going for long walks with the dog and catching up with family and friends.