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London theatre for toddlers and young children

Let a trained professional do the entertaining at these theatre shows for toddlers and little ones

Dog Don't Do Ballet, Little Angel Theatre
There's no way they can sit still for two hours, but that doesn't mean we can't treat them to a trip to the theatre. Here are London's best shows for the very young ones. If you're planning ahead for the school holidays, you can also check out top 10 children's theatre shows this half-term and our 101 things to do in London with kids

Theatre for young children

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Critics' choice

'We're Going On A Bear Hunt' returns to the Little Angel Theatre in Spring 2016. This review is of the production's 2014 run. ‘We’re going on a bear hunt, we’re going to catch a big one, what a beautiful day, we’re not scared.’ Michael Rosen’s rhythmic tale about a family which goes looking for bears is addictively popular with tots. And it's very nicely adapted here by a sweet-throated troupe of Little Angel puppeteers, in whose hands it’s become a charming, slightly alarming Saturday dad disaster story with additional folk songs. Converting a board book to a 45-minute show is often a stretch, but this pre-school classic can take the strain. Each onomatopeic obstacle that our plucky heroes have to surmount (such as swishy swashy grass) converts ingeniously to a nifty scene and set. And the whittled wooden puppets are cute, perfectly tuned to Helen Oxenbury's wistful original illustrations, and expertly handled, particularly the swimming baby and the licking dog. The energy drops in some scenes, especially when the makers opt for spooky ‘mild peril’, as DVD-regulators like to call it, and lose the adventurous enthusiasm in that rocking rhythm which drives the story forwards. And I could have wished that the helter skelter finale, where they do everything backwards, had been more hectic. But, as always at this treasured London venue, the production values are superb – if you have a 3-6-year old and can get them to Islington conveniently, you couldn’t wish for a sweeter intr

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Little Angel Theatre , Islington Until Sunday June 26 2016

The Gruffalo

Julia Donaldson’s massively successful picture book gets a cute, song-filled adaptation that's bound to be a hit with tiny fans of 'The Gruffalo'.

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Lyric Theatre , Piccadilly Circus Wednesday July 6 2016 - Sunday September 4 2016

Pitschi, The Kitten With Dreams

Pitschi is a little Swiss kitten who lives high up in the Alps. Natasha Granger performs this adorable kids' story about her journey to meet other animals, based on an award-winning picture book by Hans Fischer. 

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Pleasance Theatre , Lower Holloway Thursday July 21 2016
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Russell M
Russell M

'The English National Ballet School's attempting to get the kids into ballet with this production of 'Swan Lake' - and failing by the looks of it. Having just left my wife and 3 year old son, who travelled 2 hours across London standing at the door having been told the shows cancelled, no email notice, no extra performance being put on, and him asking 'why wont that man let us see the show?'.

A refund has been offered but it's not about the money. As an entry level experience to the ballet for my son this has left a bitter taste for him, and they wonder why kids would rather sit on an xbox or read about Kim Kardashian's hair colour. 

Very very disappointing.