A world of imaginative, open-ended PLAY opens up when your kiddo plays with puppets. Puppet play, a sub-set of pretend play, is a type of PLAY young children are naturally drawn. Like dolls, children have been playing with puppets for a long, long time. For a toy to have that kind of staying power they must be very special. And such is the case with puppets! Puppets engage and entertain children. They have FUN all the while growing and learning in several key areas of development!
Puppet Play, Language & Literacy Development:
●Children tap into their imaginations to create their own stories
● Puppets let kiddos retell stories using the puppets to recite story lines. Puppets let childrens’ ‘voice’ expand through the characters. Characters can sing, speak in rhyme (OR foreign language) laugh, whisper or cry.
●Puppets are always available and ready friends. Playing with puppets help children develop their speaking as well as listening skills.
Puppet Play and Cognitive Development: When Children Put On Puppet Plays…
● Imaginations and creativity are needed in creating their own story lines or altering existing stories in some way to make it uniquely theirs.
● Children’s memory is developed and improved especially when retelling a story. They need to be able to keep the timeline or the sequence of events in the correct order and keep track of various characters.
● Problem-solving skills are developed. Stories involve a beginning, middle and an end with some kind of ‘problem’ that needs solving.
Puppet Play and Social & Emotional Development: When Using a Puppet…
● Children ‘adopt’ new personalities. They explore different perspectives as well as discover new insights to their own personality.
● It’s easier for children to project the strength of a puppet and speak out. This is a huge asset for children that are more timid or reserved.
● Express feelings safely. Whether feelings of frustrations, anxiety, excitement or fears, puppets help children express them in an appropriate way. Sometimes role-playing with puppets requires an adult to help process steps to take for a situation. For example, role playing is invaluable for situations involving how to manage bullying.
Puppet Play and Physical Development…
● Manipulating hand puppets and finger puppets develop fine motor skills. Larger puppets, like marionettes, require more gross motor skills, but even using stick, sock or paper bag puppets requires a certain amount of stamina in the working arm.
● Relax! A puppet theatre is NOT mandatory for puppet shows. However, sometimes having some type of screen or barrier can make a reluctant performer loosen up and enjoy themselves more. Puppet theatres don’t have to be elaborate. Sheets hung or turning over a table suffice for spur-of-the-moment puppet theatres. And totally doable by children! Doing either of those, gives kiddos added opportunity to develop and tone their large muscle group.
Kiddos love planning a puppet show! It’s a lot of fun. It can be a lot of fun for the whole family! Just be sure to let your kidlets lead the way. When you do you’ll see their artistic inspirations come to life!
Yours in Play!