Children and their Puppets
Need a fun tool to develop language skills and vocabulary in children? Want to develop interest in literacy?
By definition, a puppet is a small figure operated from above with strings by a puppeteer or operated with a hand or fingers inside the puppet. Puppets can be played with so little effort unlike battery operated dolls. Puppets can be used to depict a variety of stories from children’s classic tales, to favorite contemporary literature, or can inspire a child to create their own story.
Why Do Children Love to Play Puppets?
A wide range of toys enhances imaginative experiences of children. Innovatively built, puppets can be used to show your baby how to brush their teeth, how to wash hands etc. Children are highly imaginative. Buy them a puppet or two and they very soon get to learn their mechanisms. Teach your child how to make a puppet at home!
Making a Puppet at Home
Making a puppet at home may not save you money, but children love a ‘home grown’ puppet. Their imaginations start flying while they are at work making their puppet. They start off on a fantasy trip imagining stories and characters they have heard. Here are a few suggestions for making a puppet at home.
Materials: A couple of wooden spoons, color brush and ribbon, scissors, cardboard and paint. Don’t forget the glue.
Directions: Choose a favorite animal of your child to begin with. Don’t worry about replicating exact colors. Choose a pleasant color to paint the cardboard and the spoons with. Cutout two ears from the cardboard and glue them onto the spoons after embellishing. Paint the face, eyes, nose and mouth. Finish it with colorful ribbons around its neck tied like your child wants.
Puppet Two: The easiest puppet you can make at home is to use a doll with a hollow head of either a person or animal and a cloth body; which fits over your hand and then your child can manipulate the puppet with fingers.
More Puppets: Finger puppets and hand puppets are also quick and easy to make. Use felt, scraps of fabric, markers, paper plates, even old gloves to create a person or an animal, or a whole cast of characters. You can find an endless supply of patterns offered on the internet to help you.
This is not to discourage buying puppets. You have the freedom to choose from 1000s of varieties plus the mechanized varieties. Not to mention the thrill you give your child wandering through the toy store BUT homemade can be cheaper and more inspirational to your child.
The role of the puppet is to free your child’s imagination and creativity. A puppet can help your child learn their alphabet, letter sounds, develop their vocabulary and language development. All of this contributes to reading success. Using a puppet to tell a story or retell a favorite storybook of theirs helps to develop their comprehension which is ultimately ‘the prize to reading’!
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