Puppets pack quite a punch when it comes to learning.
Puppets have been an important part of social culture around the world for hundreds of years, entertaining, educating and passing on valuable folklore and traditions and at The Toadstool we think they’re one of the most important toys in your toy box. Living Puppets in a toy box
Coming in all shapes and sizes as they do (from the finger puppet, the hand puppet and the marionette to name just a few), they’re one of the most flexible and creative mediums and in one way or another puppets continue to play a massive role in our lives through film, theatre, television or daily play. So in this blog we explore some of the many benefits of puppet play and why we think every family should have one.
Making your own puppets.
There is nothing more rewarding than making your own puppets. Something as simple as a sock puppet will stimulate your little one’s natural creativity as well as improve fine motor skills when using scissors or decorating. It’s even possible to introduce some basic science and symmetry when you design your puppet and the tactile nature of materials is great for little hands. And there really is no limit to your child’s creativity – you can make as many puppets as you like or go on to make the set, background or props.
A show of hands for puppets please.
It perhaps goes without saying that whether your child’s puppet show is solo in the kitchen or involves lots of children with a background set, puppets and puppet shows are great for boosting creative role play, expressive language, learning and they encourage leadership, confidence, social interaction, story-telling, listening, and much more. For children who lack confidence this can be hugely beneficial and even if they don’t put on a puppet show, the value of a puppet friend to interact with can be very important.
And all that is not to forget that handling puppets is also a fun way to improve your little one’s fine and gross motor skills.
Puppets are used by speech and occupational therapists as well as teachers globally and are a fun way to introduce new books or breathe life back into a familiar one. They’re great for encouraging little ones who are just learning to read and are a powerful tool when it comes to supporting children with special educational needs when they can be used in conjunction with signing, singing, dance and other mediums.
Exploring difficult issues with puppets.
Professionals use puppets in innumerable circumstances to help support children going through difficult times. They can be used to explore and express different emotions or to introduce new scenarios in a subtle way. Some children feel able to act out their feelings, thoughts or fears through puppets in a way they might not ordinarily feel able to do.
But above all else puppets are enormous fun and appeal to young and old alike. They’re great for outdoor play and taking on holiday and are always entertaining. At The Toadstool we’d love to see your video clips or photos of some of your best puppet play moments and ideas so why not post a link to your puppet play in the comments below or let us know your top tips on how to make a puppet.
In our next blog we’ll be introducing you in more detail to some of our beautiful Living Puppets but in the meantime why not have a look at our entire puppet range or see which character puppet might become your child’s new friend. You’ll find them all at www.thetoadstool.co.uk