When you think of a puppets, you probably are thinking of a puppet show, with a curtain and little kids putting on a play. But, a puppet is a great tool do you know what they are learning when they play with puppets? Do you know how to use a puppet as a teacher tool? What about a tool for social emotional needs?
When a child plays with a puppet, doll or stuffed animal and act out a scene they are practicing social skills in a safe manner. they can act out things that they find interesting, have questions about or something they are passionate about.
As a tool a puppet can help work out a problem. Sometimes, if a child is under stress, talking to an adult or another person can be threatening or intimating. Using a puppet can put the child at ease. Once, my son was having a hard day, and if I asked him what was wrong, he just shied away from me. I brought out his favorite stuffed animal and spoke as the animal. I asked him what was wrong, and why he was sad. He spoke very openly to his toy about his problem and we worked (him and the puppet) out a solution.
In the classroom, puppets can be used to teach model behavior. You can act out skits, (hitting vs not hitting) teach important lessons about good touch or bad touch and other topics that can be daunting to a child if spoken to directly to an adult, an authority figure.
So while they are fun in shows, they are also great tools for kids, to feel safe and problem solve social dilemma’s and teach topics that may not always be pleasant.
Now! On with the show!