Puppet play: fun, affordable and great for learning
Puppets have been entertaining children and adults for thousands of years but they’re worth so much more than their entertainment value. Here’s three reasons puppets are an excellent choice for babies, toddlers and preschool children.
- Upgrade your storytime
Use puppets to retell the story or act as a favourite character in the book. For older children, see if they can use puppets to create a sequel to the story or a new one altogether.
If you have a few puppets, stuff them in a pillow case and ask your child to pull one out to help select a nursery rhyme to share. Eg. a frog puppet could prompt Galumph went the little green frog, a farm animal could lead into Old McDonald had a farm.
- Portable and affordable
Puppets are usually small enough to be stuffed into a nappy bag or pram and pulled out when waiting for an appointment or caffeine fix. They’re great for games of peek-a-boo and to create conversations while you wait.
You can also make your own, which makes them a cheap addition to the toy collection. Make one out of a stray sock and buttons, or design some together using basic craft materials like toilet rolls, plastic spoons,paddlepop sticks and crayons.
- Suits a range of ages and stages
Babies, toddlers and preschoolers love puppets. For babies, they are great as a transition activity or to make singing more interactive. As your child gets older, play with puppets can be led more by them, which is when learning really fires up. An old box or a table turned on its side make great puppet theatres and children can create their own shows for you and their toy audiences.