Puppet play is so popular in education mostly due to the fact it helps in developing imagination, creativity and observation skills in small children. Learning through visual representation shows much higher rentention of information that has been previously very difficult to describe to children. There are several potential uses of puppets that you can include in your classroom or your own home.
According to a large literature review conducted in 2018, there are 5 main cases in which puppets can help with learning. The first one is to support a positive climate in the classroom. Children love toys and puppets, especially when the pupeteer changes voices. A puppet can difuse an escalated situation between two peers or scold in a funnier and less harmful manner.
Puppets can also enhance creativity. Sometimes, children struggle to come up with a creative idea for a task which they have no interest in. Introducing a puppet can boost their creative flow and objectify an otherwise complex situation.
When a new student enters a classroom, he or she might find it difficult to make friends or integrate themselves into an existing group. This experience can affect not only their social relationships but also their development. Introducing puppets as a tool for integration into an existing group of children creates a depersonalised effect and the children in question become less shy and territorial. They also feel more relaxed when speaking to or through a puppet rather than a person.
Some children can get stuck when in an unpleasant situation. It can be a first day somewhere, a return after the holidays or after an unpleasant event. Childrens´ moods can fluctuate rapidly and they can end up not willing to talk. Puppets were found to be a great factor in inciating comunication with non verbal or stuck kids. Similarly to previous scenario, children are simply less intimidated to speak with a puppet, ignoring the adult.
Lastly, puppets are a big help when it comes to helping a child change attitude. When children become stubborn, mostly there is no reason to their stubbornes, they simply do not or do want to do a certain thing. There is no reasoning with them. If you introduce a puppet with a different attitude, suddenly it is not only the adult versus the child and their attitude, but the puppet presents the same attitude as the adult. As many kids associate the opinions and attitudes of adults with unpleasant choices that although helpful, not always fun for the child, the child is less likely to listen. The puppet bears no such burden and therefore can be a great help in an uneasy situation.
Are you looking for broadening your puppet collection? Or were you thinking of starting your own puppetry collection dedicated for a classromm use? Check our solutions here!