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 story time
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 as a fun way to select a nursery rhyme to share. For example, 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 cafe order. 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 with some buttons for eyes, or design some together using basic craft materials like toilet rolls, plastic spoons, paddle-pop sticks and crayons.
Suits a range of ages and stages
Babies, toddlers and preschoolers love puppets. For babies, they are great for making singing more interactive. Toddlers love when a puppet is used to get their attention and announce what's coming up. For example, take out a puppet and say, "Frankie frog puppet says ... it's time for a bath!" As your child gets older, puppet-play can be more led by children. This really fires up learning parts of their brain. Turn an old box or table on its side to make a puppet theatre so children can create shows for you and their toy audiences.
Tip: Have fun using silly voices together!
Play uses all five senses which is great for developing brains