Puppets: Facilitating Imaginative Play

puppet like muppet

Puppets are a great medium!

I have always appreciated puppets! When my children were younger, I made a puppet show theater for them to use with the box of puppets I had available to them. Two spring loaded curtain rods in a door way with two black silky curtains was all it took.They were placed one above the other, with the top one draping behind the front one a little. The puppets came out from in between, and it served well as a theater.  They had hours upon hours of fun with it. They made up stories to go with the puppets, and they used the puppets to act out stories that we knew. Puppet play is a great way to bring about imaginative play. It is also a mode of creative expression. Sometimes, children love puppets but are unsure how to use them. Engaging them is as simple as using one to tell a story yourself. When you model the use of puppets, they will quickly be able to stretch what they have learned. If your puppets don’t match the story you want to tell, then improvise the story, the puppets or both. If you happen to have a sock monkey and a male puppet, you could retell the much loved story of “Caps for Sale”, as one example.  What better place to look for a story to use puppets for than you and your child’s favorite story books? This also enables your child to go from receptive to expressive communication. You can order puppets online, watch for them at garage sales, or make them for or with your child. One year we made finger puppets that were pre-printed “Peter and the Wolf” finger puppets while listening to the story, in preparation for an orchestral version we were going to be attending. Even simple color and cut puppets lent themselves well to imaginative play.

We attended a puppet show one year, that had first rate puppets! They looked like muppets and I SO wanted to learn how to make those. When I talked with one of the owners afterwards, I found out that they made their own puppets. The goods used to make them were apparently quite costly. I never did find help on making them until recently. I was so excited to find that tutorial. Yet, now there is even more available online about making muppet type puppets! When I did I was SO excited to make one. By this time, my youngest was almost past the age of appreciating puppets, but still did get some good use out of it.

puppet like muppet

When one of my sons started to teach music lessons, I made puppets for him as a teaching medium, for those moments when it was difficult to catch the attention of his young Suzuki students. There was one girl and one boy puppet.

 

Puppet girl 2Puppet guy 2

 

This month, I was trying to find ways to upcycle itty bitty bits of fabrics, as well as some mate-less gloves. I came up with glove puppets. I opted for good old fashioned fairy tales as the subject of my puppet project. I just so happened to recently have been asked to change out the zipper in a Carhardt jacket. The leftover zipper made a great wolf, (see photo below). Wolf is also dressed up as grandma. This one has already got a new home.

glove finger puppets

Depicted below, as my calligraphy tags are harder to read, since I enlarged the pictures, are Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs, and Peter and the Wolf. More zipper wolves! 🙂  Making puppets is very rewarding, and if you’re a diy’er, there are so many resources online to assist you. If you start out looking at what types of puppets there are, and decide what type you want to go for, it might narrow your search a little to then search up “tutorial ________” (inserting type of puppet). If you feel like it is hard to find the time to make puppets for your little ones, may I just say that if you press on and make the time, you will not regret it! It is so worth your time to make something that will provide hours of imaginative play. Of course, you might need to use the off button, on electric media in order to facilitate imagination, but that is a healthy limit to set. 🙂

 

puppet story assistant2