Puppet play is one of the most beneficial activities children can be exposed to. Not only is puppet play a fun and engaging pastime, but it also provides educational and developmental benefits too. To better understand the potential of puppet play to improve creativity, social awareness and language skills, we have collated a list of eight examples of the developmental areas that are supported through playing with puppets during a child’s early learning years.
Puppets are a great medium for children to explore social cues and conversation as the puppet itself can be used as a guide or instructor. Children are more likely to accept the voice of a puppet when advising on social skills or manners – compared to their carer – because the guidance is seen as a game, rather than a set of rules. Moreover, children can use the puppet to explore new personalities and perspectives whilst better understanding their own identity.
Improved Self Confidence
Reserved or shy children can gain huge benefits from puppet play. They can use the puppet to practice asserting themselves within a group, gradually building their confidence in larger social situations. Moreover, the joy of putting on a puppet show for family and friends can help build the confidence of more timid children. The child will feel less self-conscious when presenting as the puppet takes centre stage; this is a great way to practice performing in front of small groups.
When children play with puppets, they develop their ability to use different tones and voice types, such as whispering, crying, laughing, singing or rhyme. Not only this, but puppet play is a great medium to help children learn new languages. Moreover, children will often hold conversations with a puppet, or create dialogue between multiple puppets. This way, they develop their abilities to hold conversations and express ideas appropriately.
Children will often humanise their puppet and view the toy as a friend or ally. Therefore, they often ‘listen’ to their puppets and comfort them during fictional times of need. This role-play is the perfect scenario to develop a child’s listening skills and sympathy for future interactions with others.
Through the medium of puppets, children can explore and express emotions safely. This is best achieved during playtime with a child and an adult. The adult facilitates the understanding and expression of certain emotions in more complex situations, such as experiencing loneliness or bullying.
Hand or finger puppets, marionettes and even sock puppets all require motor skills to manipulate their movement. Therefore, when a child controls a puppet, they are also developing their physical stamina, range of movement and coordination.
Puppet play is the perfect activity to unlock imagination as the child creates and explores their own fictional narratives. A child’s story will likely have a start, middle, and end in which an issue is resolved during the adventure. This process enables a child to develop problem-solving abilities.
When playing with puppets, children often retell or create bespoke stories. In doing so, they develop their sequencing skills and memory as they follow a real or fictional timeline of events and remember various characters and their personalities.
The Amazing Benefits of Puppet Play for Children Summary
Puppet play can create a whole world of imagination and curiosity, whilst improving key areas of learning development. They are unbreakable, diverse distractions for your child and can become the perfect travel companion.
Puppets that are small enough to fit inside a handbag are a great friend to take along when completing chores to keep your child happy and entertained. Our professional puppet makers have over 20 years experience of exceptional puppetry design for theatre, film and TV, creating puppets in a variety of shapes, sizes and mechanisms. If you hope to make your puppet idea a reality, contact us today.