Some people may believe that puppets are just another form of play for children and that they have nothing to do with teaching or child development. In this blog, The Early Teacher will discuss the advantages of using puppets in teaching so that you can see that there is more to puppets than just playtime.
So, what is the advantage of using puppets in teaching? Using puppets in teaching supports children to develop socially and emotionally as they view puppets as a friend and feel more comfortable engaging in social interactions. Puppets also encourage children to improve their motor skills and creativity when they are designing and using their puppets.
Keep reading to find out more about puppets including why puppets are important in a child’s development, including how you can use a puppet to enhance learning in the classroom.
- What is the Benefit of Using Puppets in Teaching?
- Why are Puppets Important in a Child's Development?
- How Can You Use a Puppet to Enhance Learning in the Classroom?
What is the Benefit of Using Puppets in Teaching?
Puppets have been used in classrooms, children’s television and for children’s entertainment for many years but sometimes it is easy to overlook the advantages that puppets can provide other than entertainment. Below we have detailed some of the main advantages of using puppets as a tool for teaching, so you can understand how useful they are.
One of the main advantages of using puppets in teaching is that it can help children to develop their
social skills. Often when introduced to a puppet, children see it as their friend, learning and engaging in social activities through the use of the puppet. Examples of this would be a child engaging in pretend play with the puppet to host a tea party. In doing so, the child may practise their manners, offer the puppet a drink and have a pretend conversation with them.
Whilst this may seem like simple play times, it genuinely can help children to build confidence through their social skills, which can then be translated to real life social interactions. This can be useful in the classroom because it can encourage children to build confidence to interact with different people, which is a skill that can be used throughout their whole lives.
study found that puppet play in the classroom is also a great tool for encouraging emotional development. One of the main factors that is highlighted within the study is that puppets can encourage emotional development irrelevant of the language used. This means that children from different backgrounds, countries and beliefs can learn to understand each other's emotions through the use of a puppet in school.
What’s more, puppets can also act as a tool for children to portray their emotions to teachers when they are struggling. Some children are not always as confident as others or those who struggle with communication due to a learning difficulty, therefore utilising a puppet may help them to portray their emotions to a teacher so that they can get extra support.
Another advantage of using puppets in the classroom in teaching is that they can help children to enhance their fine motor skills. This is particularly effective with
finger puppets because children are able to use their small fingers to play with the puppets and portray the characters. This helps to enhance children’s fine motor skills and their ability to bend, grip and manoeuvre their fingers.
This is significant because developing motor skills can be translated into holding a pencil when learning to write or using a ruler to measure. Motor skills are an important aspect of child’s development
Utilising puppets in classrooms is also a good way to enhance creativity in the classroom. This is because teachers can get children involved by creating their own puppet using crafting materials. This is beneficial to children because they learn a whole new skill set before even interacting with the puppet, ranging from glueing materials to using scissors.
These crafting skills are great to develop because they can be utilised in further education and potential future job roles. By using different materials children learn colours and textures as well as how to problem solve as they create their design. On a simple level, it is a lot of fun for children too.
For more information about the advantage of using puppets in the classroom, take a look at the useful video below.
How Can You Use a Puppet to Enhance Learning in the Classroom?
Is it easy to assume that puppets are just a tool for children to play make-believe but the truth is that puppets are actually a great way to help children learn in the classroom. Below we have listed some of the main reasons why puppets are good for enhancing learning in the classroom.
Puppets can act as fantastic tools for encouraging children to learn their times tables, especially if the teacher is using the puppet alongside a friendly character voice. Naturally, children tend to be quite drawn to the puppet, see it as their friend and therefore seek its approval. As a result, simply counting through times tables with children and the puppet will be a lot more exciting than doing it with a teacher. This is because children tend to find it more exciting and are therefore more keen to be involved, which can result in them practising their times tables more often. This can work just as well for learning the alphabet, or learning songs.
Puppets are also a great way to encourage children to practice their reading skills. Often puppets can be made from popular story book characters and this can be very exciting for children because they feel as though the story is coming to life in front of them. For example, the Gingerbread Man Puppet Set includes 5 puppets from a popular fairy tale, therefore would be an ideal puppet set for getting your children involved in storytelling. What’s more, often children will begin to adopt puppet characters as a friend and this is a time when it would be ideal to encourage them to read to the puppet. In either scenario, the puppet acts as a useful tool for enhancing learning.
Why are Puppets Important in a Child's Development?
Puppets play an important role in a child’s development because they create a link between play and learning. This is important because at the early stages of their lives, children learn mainly through the art of play, and a puppet acts as a tool for playtimes. For example, through the use of storytelling children gain access to the opportunity to develop a variety of skills and a puppet encourages this.
Whether it be to read a story to a puppet, imitate a puppet’s character voice or to simply host a tea party, a puppet is an important tool for guiding children in completing these important development goals. Without a puppet, a child may find these activities more tedious, less exciting or simply not be interested in them at all. Whilst a puppet is not imperative for your child’s development, it can definitely make it a lot more exciting along the way.
Puppets at The Early Teacher
The Early Teacher supplies a range of puppet toys that are perfect for teaching or encouraging your children to develop vital skills such as reading and communication. Each puppet toy has been carefully selected with your child’s education and development in mind.
For more detail on our range of puppet toys click here.