While I was at the Child Development Center here, I was asked to do some research on using puppets in the Preschool classroom for an upcoming training session to be presented by the trainer there.
Here are some of the things I found out:
- Puppets are Multisensory: they allow children to learn through watching, hearing, and feeling/manipulation. This is great for different types of learners in your classroom. (You know those wiggle bugs? They’re kinesthetic learners, they need to move in order to absorb information.)
- Puppets provide children with an opportunity to have their voice heard. Those who don’t often speak up in class may have very vocal puppets, a puppet can create a safe barrier for them. A child can use the puppet as a way to soften rejection, voice opinions they otherwise worry may be ridiculed, or release emotions that they have been taught are ‘inappropriate’.
- Puppets enhance socio-dramatic play (pretend play, like ‘house’) and imagination.
- They can help children make connections with other children. The back and forth of discussion with a puppet may feel more safe for a child than that of child to child, or child to adult, interaction.
- Puppets can help develop conversation skills such as voice modulation and taking turns listening and speaking.
- Dependent on the type of puppet, it can help fine or gross motor skill development.