Puppets are a classic. For generations they have been used to entertain whether on stage, TV or in the family living room. They can also be used as a learning tool. Recently, using puppets to help kids express feelings has found its way into homes and classrooms. How has this technique proved helpful? How can you use puppets to help your little ones open up and learn? Here are a few reasons to look into this trend and some suggestions to get you and your family or class started.
To begin, using puppets to express emotion helps build imagination, promotes creativity, encourages empathy and sensitivity. Vocabulary and comprehension improves as well. Deeper still, the use of puppets can help shy children open up about what they are feeling. Young ones learn to discover themselves and how to identify emotions and feelings. Self-discovery and also awareness of others is developed. These are a few of the more notable changes seen when using puppets to express feelings. Just as important, you will have fun and spend quality time with your children. Here are some ideas to help get you on your way.
Make your own puppets. They can be basic and simple- think the brown paper bag variety, or go for a sock. Whatever suits your fancy. Be sure to have supplies on hand such as glue, scissors, paper, googly eyes and other items that can be used to make your puppets faces. Have your child design their puppets and ask about the emotions they are expressing. This will help give you insight into their current knowledge and understanding of different emotions. Now that you have your puppets its time to put them to work!
Incorporating Bibliotherapy and Puppets
Find a book or tell a story in which your children can use their puppets to reenact the tale. If you are unsure what book to use, the internet can be quite useful. There is a variety of books available specifically designed to help in this area of emotional growth and expression.
Some favorites and classics can be just as good too. After the story is read and acted out, ask questions. What did the characters feel? How did the puppet feel? How would you feel? Why did they feel that way? The answers may surprise you.
Use the information to build an understanding of what your child already knows and what they are thinking. Remember that there are no wrong answers. Guide your children and encourage their expressions.
These sessions are fun for everyone. Very small ones too can get in on the fun and learn along with everyone else too. Self-awareness and awareness of the thoughts and needs of others is a beautiful gift to pass on to your kids. Using puppets to help kids express feelings is a great way to learn, bond and grow!