Puppets are more than just fun!

Puppets are fun for children to play with but did you also know they can support a child’s development?

Puppets help support a child’s development. | MSU Extension

Puppets help support a child’s development. | MSU Extension

Puppets are fun for children to play with but did you also know they can support a child’s development? Puppets can help children pay attention and encourage imaginative play. They are also a great way to help children learn new skills and concepts.

Puppets don’t have to be expensive to be fun and help children learn. Homemade puppets can be made of just about anything and can be simple or complex. Playing with puppets can improve:

  • Social skills: Playing with puppets can help increase communication and social skills as children practice interacting with the puppet. Children can also use puppets to interact with other children.
  • Emotional development: Children can use the puppet to talk about how they are feeling to others, or they can use the puppet as a friend to talk with.
  • Confidence in reading and speaking: Using a puppet can help give children practice reading or speaking as they perform these activities as the puppet.
  • Encouraging creativity: Using puppets, children can invent stories, songs and much more!
  • Small and large motor skills: Puppets encourage children to use both small and large motor skills to make and use their puppets.

There are so many opportunities to use puppets in everyday routines and activities to help children learn and have fun! Here are a few ideas on using puppets:

  • Reading: Children can make character puppets from their favorite book, practice reading to their puppet or have their puppet tell the story.
  • Playtime: Children can put on puppet shows, use puppets to act out their own stories or play games such as “Simon Says” and “I Spy” with the puppet as the leader.
  • Car rides: Puppets are a great way to keep children entertained while riding in the car because they can show the puppet everything they are seeing or use the puppet to sing songs, tell stories or play games.

For more articles on child development, academic success, parenting and life skill development, please visit the Michigan State University Extension website.

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