I remember Kay well. Kay had a special friendship with my puppet Doki. Kay was tall for his age, slightly red-haired, and looked at the world seriously with his gray eyes. Kay was a child with an insatiable curiosity. His questions were often surprising and complex; why one cloud dissolves while another does not, how a worm knows where to emerge from the ground, why some people have big feet and others have more hair. These were typical Kay questions, and he didn’t always connect with the other kindergartners in my group. My puppet Doki enjoyed Kay’s questions, as Doki was also curious and understood Kay’s inquisitiveness. Doki showed Kay his favorite books, and Kay would bring some for Doki in return. Sometimes they stayed inside while the group played outside, and when I peeked through the window, I saw Kay sitting there with Doki on his lap and a book open in front of them. They were never bored together.

As summer vacation approached, many children seemed excited, but not Kay. This surprised me because Kay usually looked forward to weekends and shorter holidays. When I asked him about it, he said, ‘When it’s summer vacation, I won’t see Doki anymore. Doki stays with you and I move to grade 3, then he’s not my friend anymore.’ Kay made me realize that I needed to involve my puppet in the children’s farewells. I had to give them the chance to say goodbye to the classroom puppet. Doki had become part of the group, appearing daily, and his presence always made school more enjoyable and lively, not just for Kay, but Kay was the first to express how much he would miss Doki. From that moment, my puppet became an integral part of our farewells, and I’ll show you how I do this in this video.

I hope it inspired you 🙂

Helen

Author

I am a former teacher, passionate trainer, and author of the book 'The Hand Puppet as an Educational Tool'. As an expert in using hand puppets to strengthen relationships, challenge language development, and increase children's engagement, I work with parents, educators, childcare professionals, counselors, therapists and others who want to use a puppet as a bridgebuilder. I teach you how to bring a hand puppet to life, make it recognizable, and effectively integrate it into your conversations and activities. My playful and relationship-oriented approach helps you see more from children, communicate with them in different ways, and enhance their participation.

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Published in a renowned Dutch professional journal for early childhood specialists.

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