Helen Meurs

Fostering Connection Through Hand Puppets

Enhancing Connection, Communication, and Emotional Well-being

How a simple hand puppet can help children grow

Children who struggle with making contact, who hide behind masks, or who avoid you—how can you uncover what’s really going on inside them? What do they need? This was once my driving force to ‘try something’ with a hand puppet. I wanted to connect with children differently. I hoped that the puppet would offer a safe and inviting outlet, that it would better align with their world of experience.

And indeed, it turned out to be true. A hand puppet has something that we as adults lack and will never attain.

“With a hand puppet you literally have the possibilities in your own hands”

-Helen Meurs

If you understand the dynamics between the child and the puppet, you can deploy its power in a conscious and targeted manner. You can playfully and easily build a trusting relationship between the child and the puppet, challenging them through the puppet to push their boundaries, try new things, share their thoughts, and participate in your activity—without the puppet taking over your role or becoming an educator.

I am not a puppeteer, but a hand puppet coach. My approach is not an act or puppet show. I use the hand puppet as a coach, as a friend, as a bridge-builder. No acting talent is needed for this—just a hand puppet and the willingness to momentarily detach yourself from the puppet and observe impartially what is happening. Both with the child and within yourself. Trust me, working with a puppet awakens the child in you, and that child will assist you in what you will do with your puppet.

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By actively investing in the relationship with a child, you cultivate the following outcomes:

More Contact

The puppet adds security and friendship and makes reacting easier. Contact deepens through the puppet.

More Language

A puppet invites children to participate with his activity. That produces more reactions and language.

More Insights

The puppet will help you get to know children better and learn more about their way of thinking.

More Fun

A puppet can be fitted at any time of the day and can always count on the help and support of children.

The Hand Puppet Fits Anywhere Children Are

Parents & Caregivers

The Puppet Opens Doors to Your Child’s World

Create a Tool to Connect, Engage and Better Understand Your Child

In The Group

The Hand Puppet: A Wealth of Opportunities

A Tool for Enhanced Connection and Helping Children Express Themselves

In Counseling/Mentoring

Building Bridges Between You and the Child

Establish Trust and Safety Through a Playful and Approachable Friend

I am here to inspire and guide you in transforming your puppet into a powerful tool for connection, learning, and joy.

I’d love to help you make the most of them

With Love,

I am for you if you:

  • Seek creative and playful ways to connect with children on a deeper level, aiming to build a bridge to the child’s world.
  • Are genuinely interested in understanding and appreciating a child’s unique perspective and inner world.
  • Eagerly embrace the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone, knowing that growth and transformative connections await.
  • Hold a deep belief in the well-being of children, valuing their self-expression and individual development.
  • Aspire to broaden your pedagogical skills and expand your toolkit for effective engagement with children.
  • Display a willingness to be vulnerable, recognizing that personal growth is a powerful vehicle for inspiring and nurturing the next generation.
  • Are in search of expert guidance and wisdom from a seasoned professional, ready to explore puppetry in innovative and imaginative ways.

I am NOT for you if you:

  • Currently lack access to a hand puppet.
  • Have limited interaction with children or doesn’t want to use a puppet for forming meaningful relationships with them.
  • Prefer quick fixes or stories for the puppet show.
  • Are looking for someone who can teach you ventriloquism
  • Want to create a performance for children with hand puppets and could use some help with that
  • Don’t have time to practicing a new skill.
  • Only want to use your puppet to say hello to children (then reading my book is sufficient)
  • Want to use your puppet to correct children and/or prescribe something.
  • You have no interest in child rearing, development, and education.
  • Don’t like to learn online.

From My Blog:

I do not remember his name, but I do remember the look in his eyes and his story. A story about hospitalizations and assumptions. Let me call him Tom, that’s easier to talk about. Tom visited me in my office in Elst, during the time I was running my hand puppet webshop there. His mother, on the recommendation of a friend, had called me.

Read More

Are you touched by the magic of the hand puppet and curious about what it can do for you and your situation?

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My Puppet Chronicles are a blend of stories, tips, and meaningful content all centered around puppetry and building connections.


[ucaddon_circle_testimonial name=”Yvette” designation=”Teacher” image=”780746097″ uc_fonts_data=”JTdCJTIybmFtZSUyMiUzQSU3QiUyMmZvbnQtZmFtaWx5JTIyJTNBJTIyTW9udHNlcnJhdCUyMiU3RCUyQyUyMmNvbnRlbnQlMjIlM0ElN0IlMjJmb250LWZhbWlseSUyMiUzQSUyMlF1YXR0cm9jZW50byUyMiU3RCU3RA==”]In one word: amazing! I enjoyed all the knowledge you’ve shared. You explain everything clearly and provide examples. Thank you for this online 30-day course. Because of you, I’ve gained more courage to use Maartje, even in a 5th-grade class.[/ucaddon_circle_testimonial][ucaddon_circle_testimonial name=”Mary” designation=”Counselor” image=”780746098″ uc_fonts_data=”JTdCJTIybmFtZSUyMiUzQSU3QiUyMmZvbnQtZmFtaWx5JTIyJTNBJTIyTW9udHNlcnJhdCUyMiU3RCUyQyUyMmNvbnRlbnQlMjIlM0ElN0IlMjJmb250LWZhbWlseSUyMiUzQSUyMlF1YXR0cm9jZW50byUyMiU3RCU3RA==”]Helen teaches you how to really start storytelling through a hand puppet. That’s why I really started using my puppet. She begins with very simple and accessible topics that I had never thought of before. Her enthusiasm and practical tips have significantly lowered the threshold for actually using the hand puppet. A few months on, I am so happy with the progress I’ve made thanks to her. My puppet has become a very important part of my practice. I now know how to approach topics and hear so much more from children than before. It feels like an enormous gift![/ucaddon_circle_testimonial][ucaddon_circle_testimonial name=”Leoni” designation=”Parent” image=”780746100″ uc_fonts_data=”JTdCJTIybmFtZSUyMiUzQSU3QiUyMmZvbnQtZmFtaWx5JTIyJTNBJTIyTW9udHNlcnJhdCUyMiU3RCUyQyUyMmNvbnRlbnQlMjIlM0ElN0IlMjJmb250LWZhbWlseSUyMiUzQSUyMlF1YXR0cm9jZW50byUyMiU3RCU3RA==”]What I do differently now, after the course, is that I no longer immediately think of a half-hour activity and take much smaller steps. I build up the presence of my puppet better, have more peace, and take more time to let my puppet just watch, for instance. My puppet now comes across much more naturally, and that’s something I especially learned in this course. I found using the voice difficult, but the lesson on voice and the exercises that accompanied it made me look at it differently and realize that I can play with it too.[/ucaddon_circle_testimonial][ucaddon_circle_testimonial name=”Patrice” designation=”Independent Contractor” image=”780746101″ uc_fonts_data=”JTdCJTIybmFtZSUyMiUzQSU3QiUyMmZvbnQtZmFtaWx5JTIyJTNBJTIyTW9udHNlcnJhdCUyMiU3RCUyQyUyMmNvbnRlbnQlMjIlM0ElN0IlMjJmb250LWZhbWlseSUyMiUzQSUyMlF1YXR0cm9jZW50byUyMiU3RCU3RA==”]I benefited a lot from the course. It opened up a whole new world for me; I had never looked at a puppet in this way before. I found the tips given very useful and also learned a lot from others about how they use the puppet in their situations and the steps they are taking. I think it’s a good basic course with a solid structure and a fun approach.[/ucaddon_circle_testimonial]
[ucaddon_circle_testimonial name=”Ann” designation=”Homeschool Parent” image=”780746099″ uc_fonts_data=”JTdCJTIybmFtZSUyMiUzQSU3QiUyMmZvbnQtZmFtaWx5JTIyJTNBJTIyTW9udHNlcnJhdCUyMiU3RCUyQyUyMmNvbnRlbnQlMjIlM0ElN0IlMjJmb250LWZhbWlseSUyMiUzQSUyMlF1YXR0cm9jZW50byUyMiU3RCU3RA==”]I enrolled in the course because I wanted to make a good start with Mees. The structure and content of the course were very pleasant, comprehensive, and clear. The way of teaching was very doable, and it was wonderful to be able to participate in this course in such a way. No need to go out, and at a convenient time. I also found it very helpful that all the lessons were recorded so that you could watch them back at a later time. Through the course, I learned how to give Mees a character and a voice and also how best to introduce her to the children. Helen explains everything so clearly and calmly. Due to her (years of) experience, she can explain very well how or why something works best in a certain way, which is so nice. A real eye-opener for me was that children don’t pay attention to mistakes at all. So there’s no need to be afraid of doing something wrong; you just have to do it! I would recommend this course to teachers, coaches, childcare centers, host parents, parents, and anyone else who works/lives/plays with children.[/ucaddon_circle_testimonial][ucaddon_circle_testimonial name=”Christel” designation=”Teacher” image=”780746095″ uc_fonts_data=”JTdCJTIybmFtZSUyMiUzQSU3QiUyMmZvbnQtZmFtaWx5JTIyJTNBJTIyTW9udHNlcnJhdCUyMiU3RCUyQyUyMmNvbnRlbnQlMjIlM0ElN0IlMjJmb250LWZhbWlseSUyMiUzQSUyMlF1YXR0cm9jZW50byUyMiU3RCU3RA==”]Helen gave me the confidence that I can really get started with my puppet. She shows a combination of knowledge and practice. She directly applies what she says in her examples. Before I worked with her I felt incompetent and now I don’t feel that way anymore.[/ucaddon_circle_testimonial][ucaddon_circle_testimonial name=”Renee” designation=”Teacher” image=”780746096″ uc_fonts_data=”JTdCJTIybmFtZSUyMiUzQSU3QiUyMmZvbnQtZmFtaWx5JTIyJTNBJTIyTW9udHNlcnJhdCUyMiU3RCUyQyUyMmNvbnRlbnQlMjIlM0ElN0IlMjJmb250LWZhbWlseSUyMiUzQSUyMlF1YXR0cm9jZW50byUyMiU3RCU3RA==”]Keep doing what you’re doing. The way you talk is very clear. I watched you in admiration. I really learned a lot. All the tips and also the questions you answered so quickly, very nice. The contact is also good. The feedback you give makes me think and then I succeed.[/ucaddon_circle_testimonial][ucaddon_circle_testimonial name=”Gea” designation=”Educator” image=”780746094″ uc_fonts_data=”JTdCJTIybmFtZSUyMiUzQSU3QiUyMmZvbnQtZmFtaWx5JTIyJTNBJTIyTW9udHNlcnJhdCUyMiU3RCUyQyUyMmNvbnRlbnQlMjIlM0ElN0IlMjJmb250LWZhbWlseSUyMiUzQSUyMlF1YXR0cm9jZW50byUyMiU3RCU3RA==”]Helen gave me back the confidence that I can do this and that it’s okay if something goes wrong. The little tips and hints helped me a lot.[/ucaddon_circle_testimonial]

Lower The Barriers Through The Use of A Puppet

Discover what this approach can bring you