The hand puppet is ideally suited to challenge children to language and interaction, and often initiates conversations that make you very happy. Because they are spontaneous and provide you with information about the perception of the world, way of thinking and the level of the child. Actually, a hand puppet should be in the ‘toolbox’ (box of tricks or treasure chest, it just depends on what you want to call it :D) of every (professional) educator because he can get so much more out of the child with such ease.

You all know that of course, and you already use it to a greater or lesser extent, but the use of the puppet stands or falls with time and inspiration. It may be in the closet a little more often than you’d like. You are not alone in this, when a skill has not yet been fully made your own and part of your thinking, it is quite difficult to convert your intentions into actual action. Compare it with a subscription to the gym; you know why you should go there, and you plan it every time, but during the performance there suddenly appear to be a lot of (good) reasons why you should skip this week. That’s how it often goes with me and that’s why I don’t manage to keep my body in the state in which I really feel healthier, more vital and happier with my reflection in the mirror.

Think of a simple question

I realize that working with the puppet can be just like that for you, and I’m going to help you, together with JaNee . Place your puppet right on your lap and make sure he/she makes eye contact with the children (the child). That’s all you need in terms of technology. The rest is secondary and unimportant for the children you work with. Let go of everything that hinders you from working with your puppet and focus only on these things and this question.

Examples of a simple question:

  • did you sleep well?
  • what do you have on your sandwich?
  • do you have a brother or sister?
  • what do you like to do?
  • Do you have a dog at home (cat, guinea pig…)?
  • etc.

Try it out with your puppet and focus on 1 simple question at a time.

Have fun!

Author

Helen Meurs (helenmeurs.com) is a pioneer in the field of Puppet Power, an independent trainer and developer. She offers online courses, is the lead instructor at the vocational training for puppet coaches, and authored the book ‘The Hand Puppet as a Educational Tool’. Subscribe to her newsletter if you want to know more.

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