The Puppet that Builds a Bridge Between You and the Child
Building Trust and Safety Through a Playful and Approachable Little Friend
One of the most enjoyable aspects of working with a hand puppet for me is the fact that children can react to it so wonderfully spontaneously. It's astonishing how much difference there can be between a conversation with you as an adult and a conversation with a puppet.
As if children, even from a young age, know that it might not be best to tell you everything, as it could have consequences they'd rather avoid.
That's where one of the most important secrets of the puppet as a tool comes in.
The puppet shouldn't be and do the same as you. If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.
The puppet really doesn't change that. It's not that BECAUSE it's a puppet, the reactions will naturally come and children will naturally show more of themselves. You need to specifically choose the approaches and realize that when children see a puppet, they expect a friend. Someone just like them. They need to believe in the puppet. If they don't, if they don't experience the puppet as a friend and equal, they often decide within a few weeks that they don't find it that interesting, or they start reacting to the puppet in a way that doesn't make you happy.
A hand puppet offers numerous benefits for the child, but also for you
Building more trust and safety:
A hand puppet creates a safe and secure environment where children feel free to express themselves and be their authentic selves. They can share their thoughts, feelings, and concerns with the hand puppet, knowing that they are being heard and understood.
Improved and easier communication:
The puppet makes sharing information much easier. They feel more comfortable talking to and being open with the hand puppet. This opens the door to deeper conversations and a better understanding of the child's, ideas, thoughts and emotions.
Expression of feelings and emotions:
Children can express emotions to and through the hand puppet that they may find difficult to express directly. The hand puppet serves as an intermediary and friend through which children can explore and process their emotions in a playful and safe manner.
Empathy and social skills:
Through interaction with the hand puppet, children learn empathy and practice with social skills. They learn to see from the perspective of others and to show understanding and compassion. This helps them build relationships and resolve conflicts.
The puppet as a tool is often translated as 'the puppet that tells how it should be done,' or 'the puppet that sets a good example.' The puppet that thus helps you teach the child something or get where you want to be.
Consider what kind of puppet that is. Who is that puppet most appealing to? To you or to the child?
For me, the puppet as a tool is primarily a bridge builder. A puppet that consistently departs from 'I want to get to know you.' In my opinion, the accessibility and inviting nature of the puppet provide the most added value when you use it to achieve genuine and sincere contact.
That's what most doors open for.
A friendship that is not a trick, but is nourished by curiosity—wanting to discover what the other person needs and what makes them happy.
This is not so much a matter of play technique or voices. Being curious about what the puppet can bring you and, of course, being curious about what else a child has to tell you are the essential ingredients.
If that exists, then the puppet becomes your tool. It can grow into the instrument that helps children feel safer to share something. The friend they want to share secrets with and who helps them practice what they need help or encouragement with.
The Hand Puppet as an Educational Tool is a comprehensive guide to incorporating hand puppets seamlessly into your teaching arsenal. With step-by-step instructions, practical tips, and inspiring teaching exercises, you'll be able to create a safe and dynamic space for children to grow, learn, and express themselves in a way that suits them best.
Discover the educational benefits of using hand puppets to stimulate a child’s mind and encourage them to better express and challenge themselves in life. Unleash the Power of Playful Learning with The Hand Puppet as an Educational Tool
A Playful Membership
The Puppet Power PlaySchool is designed for those who own a puppet but are not using it in the way they had initially envisioned. Whether you are facing barriers, feeling self-doubt, striving for perfection, encountering children who don't respond in the expected manner, working alongside skeptical colleagues, or simply struggling to find the time to meaningfully engage with your puppet—this space addresses all these issues and more.
In the Puppet Power PlaySchool, we tackle these challenges head-on. It's not a course you enroll in; it's a nurturing environment where you can explore the untapped potential of your puppet. You will become increasingly comfortable with your puppet, discovering diverse and effective approaches to interaction.
You're welcome to attend my weekly meetings for hands-on learning, or if your schedule doesn't permit, you can take advantage of the replay sessions to pick up new skills and insights at your convenience. It's entirely up to you how you wish to participate.
An 1-on-1 Coaching Program
This individualized program is aimed at professionals who want to establish playful and non-intimidating connections with children who find it difficult to make contact and struggle to trust others. In this coaching journey, you'll transform your puppet into a valuable 'hand puppet aide,' capable of lowering barriers and encouraging children to open up a little more.
Together, we'll formulate a strategic plan to bring your puppet convincingly to life. We'll imbue it with a personality that resonates with the child or piques their curiosity. We'll explore avenues for playful engagement and determine how your puppet can introduce and discuss topics that are crucial to you in your professional context.
The core principle is the relationship with the child. The ultimate objective is to establish a different kind of bond with the child, a bond that enables you to gather insights and information that you wouldn't be able to obtain otherwise.