Believe me, once you know the answer, you’ll be eager to start using that piece of fabric because a puppet can do MUCH more than you can.

A puppet is not an adult, and that makes a big difference to a child’s expectations when they see the puppet for the first time.

The child sees an equal, a friend with whom they can be completely themselves—someone who supports them and isn’t disappointed if they haven’t finished their meal or forgotten a task.

Friends are just nice to have around for a child, and so is a puppet, as long as it continues to act like one. That’s the crux: if the puppet starts to behave like you, the adult, then the spontaneous interaction with the puppet often ends quickly.

Then the puppet becomes your accomplice, and the child must be cautious about what they say around it, because what they say might suddenly have consequences. At that point, the puppet is no longer a friend to the child, and you’ve lost a tremendously valuable tool.

A Puppet Can Open Doors

Because that’s what a puppet is. A puppet can open doors that remain closed to you and can challenge the child to use language, practice skills, take steps, push boundaries, and whatever else you want the child to do.

A puppet can give you valuable insights into a child’s thoughts and motivations, and save you a lot of time because with a puppet, you can more quickly achieve what you want: attention, engagement, information, contact.

But to do that, you must maintain the puppet’s unique position as a genuine and credible friend.

Want to know more? I’ve created a free course titled “What does the puppet have that you don’t,” focusing on how a puppet can help you build bridges to children who are non-communicative or hardly participate in your activities, who do not speak the language well, or who are stuck in certain behaviors. I truly believe a puppet can be a solution here, especially since I’ve seen the effects of a puppet used as a genuine and credible friend in my daily practice and among the hundreds of parents and professionals I’ve trained.

The puppet makes a difference, and by making smart use of its power, it can become an assistant you never want to be without because it opens doors that would normally remain closed.

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Till the next blog 🙂

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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