Parenting

How Puppet Play Can Help Emotional Development In Kids

How Puppet Play Can Help Emotional Development In Kids

This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

I tried my best to explain why Papa was no longer here with us.  As I looked at their little faces I knew they didn’t totally understand, but they understood enough.  When I asked them how they felt, they didn’t say much.  It was tough talking to my children about death, but it happened unexpectedly and we really didn’t have a choice.

As time went on it seemed both Honey Bee and Bumble Bee were handling everything well.   However, when we started to play, or I when I overheard them playing I could hear them acting out the events that took place leading up to the death of their grandfather.  At first, I was very alarmed.   After doing some reading I discovered that this is actually a very healthy and natural way for kids to work through their feelings and emotions.  Puppet play can help emotional development in kids.

How Puppet Play Can Help Emotional Development In Kids

Puppet Play Can Help Emotional Development

Makes It Easier To Express Emotions

When we ask our children questions about a tough subject matter it can hard for them to articulate how they feel.  “Emotions such as pain, fear, joy, aggression, frustration, shame, anxiety, and problems such as illness or death in the family etc., many of which a child may be reluctant to share, can be expressed through puppet play”. Source

If a child is uncomfortable expressing their feelings, puppets empower the child.  Using puppets makes it easier for children to communicate.  Also, it can create a fun light hearted environment for topics that may be very serious in nature.

How to Use Puppet Play for Emotional Development

Puppet Play Can Help Emotional Development

Honey Bee and Bumble Bee putting on puppet show

Finding The Right Puppets

Hand puppets are perfect for puppet play. Of course, if you don’t have hand puppets you can create some out paper and popsicle sticks or brown paper bags.  I chose puppets from Oriental Trading-Learn 365 because I love how they had a diverse set of puppets.  They came in all skin tones and from different backgrounds.  Besides using the puppets for emotional development I felt that they would also be good in other lessons too, like to teach my children about different cultures.  (Note: The multi cultural Puppets are no longer available but they have this set which is great too).

 

Demonstrate How To Use The Puppets

Honey Bee was familiar with how to use the puppets, but her brother was confused.    So I popped on puppet on my hand and me and Honey Bee began to play.  I initiated conversations with him, and he warmed up!

Keep It Fun and Let it Flow

The best way to do puppet play is to keep it fun. The puppet play should be directed by the child.  After awhile you child may begin to act out feelings or emotions that you didn’t know they felt.  From their, you can offer their puppet words of comfort or demonstrate how to deal with those feelings.

 

Resources

I found a few resources that can help you learn more about how to use puppet play for child development.

Tips for Using Puppets To Promote Emotional Development in Preschoolers -puppet handout (1)

Social and Emotional Teaching Strategies 

Playing With Puppets 

 

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