Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Three Little Puppets

If your household is anything like mine was as a child, the holidays are filled with lots of stay-in-your-pajamas-all-day-long kinds of days. Oh, wait, that was just us? Well, whether you and your family are typically dressed to venture outside of your house or not, surely with school out and many parents off of work, there will be a little more family time than usual. If you could use a few ideas for ways to entertain those cooped-up kiddos on long winter days, you've come to the right place!

Playing, talking, and reading with your child are three of the five early literacy practices that will help prepare your little one to start reading on his own (singing and writing are the other two). Making puppets and telling stories are ways to incorporate those three practices into an afternoon of fun. Depending on your creativity, artistic ability, and time constraints, you can make puppets that are as simple as a paper bag with a face drawn on it or a craft stick/straw with a cut-out head glued/taped to it. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, you could create beautifully sewn puppet masterpieces. I’m more of a craft-stick-puppet-kind-of-gal, myself. No matter how complicated your puppets are to make, your child will undoubtedly be thrilled to have made one (or ten!).

These puppets can be used in many different ways. Try reading a story to your child, and then have him retell the story using the puppets. He’ll have fun playing with the puppet and will comprehend the story better, having to tell it on his own. Or, if you’d prefer, try using the puppets to tell a story that you already know, like The Three Little Pigs. You can even do it multiple times, switching up the roles to make it more exciting. If your child has a vivid imagination, have him make up his own story using the puppets. Warning: fits of uncontrollable laughter will likely ensue!

If you and your family try this, I’d love to hear how it goes and what fun stories and memories you create. You never know, you may find a new calling; the world is always in need of more puppeteers, right?! Happy puppet-making!

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