Puppets are probably the coolest school tool there is. Puppets are colorful, fun, furry, silly and sensational. Best of all, kids are drawn to them like super glue!
But not everyone agrees that puppets belong in a school setting, whether that setting is in a brick and mortar classroom, at home or online.
It seems that in their travels, puppets have racked up a bad rep for being “mere playthings” or worse. Some say puppets are a frivolous waste of time, a folly with no real place in serious learning, except maybe for use with the youngest of children in nursery school.
It’s not unusual for school administrators, parents and even some seasoned educators to regard puppet play as an unnecessary, useless distraction and to question the value of puppets as a teaching tool. These Debbie Downers and Frowny Freds can drum up more complaints than Oscar the Grouch!
That’s why it can be helpful for those of us who value the magic of puppetry to be prepared with a ton of reasons why puppets deserve a place in education.
To get you started, here’s a short “Clip ‘n’ Keep” list of just ten reasons to include puppets in the teaching and learning setting. Keep in mind, there are about a bazillion more that we will explore in the future! For now, you have my permission to share this list with the puppet curmudgeons of the world.
10 Reasons Puppets Rule in School
1.) Puppets are colorful, whimsical fun. They captivate and delight.
2.) Puppets are versatile and have no limits. We can share the magic of puppets in person or on a screen.
3.) Puppets can be paired with any curriculum, lesson, activity or chores; no need to cram in one more thing
4.) Puppets are pure evergreen; they never go out of style or become yesterday’s news.
5.) Puppets are androgynous — children of any gender easily interact with puppets.
6.) Puppets help motivate young learners by putting children in charge.
7.) Puppets can help foster communication skills and social-emotional awareness.
8.) Puppets appeal to different learning styles including auditory, visual and tactile-kinesthetic.
9.) Puppets help perk up ho-hum skills and drills.
10.) Puppets come in peace.