If you grew up watching Lamb Chop, the Muppets, Howdy Doody, or Punch and Judy, you probably understand just how magical puppets can be for children. Through these larger-than-life characters, young audiences learn important lessons and form long-lasting bonds. But it’s not just watching puppets that can make a difference in young children’s lives; playing puppets can have a profound effect on childhood development, too.
Let’s take a closer look at how puppet play theatre can influence your preschooler’s life — and why a puppet theatre should be a welcome sight when you tour preschools for young children in your area.
Stimulation of Imagination and Creativity
One of the most obvious benefits of puppet play is that participating in this activity can allow your child’s imagination to run free. They can use these puppets to play out any number of scenarios, whether they’re a complete fantasy or truer to real life. Not only will this be an enjoyable activity for your child, but it’s also an immensely advantageous one. They’ll learn to think creatively, which can help with problem solving in other areas. Plus, the creativity they discover here can translate easily to other areas of artistic expression such as visual art, music, dramatic play, dance, and so much more.
Development of Motor Skills
While many parents enroll their children in a quality preschool program to stimulate their minds, it’s important to note that countless preschool activities also address physical movement. This time period is an important one in terms of motor skill development — and believe it or not, puppet play can help with that! Whether these puppets are small enough for a single finger or large enough that they require an entire hand to move properly, they’ll help your child develop their fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination. And because it’s a non-competitive activity, it’s something every child can explore freely.
Expression and Understanding of Emotions
Self-expression and empathy are important concepts even for preschool children. But often, it’s through acting out scenarios and storytelling that young children are able to express their inner emotions and gain an understanding of others. Regardless of whether your child is outgoing or withdrawn, they’ll be able to express and understand what they’re feeling in a totally safe way. There’s a reason why even adults feel that puppets are sometimes able to express what we alone are not!
Improvement of Self-Confidence and Social Interaction
When children participate in an activity and build on their skill level, they’ll gain a lot of self-assurance and a sense of accomplishment. While playing with puppets might not seem to be a source of accomplishment, keep in mind that playing in this manner will allow them to develop their language skills and feel more comfortable conversing with others.
And speaking of which: they’ll also improve their social interaction. Around 87% of American five-year-olds were enrolled in preprimary programs in 2015, and one of the many reasons parents opt for preschool instead of home care is to increase their child’s social interaction on a daily basis. Of course, they’ll benefit from this whether your preschool classroom has a puppet theatre or not. However, childhood development increases even more when students have an opportunity to cooperate and interact in a group through activities like these.
Want to know more about how our enjoyable classroom activities foster childhood development? Contact us to take a tour or to find out additional information on our program.