The Child Puppet Theater: The Perfect Pretend Play Toy
A puppet theater is one of the oldest toys in the world, but child experts believe that they beat many of the latest battery-operated gizmos. Puppet theaters were some of the more popular toys during the Roman civilization, and were used in old England in nurseries and town squares, where professional puppeteers would stage performances to the delight of the onlookers. And who hasn’t heard of the children’s classic Pinocchio, or the most famous puppet pair in the world, Punch and Judy? In Japan, the puppet theater is even recognized as a “fine art”, with puppet masters dedicating years of their lives to learning the tricks of the trade.
Child Puppet Theaters have been loved over the centuries, and all over the world…and they certainly have a place in our children’s nurseries and playrooms. Child experts believe that they are one of the best and most versatile toys we can ever invest in. They’ll outgrow the teddy bears, they’ll grow bored with the battery-operated cars, but the puppet theater will be enjoyed for many, many years.
For young toddlers, puppet shows staged by parents on a small scale puppet theater are a much better alternative to videos and TV. Parents can use the puppet theater to teach concepts like numbers, or bring bedtime stories to life. They can also be a way of subtly passing on important communication skills, like saying “please” and “thank you’, or even developing a vocabulary. The toddlers will especially enjoy talking to the puppet, and hearing the puppet answer—they’ll join in with the dancing movements, and can even sing a song to “make” the puppet jump and sway.
When children grow older, the puppet theater becomes a stage for their own performances. As they master the art of making the puppets move, children develop their fine motor skills while exercising their imagination and creativity. They also learn important language and social skills, working with adults and other children to put together their own plays. And what better way to develop their self-esteem, than to applaud their efforts or even host a special puppet theater performance, where Grandma and Grandpa can cheer from the front row?
Child experts say that Child Puppet Theaters are also a safe and concrete way for children to express difficult concepts and emotions. Puppets are frequently used by child psychologists in play therapy. They can act out their feelings, or express them more clearly and honestly than if they were merely interviewed. In the same grain, parents can use puppets to draw out a particularly shy or quiet child, giving them a safe and fun way of communicating to other people without being overwhelmed by too much attention or pressure to “speak up”.
By the time the child enters school, the puppets can be part of a much more complex world of make believe. They can write scripts and stories that their puppets can act out, or they can do their own rendition of a play that they have seen. It is an excellent tool for reluctant readers—encourage them to read books by baiting them with the opportunity to stage it on their puppet theater.
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