Puppets support creativity, language development, communication skills and fine motor coordination. Whānau can role play experiences with tamariki, exploring different feelings like compassion, empathy, frustration and care.

Why do it?

Why do it? — He aha e mahi ai?

Making and playing with puppets gives tamariki an opportunity to:

  • create characters and tell or retell stories about them
  • strengthen fine motor skills through cutting, drawing, sticking or gluing
  • have a fun activity using everyday items
  • work alongside others when making puppets and using them for storytelling.

How to do it

How to do it — Te tikanga mō tēnei mahi

  • Keep the puppets simple. You can make them using ice block sticks, pieces of wood or driftwood, or even just your fingers. Draw the faces directly on to the puppets, or draw them on paper or card and stick the faces on the puppets with tape.
  • Make hair, facial features or clothing from paper or card, or use found materials like bits of fur, feathers, wool, wood shavings or string.
  • Encourage your tamaiti to think of ideas for materials to use.
  • Ask them about the character they’ve made:
    • Where do they live?
    • What do they like to eat?
    • Where are they going and why?
    • Can you tell me a story about your puppet?
  • Join in with your own puppet.
  • Act out a story you’ve been reading together, a legend you’ve told them, an event you’ve shared or one that’s coming up.

Using more reo Māori

Te reo Māori English
Fur, feather
Ko wai te ingoa o tō keretao? What's your puppet's name?
Kei hea tana kāinga? Where does she live?
He aha tana kai? What does he eat?
E haere ana ia ki hea? Where is she going?
He aha ai? Why?