Puppets are great for children to play with. Parents can join in and 'talk' through puppets.

Most children love puppets and the pretending involved in playing with them. When we use puppets to tell a story or read a book, we capture children’s attention and they listen carefully. You can use a puppet to have a conversation with a child. A soft toy or a doll might also ‘talk’ and be talked to. With imagination, anything is possible.

Puppets don’t need to be complicated, expensive or flash. They can be made at home using paper bags, socks, pegs and material. They can be hand or finger puppets, or puppets on a stick or on string.

Ask the whānau:

  • What has been your experience with puppets?
  • What memories do you have of playing with puppets as a child?
  • Can you imagine what it’s like to talk through a puppet?
  • Would you like to have a go?

Suggest singing a song or saying a rhyme that parents know if they feel awkward. Encourage their child to sing along with the puppet.

Having fun with puppets

These are some suggestions for whānau to enjoy puppets.

  • Try telling a story. Get the puppet to use some funny voices.
  • Re-enact an everyday activity that’s familiar to everyone. Maybe a puppet won’t know how to do some basic things, which will give the child a chance to teach the puppet.
  • Maybe a puppet is learning to use the toilet, especially if that’s what’s going on right now for the child.
  • Parents and their child can have a puppet each and sing together or have conversations with each other.

The important thing is to make it playful and have fun.

Helpful resources for whānau