Puppets can stimulate children’s imagination, encourage creative play and discovery. But the most glorious power of puppets is that, when your child engages with them, their reaction is real. If the puppet is sad, your child will automatically try to comfort – not pretend to comfort. If the puppet keeps interrupting them, your child will deal with the problem – not pretend to deal with the problem. By bringing stuffed animals or other inanimate objects to life, you have the opportunity to deal with real feelings or events in their lives.

  • Consider having a puppet who always seems worried about growing up. They can turn to your child as an older mentor. Let the child guide and comfort.
  • A puppet has been bullied and doesn’t understand why people do that.
  • The puppet can do something a little rude, then deny doing it. Help your child encourage the puppet, to show that they understand how hard it can be sometimes to admit doing something wrong.
  • Have the puppet ask you something about your day – something you want your child to hear/understand. As you tell your story, have the puppet look to the child, nod and make sure your child is listening. The puppet can turn to the child and say something like, “Wow. That’s a surprise. How did you know what to do?”
  • The puppet can share their feelings about something then ask your child about their feelings.  Have the puppet nod to show listening, or lay their head on your child’s shoulder to show understanding.
  • For all of these activities, engaging with puppets gives you a chance to see and experience your child’s emotional state or developmental progress.
  • The puppet might join your family for dinner or watching a show together – being silly or curious.