It’s no secret that children love to play, and naturally parents love to play with their children. It’s a great way to bond and form relationships, but it’s also key to a child’s overall development. What’s more, it doesn’t have to be a complex, expensive process. The imagination costs nothing to use, and through creative play with simple toys and games, a child can learn valuable emotional, physical and social skills as well as introducing them to the joys of creative thinking and the possibilities it can offer them.
One of the most effective and fun forms of child-led imaginative play is through craft puppets. The use of puppets is not only an easy way to engage and stimulate your child’s imagination, but also one of the most effective and, most importantly, fun. Handmade or purchased, they’re colourful, tactile and can offer a rich array of opportunities to engage your little one in the games you play together or independently. With a handful of hand, finger or stick puppets, your child can:
· Improve and develop their verbal, social and emotional skills in a healthy, constructive form of play.
· Recreate existing stories from their own perspective, or create new characters and act out stories of their own, teaching them the basics of communication, storytelling and creativity.
· Deal with real-life scenarios that they might struggle with in other contexts, like visiting the doctor or the first day at school.
· Create a unique character they can identify with and communicate through.
If you’re looking for ideas for puppets, or simply want to make a purchase, then be sure to check out Galt Toys, a company that specialises in toys and games that encourage children’s development in a variety of ways. They offer a delightful range of peek-a-boo puppets that you can find at www.galttoys.co.uk. At a great price, these cute animal puppets are made from soft materials, have a push-up function and a jingle bell for great interactivity and sensory stimulation. Ideally, generic or unspecific designs such as the ones offered by Galt Toys will work the best, as it gives a child complete freedom to craft and form its personality and actions. Well known characters can be fun to use, but their established personalities can be limiting, especially for older children.
If you want to make your own puppets for your child to play with, there are lots of ways to do it, none of which will break the bank. As previously stated, the puppet doesn’t need to be elaborate to be enjoyed. You can use old socks, paper bags, wooden spoons, or even old stuffed toys. Creating a puppet from scratch is another great way for your child to exercise their creativity in a more physical way, as well as being a fun activity to do together!