A puppet is a small figure and a representation of a person or animal. It has a body made of cloth and a hollow head designed to be manipulated by hand.
A puppet theater is the setting where puppets are manipulated by puppeteers using either hands or strings to entertain the audience while they hide themselves in the background. This makes it appear like the puppets are speaking on their own. Many people may argue that a puppet is a product for kids’ consumption but the truth is that we cannot ignore the roles played by puppets even among adults. However for the sake of this conversation we shall focus our discussion on kids and how they benefit from playing audience to kids puppet theaters.
Puppets can play a crucial role in the growth and the development of children. Children who interact with puppets could overcome shyness, fear and also improve their use of speech. Also their self expression, imagination and concentration is greatly improved and for this reason, psychologists have used puppets to treat abused and traumatized kids to help them express their feelings.
Another critical advantage of puppets to kids is the educative nature. Developmental psychologists will tell you that learning through play is one successful activity in kids socialization. This is because they enhance role play and imitation which are the main methods in which kids learn. Parents start getting scared when the communicative ability of their children takes more time than expected. Research has shown that Kids puppet theaters are very effective in initiating communication among kids. Since children will rarely get scared by the sight and the touch of the puppet, they can express themselves to them and easily learn verbal skills.
Phobias develop in early developmental stages and thus puppets can be an avenue of dealing with such. For example, a child who is afraid of the sight of ugly and scary animals may overcome this phobia through using puppets of such animals.
From the above facts, we can see that puppet theaters play a big role in enhancing and improving communicative social, creativity and language skills in developing children.
There are different types of kids’ puppet theaters and their choice depends on factors such as staging, dramatic intentions, and the influence of other forms of art. A good kid’s puppet theater will be properly constructed, attractive and engaging, easy for children to work with and should takes into consideration the learning ability of kids.
Before deciding to buy a puppet theater you could do some analysis and see whether it is possible to make one. The easiest to make is the box puppet theater which is made from a recycled box, but wood is very popular as well.