StoryMaking Puppet Characters
Puppets are often used and found in early learning classrooms, children’s museums, and libraries. We’ve seen children playing with puppets in multiple situations, but often we don’t think to capture the wonderful thinking and creativity happening with children as they play with puppets. We have a solution to this problem: StoryMaking! During StoryMaking we have the opportunity to add intention and learning to our students’ engagement with puppets.
We have found that using puppets during StoryMaking: enables students to create stronger stories, increases children’s attention to character development, offers possibilities for adding details to character descriptions, and makes it easier to enact actions in stories. We have found that inviting students to engage in using puppets and making puppets is fun and engaging, while also increasing learning possibilities during StoryMaking.
If you’re new to using puppets and you already have some puppets available that young children can use, feel free to use them! Creative and complex stories can be made with commercially made puppets, even though they aren’t the most open-ended option.
Playing and making a story with puppets
Sharing puppet story
Ideally, children can be encouraged to make their own puppets, so that there are no preconceived character traits in the puppets used during StoryMaking. In other words, students can make their characters the way they want them to look and act in their stories. Children can use materials and tools to make puppets that align with their thinking with regard to their ideas for their stories.
Using materials to make a puppet for StoryMaking
Some of the materials that we have used for making puppets during StoryMaking include different types of paper (construction, colored, and more); fabric scraps and strips; pipe cleaners, buttons, puffs, rocks, magazine pictures
Possible materials for puppet making
We have observed that some of our students move between and amongst different areas as they are StoryMaking and move their puppets along with them. We have seen children use their puppets to StoryMake in blocks, collage and more. This is great! The blocks can build the setting, while the puppets represent the characters in the stories. Also, collage has been used for the context of the story, while the puppets represent people and animals in the stories.
Using collage area to design puppets for stories
Remaking a story in puppets