Staging a puppet show is a great way to get children excited about reading, aid in the development of storytelling skills, and bring the family together to celebrate a child’s creativity! Not sure where to start? We have seven simple steps to aid your child in putting on a proper puppet show!
1. Choose your book.
It’s important to choose a story that lends itself to being acted out. Multiple strong characters, an exciting backdrop, and adventure are always great elements to include in a puppet show! Browse our selection of children’s books to get started: https://www.kaplantoys.com/shop/childrens-books.
2. Pick out the puppets.
Knowing which puppets to use as the show’s actors/actresses is the most important part! Allow children to express creativity by choosing their own character to act out whatever role they’ve chosen from the story. We have a range of puppets to choose from, from farm animals to Sesame Street characters! Below are some of our favorites:
3. Write the scripts.
Your children will have to decide which characters will be acted out as well as what they will say. Writing scripts is a great way to delve deeper into a book to pick out the most important lines of dialogue. It can also be a great opportunity to teach concepts like summarizing, themes, and the moral of the story. Children can depict with puppets what they learned from the story and practice early writing skills along the way!
4. Set the stage.
What is a puppet show without a stage? Help your children pick out the perfect place to act out their stories. You’ll want to make sure the location is somewhere big enough for an audience of avid supporters.
On a budget? Use an ironing board! Simply hang a tablecloth over it and the height can be adjusted to the appropriate level. Children can add whatever props they like!
5. Practice, practice, practice!
Encourage children to practice their scripts so they don’t get stage fright or forget who is supposed to speak when. This is a great way to teach dedication and may lead to some comical improvisation as well!
6. Stage the lights.
Lighting can go a long way in setting the mood for a play! Adding some dramatic flair to the performance is always fun and will make children even more excited about acting out the show. If you can, find a way to dim the lights and have the stage lit with a “spot light.” You can point a lamp in their direction, use a projector, or get fancy by having the stage lit from underneath! Use whatever works best for you!
7. Gather the family together.
Having a support system is always important. Children will not only work on public speaking in front of an audience, but laughter and applause will go a long way in building confidence. Make sure to catch the performance on video so children can laugh along later!
Using Finger Puppets to Encourage Early Literacy
Outside of giving a performance, finger puppets are a great alternative for encouraging children who are struggling with reading. Here are some great options for engaging children in early literacy by using their hands to act out the story:
We hope you enjoy a puppet performance in your home! What are some of your child’s favorite books to act out? Be sure to share with us by commenting below.