Sunday, March 22, 2009

Puppetools - a new way of using puppetry in your lessons?

As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I have received access to a product called Puppetools. What is Puppetools, you may ask? Simply, it is a tool that uses creativity to teach some subjects that might be hard for kids. Puppetry is an old age way of communication that attracts children since forever I would think. Even my husband sometimes takes a stuff animal and make it interact with our kids. The children are all eyes to the animal and don’t care who is talking. He did that often when his sister was younger to keep her entertained and now he is using it on his own children. I can see him doing it to his grand-children in the future… but let’s get back to the review.

Puppetools was inspired by Jeffrey Peyton and his website provides resources to teachers and students to experience with educational play. On the website you will discover some videos to explain how to create your paper puppet as well as patterns if you need some ideas. I experienced in making one puppet but I had to modify the instructions for the hinge because I only had 8 ½ x 11 cardboard. So I decided to make a fish and as I was doing so I was wondering how I can use it later on… then I thought of the scripture about Jesus telling Peter to throw his net in the water and they caught a fish with money in its mouth to pay the taxes (Matthew 17:24-27). Maybe I could glue a Loonie (our Canadian dollar) in the mouth of the fish to make it more real and use it during the children lesson at church.

It took me a while to do my puppet. But once it is done, you can use it multiple times. I used some scrapbooking cardboard to make it as it is stronger than construction paper. But if I would let the kids do one I would use construction paper as it is cheaper than scrapbook cardboard.

Even though it wasn’t that bad, I found it was a bit time consuming. So if you decide to create a puppet, you will need to plan some time without being disturbed. Honestly, I can see the advantages to use this kind of active-play for a classroom setting but in a home school setting I am still wondering how to use this. The best idea I came with right now it to use it as a craft activity. Mind you I’m sure that some ideas will come to me when I attach subjects related to animals and other things like how light bulb works.

As I am writing this, there are two types of subscriptions available on the website. A 20$ US trial are designed for individual users (like home school moms!) and gives you access to all the resources for a full 60 days. A regular subscription is also available for 99$ US and this type of subscription is designed for small & large groups.

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