Enabling environments: Tried and tested - Puppets, Hand in glove

Be the first to comment

Puppets come in all shapes and sizes and are indispensable in most settings. Early years professionals put their hands up and give their verdicts on the following selection to Sue Hubberstey.

e1e3fe9ac6b0aa5aa681c0e5a35c95f0

STORYTELLING GLOVES AND FINGER PUPPETS
ELEMENTAL
AGE RANGE: 3 - 5
PRICE: £8.47 and £9.36 each resp.
CONTACT: 0844 5574150
www.elemental-learning.co.uk

The story telling gloves offer six different themes: Little Red Riding Hood, Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks, Zoo, Farm and Minibeasts. There are two sets of animal finger puppets. Set 1 includes a lion, elephant, snake, hornbill and ladybird. Set 2 includes a lioness, monkey, zebra, giraffe and parrot.

- Tested by Child First Nursery, Aylesbury, Bucks

'These are good visual aids during songs and story time and helped the children engage in activities for longer. We have also found them useful with children who have behaviour issues and believe they would work well with children with hearing impairment. The children really enjoyed using the finger puppets themselves and they definitely encouraged their creative development. These products are well made and good value for money. Our only grumble is that the farm story glove has four farm animals and a lion! It could be used for more stories and songs if there was a fifth farm animal.'

4/5

BLACK, TAN AND WHITE PUPPY
PUPPETS BY POST
AGE RANGE: From 3 years
PRICE: £17.50
CONTACT: 01462 446040
www.puppetsbypost.com

This 24-inch long puppy will fit both adults' and children's hands and has a realistic mouth movement.

- Tested by Bolsover Infant and Nursery School, Chesterfield

'He is absolutely captivating. I observed a numeracy lesson when the puppet was used to set challenges for the children and they were mesmerised by him. He kept them all focused, including those who normally have a limited attention span. They were willing to do anything to please him! This puppet is a brilliant visual aid which has so many uses. It is kinaesthetic, tactile, very soft, realistic - a fantastic teaching tool, especially with children with concentration difficulties or problems with communication. This is a very high quality puppet and we would love to buy one for all the classes in the school. I think everyone, whatever their age, would adore him.'

5/5

CAREER HAND PUPPETS
TTS EARLY STEPS
AGE RANGE: 3 - 5
PRICE: £33.99
CONTACT: 0800 318686
www.tts-shopping.com

This is a set of ten hand puppets representing a variety of different jobs, including nurse, doctor, police officer and chef.

- Tested by Uxbridge Centre Playgroup, Middlesex

'These arrived at just the right time, as our current topic was People Who Help Us and they could be used as part of this. They were used daily over the product testing period and the children really enjoyed them. They are just the right size for our age group and can enhance language skills and imaginative play.'

4/5

MOLLY AND PIP
LDA
AGE RANGE: From 3 years
PRICE: £89.99 each
CONTACT: 0845 1204776
www.LDAlearning.com

These puppets can be used to encourage language skills and for specific mouth/tongue movements and articulation. They are designed to help with mouth shapes and tongue positioning and have finger movement for signing. Each can be fitted with a hearing aid and is surface washable. They both measure 660mm.

- Tested by Gaer Infant and Nursery School, Newport, South Wales

'Without a doubt, these are brilliant, and all the children and adults were captivated from the beginning. They meet a variety of learning objectives from personal skills, like using a hanky to wipe your nose, to singing, counting, laughing, listening and talking. The children were inspired to respond in a variety of ways. This included shaking hands, hugging, kissing, waving and generally interacting with both puppets by talking to them. We all agreed that they really do generate the feel-good factor, simply because they are so engaging. Although these puppets are ideal for working with children with special needs, they are also totally inclusive for the whole group.'

5/5

ANIMAL STAGE PUPPETS
ASCO
AGE RANGE: 3 - 5
PRICE: From £16.95 each or set of six £96
CONTACT: 0113 2707070
www.ascoeducational.co.uk

This range of large, realistic hand puppets includes a crocodile, giraffe, lion, zebra, wolf and sheep.

- Tested by University of Teesside Day Nursery, Middlesbrough

'These would make a good resource in any setting. As well as being used alongside story time, the children also used them a great deal in free play sessions, enabling them to expand on themes and language. One attraction is that they are beautifully soft to the touch. The fox is the most useful as he relates to many fairy stories, but the children liked the crocodile best. They do seem a bit expensive but will probably last.'

4/5

SIGNING PUPPET KARLOS
CAMBRIDGE EDUCATIONAL TOYS
AGE RANGE: From 3 years
PRICE: £55
CONTACT: 01223 693470
www.cambridgeeducationaltoys.co.uk

This large puppet has an ethnic face and a 66cm opening for hands and mouth.

- Tested by Castle Montessori, Berkhamstead, Herts

'We introduced the puppet as a new friend who had come to help us learn. Although he comes ready named, our children chose to rename him "Joe". We used him in a wide range of nursery activities. The children seemed more enthusiastic and willing to participate when the puppet was involved, and the children who are usually a little shy in group time were happier to join in. This puppet could be used with a wide age range, but we found it was really effective with our three- to five-year-olds. They described Joe as "fabulous" and "lovely" and one child said, "I like talking to Joe very much. He makes me giggle".'

5/5

RED RIDING HOOD HAND PUPPET
FORMATIVE FUN
AGE RANGE: From 3 years
COST: £9
CONTACT: 0845 8900609
www.formativefun.com

This puppet is part of a range that includes a wolf, grandma and woodcutter, £9 each.

- Tested by Julie Mortimer, childminder, Sudbury, Suffolk

'It's a lovely, very colourful toy, with lots of play value, and the children loved bringing her to life. The children enjoyed telling and re-telling the story of Red Riding Hood to each other, and some of the older ones used it to invent their own stories. It's something I would consider buying and I would be interested in what other puppets are available in the range.'

4/5

STAR RATINGS
5/5 EXCELLENT
4/5 VERY GOOD
3/5 GOOD
2/5 SATISFACTORY
1/5 LESS THAN SATISFACTORY

BEST BUY

Susan Westerman, Centre Deputy, Ashbrow Children's Centre, Huddersfield

'We use a whole range of puppets of all types. We buy most of them from the Puppet Company. We like the traditional storytelling finger puppets and have the full range for stories like Red Riding Hood and Three Little Pigs. At the moment we are running sessions with parents to teach them some of the traditional stories and songs. The finger gloves illustrating Five Currant Buns or The Wheels on the Bus are very popular. We have recently bought some insect finger puppets, including a caterpillar and a ladybird which have also been very successful. Finger puppets are enjoyed by children across the age range - even very young babies enjoy them - but hand puppets we usually restrict to children over 18 months. Some children are a bit nervous about putting their hand in the puppet at first, especially if it is a fierce animal like a wolf.

'We also have one large hand puppet whom the children named Freddy and he's very well loved.'

All the types of puppets described above can be obtained from The Puppet Company, tel. 01462 446040, www.the puppetcompany.com.

blog comments powered by Disqus