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The Benefits Of Simple Puppets

May 20, 2008
There is a surprisingly wide range of puppets available in children's toy shops today, and the theatrical representation is not limited merely to characters, but to accompany the puppets it is now possible to purchase a full theatre, complete with curtains and scenery in which to play out a life upon the stage.

The smallest, cheapest and most easy performed are the old fashioned finger puppets - literally single finger characters. These puppets are small and simple in design, and fit onto a single finger. The degree of performance is largely dependent on the acting expertise of your finger; a little waggling and bending is generally all that is required, but is unlikely to win many awards. These puppets are delightful for small children, and can be used in a number of ways.

Most puppet sets like these come in character groups from famous nursery rhymes or fairy tale stories, such as Little Red Riding Hood. These puppets can be used by the parent to help bring a story alive to a young child, who will delight in the characters being animated in this way. Eventually the child can take over one or all of the puppets and play out the story themselves as the parent reads it to them, or play out the full story to themselves at any time. It is also wonderful for children who are young, but not the youngest in the family, to have a chance to use these character puppets themselves to tell the story to a younger brother or sister.

Of course, these sort of puppets are really only suitable on their own for younger children, and can easily be made at home if you are fairly adept at sewing. However, the relatively cheap cost of these puppets means that it is unlikely to be worth your while.

Moving up the ladder of complexity are hand puppets, or glove puppets as they are sometimes known. These usually just fit over the whole hand, down to the wrist, and allow one or both arms of the character to be waggled and waved using your thumb and little finger. The remaining fingers fit up into the puppet's head and allow for nodding and shaking. Sooty and his friends were well know examples of these sorts of puppets, and children will not only enjoy talking to these creatures, but actually using them themselves.

It is worth noting that often children will happily chat away to a puppet character on a parent's hand and completely forget the fact that the parent is there. Often conversations can take interesting turns which wouldn't otherwise be possible. I am not aware of any investigation to find out the benefit of puppet for psychological analysis, but I am almost certain that it would result in interesting findings!

An alternative type of hand puppet is one which usually fits further down the arm, sometimes right down to the elbow, and instead of having animated limbs, has an animated mouth instead. The thumb is inserted into the lower jaw, the remaining fingers in the upper jaw which also serves as the head. The mouth can then be animated, and often the children will be so distracted and absorbed by the creature that you need not worry about your ventriloquial skills!
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about kids toys, dolls, and video games. You will find the best marketplace for kids toys, dolls, and used video games at these sites for kids toys, finger puppets, glove puppets, dolls, and used video games.
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