Tridwick the Big Hearted Moose by Dr. Seuss

Puppets are exciting and extremely valuable teaching tools and should never be overlooked in early childhood environment. They fascinate and involve children in a way that few other art forms can. It may be because they allow children to enter the world of fantasy so easily. In this magical world, children are free to create whatever is needed right then in their lives. Because puppets often reveal the inner world of the child, a great deal can be accomplished through puppetry, and they have numerous benefits for children and teachers.

Benefits of creative puppetry for children

  • Enhances positive self-concept.
  • Encourages language development through verbal expression.
  • Enables children to experience life situations.
  • Provides acceptable avenues for releasing emotions.
  • Builds social skills
  • Helps children distinguish between fantasy and reality.

Benefits of creative puppetry for teachers

  • Enhances your own creativity.
  • Enables children to see you differently.
  • Provides increased understanding of the child.
  • Provides alternative learning experiences.
  • Provides an atmosphere of fun.

Puppet classes

Puppet Classes in Shoreline WA

CCF has several puppetry series classes that are available through correspondence as well as in-person. Other puppet classes are available only for in-person teaching. In-person classes are held in private homes or day care centers in different locations in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties. Students can request classes at their location. Classes can be customized. A five student minimum is required for an in-person class. There are discounts for groups of more than 10 students.

All our classes are approved by the Washington State and Registry System (STARS) to fulfill education requirements for early childhood teachers in Washington State. Also, all our classes can be used to apply for a new Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) or renew existing CDA. They all cost a $100 per student and are available upon a request.

  1. Puppetry series. Introduction to making and using hand puppets.
  2. Puppetry series. Easy puppet making with children and teachers.
  3. Puppetry series. Teaching Mathematics with homemade puppets.
  4. Puppetry series. Developing emotional and social skills with homemade puppets.
  5. Basic Creative Puppetry. Teacher using puppets as teaching tools.
  6. Developing executive function skills by using puppetry and creative dramatics.

1.Introduction to making and using hand puppets.

Using commercially made puppets to tell the story of Ester.

Hand puppets are the best for a beginning puppeteer. They are the most natural and direct to use and are the easiest to construct. The puppeteer can express himself directly through the hand puppet without having to overcome the complex problems of control by rods or strings. Class will show you how to make the basic types of hand puppets, how to dress them and how to handle them to make them come alive. New puppeteer will not need special talents and with practice he will be able to use new puppets for the benefit of children in school, Christian ministry or at home.

2.Easy puppet making for children and teachers.

Paper bag puppets

Early childhood teachers need new tools which will hold children’s attention and make learning fun. Children need new multipurpose toys. Puppets can deliver! With right instructions young children can make simple puppets from recycling materials, found objects, paper and fabric. It will cost very little and develop children’s physical, intellectual as well as creative skills. Teachers can make special more complicated puppets to read a book, assist in a mealtime or jump around during dance activity. Class is overflowing with practical ideas, and puppet patterns.

3.Teaching mathematics with homemade puppets.

Using homemade puppets for measurements

Puppets are exciting and extremely valuable teaching tools and should never be overlooked in early childhood environment. Teacher can easily make math puppets from cheap, recyclable materials. Class teaches how to effectively make and use puppets as an alternative learning experience in helping children understand early mathematical concepts. It describes developmentally appropriate, practical ideas for learning numbers, operations, geometry, spatial sense, measurement, comparison, patterns, and data analysis. Many printable puppets patterns are included.

4. Developing emotional and social skills with puppets.

Using a puppet to overcome fear of a doctor visit.

Childrens lives can be difficult, full of fears, sadness and drama. Changes and losses can be devastating. Understanding and accepting emotions is necessary for normal development. Puppets are very effective in helping children identify, understand and verbalize inner thoughts and feelings. A child feels no responsibility for the action and words he projects since, in his own mind, they are words and actions of someone else. Likewise, when a puppet is placed on a hand of an adult, the child ignores the adult’s existence and focuses on the puppet, thus eliminating any communication barriers which might have existed. Teaching social/emotional skills with puppets class is full of practical techniques for teachers and children. Students will have opportunity to make puppets and use them in social role play.

5. Basic Creative Puppetry.

Teacher using puppets as teaching tools

Early childhood teachers need new tools which will hold the children’s attention and make learning fun. Puppets make a difference! Learn how to incorporate teacher-operated puppets in your program and how to make simple puppets from recycling materials to encourage language skills and creativity. During the hands on class, students will learn how to make and operate a special “Buddy Puppet”, operate puppets with a book or special story, make peek-a-boo boards and use puppets to teach academic concepts

6.Developing executive function skills by using puppetry and creative dramatics.

Teachers learn how to use drama creatively for devloping executive function.
Redmond class.

Being able to focus, hold, and work with information in mind, filter distractions, and switch gears is like having an air traffic control system at a busy airport to manage the arrivals and departures of dozens of planes on multiple runways. In the brain, this air traffic control mechanism is called executive functioning, a group of skills that helps us to focus on multiple streams of information at the same time, and revise plans as necessary. Puppet play helps children develop executive function and self-regulation skills successfully to experience lifelong benefits. During the class students will develop, and preform, a puppet show.

Puppet Shows

Performing the Christmas story. An angel is speaking to Joseph.

Tatiana Strachan wrote several puppet shows that she preformed domestically and internationally. Tatiana’s shows are not designed for big performances but are specially designed to be suitable for any place and any number of viewers. Shows can be easily adjusted to be suitable for different ages of children as well as for adults. What is one of best features of those shows is that they do not require elaborate stages but, quite an opposite, they do good with story-teller apron, peekaboo board, simple bed sheet or no stage at all.

Tatiana Strachan is dedicated to share her puppet shows with as many people as possible. They are usually 10 to 20 minutes in length and always free.

For people wanting more, Tatiana will be happy to include follow up activities for children. For adults, when requested, she will disclose all the puppet show secrets including pointers on how to operate puppets and how to put together similar performance.

Puppet show list:

A Dragon Story (one puppeteer, nonreligious)

Ester (one puppeteer, Christian)

Parable of Good Samaritan (group of puppeteers, Christian)

Underwater Friends (one puppeteer nonreligious)

Christmas Story (group of puppeteers, Christian)

Good Neighbor (one puppeteer non-religious or Christian)

How to be a good wife. (one puppeteer, Christian)

Tridwick the Big-Hearted Moose by Dr. Seuss (one puppeteer nonreligious)

Pupet Show in India.
Puppet show in a mountain vilage inThailand
Puppet show at a Head Start in South Seattle.