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Benefits of puppets for social skills

Using puppets can be a highly effective and engaging tool for developing and enhancing social skills, especially for children with developmental challenges. Each puppet is unique and has different characteristics similar to us in real life. In various ways, puppets mimic and form a simulation for our interactions as human beings. Similarly as we possess different hair and skin color, hair type, race and ethnicity, puppets too possess unique features and this is a great example why puppets can be used to relay learning lessons to children and even adults. Here are some benefits of using puppets for social skills development:

  • Developing Communication Skills: Puppets encourage verbal and nonverbal communication. Through conversations with puppets, children can work on articulation, listening skills, turn-taking, and maintaining eye contact.

  • Promotes Social Initiation: Puppets can help children initiate social interactions more comfortably. For instance, a puppet can be used to "introduce" a child to others to facilitate the start of a conversation.

  • Reducing Social Anxiety: Puppets can be used as a mask for children to hide behind when engaging with others while focusing on engagement between puppets and making eye contact with the puppets. The use of puppets in social situations reduces anxiety by providing a familiar and comforting intermediary.

  • Embracing Role-Playing: Puppets allow children to engage in role-playing scenarios, which helps them practice various social situations, learn appropriate behaviors, and understand consequences without facing real-world repercussions.

  • Creating a safe space: Puppets can create a safe and supportive environment for interaction. Children, especially those who may be shy or have social anxiety, might find it easier to communicate with a puppet rather than directly with adults or peers.

  • Learning Empathy and Perspective-Taking: By developing puppet’s characters and using social stories, children can better understand different perspectives and practice empathy. This can lead to improved interpersonal relationships and conflict resolution skills.

  • Encouraging Behavioral Modeling: Children can learn appropriate actions and responses in different social situations from observing the puppets model the right behaviors, manners, values and social etiquette.

Promoting Cultural Understanding & Appreciation: Puppets can represent characters from different cultures and backgrounds to teach children about diversity to foster cultural understanding.

In our sessions, students gain these benefits and more. Interested in your child using puppetry to develop social and emotional learning skills? Register your child for our Resilient Warrior Puppetry Club here


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