Puppets are currently a BIG hit in our household. As my son grabbed his collection for what felt like the 100th time this morning, I thought of the 100 ways we’ve used them in play. They are a wonderful resource for all areas of a child’s development (i.e., communication and language, social and emotional, cognitive and physical). They provide the opportunity for children to develop their abstract thought through imaginary play and gain an understanding of the world through symbolic play as well as developing their fine motor skills. They are perfect for children who are ‘own agenda’ and highly motivating for children who are tired of therapy sessions too!


Puppet play contributes sound, speech, movement and colour to language activities. They encourage development of:

  • Turn taking

  • Attention

  • Imagination

  • Vocabulary

  • Following directions

  • Voice and volume control

  • Grasping difficult concepts in a humorous form of delivery

A puppet is a fabulous tool in teaching emotions.

Happy : Keep the mouth ajar, and rock head in a carefree manner.

Sad: Face the head in a downwards position. If the puppet has arms, suggest crying by placing hands over the eyes.

Shy: Make the puppet head slowly ‘peek’ and then turn away.

Puppets are also useful for modelling behaviour and everyday skills:

  • Use 2 puppets for acting out situations and brainstorming solutions (e.g., sharing)

  • Show the importance of inclusion by having the puppet join in with games, songs and dancing

  • Teach skills like brushing teeth and hair or reading a book

  • Use for transitions – the puppet could model the directions or actions

Puppets can be useful for inclusive creative activities as well. Use the puppets to act out a simple play or make the puppets themselves from paper bags, paper plates and old socks.

We have some fabulous FREE templates for various puppets. Get in touch with us to receive yours!