Using Puppets to Encourage Speech Abilities
I have always loved puppets since I was about four. There are a lot of aspects in puppetry which have usually drawn my attention to the art, but the major reason for my admiration of puppetry is the manner in which puppets come to life as characters. In any puppets show, the characters of the art portray various traits and different personalities over a cross-section of various cultures, history and heritage. They also do convey various emotional traits such as joy or sadness. Sometimes they are just cheeky or naughty, but at the end of it all, there is always a lesson to learn.
One of the most important lessons that can be learnt from these educational toys is the creativity part of human beings. Most of them feature various creative options which do encourage imagination and can go an extra mile in defining good traits in humans especially small children while encouraging them to fit in a society. Although, learning can be indirect, it eventually has positive rewards in children.
My son, John, was born with Down syndrome, and there was the need to provide proper parenting to him as I tried to help him lead a normal life. He needed extra attention, unlike his siblings and I was ready to do everything in my position to help him. As he grew up, we had several therapy sessions to help him improve on his motor skills, though he never responded positively like I anticipated. However, I could never give in helping him, and I was always available to take him for the therapy sessions.
Importance of Educational Toys in Child Development
He usually talked less, only when necessary, and never loved playing even with his sisters or other children. At school, he always loved being alone – he kind of could not fit in. he also had a lot of difficulties concentrating and needed more attention from the teachers unlike other kids. I’m grateful because the teachers at his elementary school ensured that they gave him the necessary attention that he deserved in order for him not to be left behind in school works. After school in the evening, I was always there to help him with his homework as well as home-school him if need be.
On one school holiday during summer, while he was 6, there happened to be a puppet show in our local town. I loved these shows since I was a kid, and decided to take my kids for the show. That day in the afternoon after taking lunch, we attended the show.
Since we arrived at the show early, we managed to get the front seats and I chatted with my kids as we waited for the show to start. Though I was certain that we would have a lovely afternoon at the show, I never anticipated that the show would be very interesting and captivating for John. He was keen throughout the show, and from the way he laughed and asked some questions about the characters of the show, I was certain that he was fascinated by the various characters.
How Marionettes and Educational Toys Can Help Kids Improve on their Cognitive and Motor Skills
Indeed, he resonated and tried to relate with at least three characters during the two-hour show, I felt mesmerized by the manner in which he tried to explore the various roles of the characters while asking me questions. This made me realize, that marionettes and other creative educational toys, would eventually play a fundamental role in helping him develop the necessary motor and cognitive skills.
As we headed home that evening, I couldn’t fail to see the grim in his face, which indicated that he really enjoyed the show. This made me think of better ways which would encourage him to learn through creative plays so that he could be at a position to be more interactive.
The next few weeks I tried to gather various marionettes and puppets as well as video representation of the same, and I would watch with him the videos or play the toys with him. Every time that I did so, I ensured that I came up with something unique which could help him focus more as well as improve his imagination.
I did that till he was about 10, and by that time, I realized that he acted normally as other and even became more social. I loved the day, we he made friends with a kid at school, and he would at times carry the toys with him to school so that they could play together. Through the toys, I was able to help him rediscover himself.