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Puppets and language skills

Puppets can encourage language skills
Puppets can encourage language skillsPhoto by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Puppets provide a great way for children to use their active imaginations and practice language skills! Puppets are also a terrific way for shy children to express themselves, since the puppet is doing the talking instead of the child! Puppets, especially sock puppets, are quite inexpensive to make.

Sock puppets are fun and easy for you and your child to make together. What a good rainy-day or snowy day project! You will need:
~~ an old sock
~~buttons (larger than one inch in diameter to prevent swallowing)
~~ needle and thread
~~ odds and ends of fabric, ribbon, yarn for decorating
~~ felt tipped marker
~~ glue (or better yet a glue gun—and make sure adults only use the glue gun)

To make the sock puppet sew on buttons to represent the eyes and nose. Then use some red material, sewn or hot glued for the mouth. You can use a remnant of ribbon or yarn to make a “tie” or a “scarf” around the neck of the puppet.

Now have fun with the puppet. Using a puppet to help read a book is a fun way to keep children absorbed in the story. Children become to enticed by the puppet, they may forget it is actually on your hand as they interact with the puppet. Children will enjoy talking to the puppet and pretending with it. It will also provide another way to improve your child’s coordination as they make the puppet “talk” to you!! Any opportunity to help a child increase his or her language skills and motor skills is always a positive.