Wednesday, October 17, 2012


There was a time when puppets were as important in our classrooms as white boards.  Something magical happened when the little scrap of cloth or fur went on your hand – it became REAL!  Puppets were a vehicle for language, problem solving, creativity, and FUN!   Last Saturday at the NJAKE Conference (New Jersey Association for Kindergarten Educators) I met many wonderful teachers including Jo-Ann Stamile.  She reminded me about the value of puppets with a social skills take home activity she created from old fabric her grandmother left her.  I was intrigued and asked if I could share her idea on my blog. 
You’ll quickly see from her description how meaningful this would be for ALL children – especially those with special needs.  Through the puppets Common Core Standards would be nurtured (speaking, answering questions), as well as skills from the 21st Century (cooperation, problem solving, etc.).  The scenes could easily be adapted for different age levels and situations.

Thank you for sharing, Jo-Ann!  Kiss your heart, and kiss your brain Jo-Ann!

Social Skills Puppet Play Activity
“Puppets are multi-sensory allowing visual, auditory, and kinetic learning.  Puppets are a wonderful tool that I use in the classroom.  Puppets also foster social interaction, communication, role-playing, imagination, story telling, listening, and so much more. 

This Puppet Play Activity Kit goes home with every child in my classroom.  Inside the kit, there will be several puppets, along with cards for the children to act out.  Each card will have a different scenario on it to reflect the different situations that arise in our classroom.” 
                           Jo-Ann Stamile (Preschool Teacher, Picataway, NJ)
Note to Parents:  Start by picking a card.  Read the card to your child.  Pick out the puppets to go along with the card.  Act out the scenario with the puppets. 
You may keep the activity home for a few days.  Please put this page, along with the puppets and the 9 activity cards back into the container. 
Thank you for participating in my Social Skills Puppet Play Activity.
                        Ms. Jo-Ann

Circle Time
“Meteorologist of The Day”
The Teacher picks a popsicle stick out of the container
to be the Meteorologist of the Day, but it’s not
your name.  How do you react?

Center Time
“Going to a Center that is full”
You want to go to another Center, but there are
too many friends already there.  How do you react?

Center Time
During Center time, you are playing with a toy.  Your friend
has a toy that you really wanted.  What do you do?

Arrival Time
You enter into school.  You are greeted by a Teacher. 
The Teacher says “Good morning” to you.
What do you say?

Making Friends
“A New Friend”
A new friend has started in our classroom.  What can you do
to help this new friend feel welcome?

Someone Is Sad
“A Friend Gets Hurt”
During outside playtime, a friend falls down right in front
of you and gets hurt.  What do you do?

Turn Taking/Sharing
Both of your puppets want to play with the same ball. 
What do you do?

Clean Up Time
It’s clean up time.  You have a lot of toys out. 
What do you do?

Table Manners
You are sitting down having lunch.  You noticed that the milk
is at the other end of the table.  What do you do?