Friday, February 22, 2019


Sometimes I just can't think of new topics for my blogs.  I mean, after eight years I feel like I've shared everything I know.  That's when I search for "leftovers" from previous blogs.  I posted this one in 2012, but it's just as pertinent today - maybe even more so!  It fits right in with SEL - social emotional learning.  It's great that this is a take home activity, but the ideas would work equally well as a group activity at school.

There was a time when puppets were as important in our classrooms as smart 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 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  
Jo-Ann Stamile (Preschool Teacher, Picataway, NJ)
“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.”

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?

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

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 has started in our classroom. What can you do to help this new friend feel welcome?

Someone Is Sad
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?