Do You Remember Playing With Finger Puppets As A Kid? Here’s Why Finger Puppets are Great Therapy Tools for Kids and Teens with Autism
Finger puppetry can be more than just fun and games. It can also be therapeutic and educational for kids and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Finger puppets are a fantastic way to engage your students in learning. If you’ve never used them before, they are basically miniature figures that kids can manipulate with their fingers. This type of manipulation works great for lessons on anatomy, how the digestive system works, body parts, and even algebra. Finger puppets help students conceptualize what you teach them. It’s easy to get excited about what you’re teaching when you have something to manipulate!
Always an exciting part of storytime
Puppets are a great tool for making stories fun and involving the audience in the story! They add a touch of fun and make your read-aloud time more interactive. It’s a great way to get children more involved with the story and even teach them new words.
Stories are filled with emotion and meaning that can only be conveyed through puppet characters. Maybe you already have some small children who love stories, or perhaps you’re fostering a love for reading among young children yourself. Either way, we believe that telling stories with your kids can be as entertaining as educational.
When things get tough, under stressful circumstances, having a puppet handy may help break the ice.
Children (or adults alike) may communicate more freely about their feelings when speaking through a puppet. I call this cognitive therapy for adults. Children are fairly sophisticated fall guys for our emotional problems — they understand that we need to be careful what we say and how we say it to not say something hurtful or provocative. So if we are being told that we are causing more trouble than we are worth in any capacity, then putting a stop to that conversation will be necessary.
When life gets hard, having a puppet by your side can make the hardest things easier. When things get tough, when you don’t have anything nice to say, and you’re drowning in feelings of helplessness and sadness, having a puppet by your side can help you ease into thoughts of lighter feelings. It can help you understand that sometimes all you need is a little positivity — a little sunshine — to get you through the tough times, and maybe they will help you find it.
It makes language learning so much easier!
Pupils can practice speaking in foreign languages with someone who understands what they are saying — and Vice Versa! An effective way to introduce a foreign language to children is through play.
Help your child create a stage or props to go with the stories, rhymes, or songs.
Kids learn best when they immerse themselves in a story and then are encouraged to explore their imaginations. So let them decide how they want to use their props. Let them design their own little scenes and even their own little plays with nothing but pencils, paper, and creativity. It’s a great way for parents to give their children a creative outlet and make their own plays with no adult supervision. It’s also a great way for you to get creative and indulge your own mind as you imagine things that might someday become stage shows for grownups.
Have you ever seen a child demonstrate their knowledge of the language by creating a hand puppet using their fingers?
You could help students with their understanding of grammar by creating finger puppets representing letters of the alphabet. Learning about letter parts, for example, could be demonstrated by putting one puppet with an “ F” leg and another with an “ R” leg high in the air with their arms spread wide apart.
The Benefits of Finger Puppets for Autism and Tact Skills
- Have your child or students work on sounds, repeat words or say full sentences with the help of finger puppets.
- Fine motor skills are really important for toddlers. If your child is accumulating household items (like toys and books) and placing them in their play area, try one of these activities.
- Puppet skills are excellent for fine motor skills and science experiments. The child can practice their imitation rapidly and accurately. This is a great option for parents who don’t want their children to repeat their mistakes or get too frustrated when trying something new.
- We can help make sure that they have a variety of toys to keep their interest going at all times by using finger puppets. Several things can be accomplished with finger puppets, including, but not limited to, practicing certain skills, practicing language skills, making art pieces, or just having fun.