Sunday, 12 August 2012

Finger Puppets for Baby Rhymetimes

Finger puppets are essential props for Baby Rhymetimes and Storytimes, at least I've found them to be so.

The flannel board is great for toddlers and beyond, but I find younger babies concentrate much better in storytimes if I can keep attention focused on a limited number of places, namely my face, my hands and  the things I'm holding. They usually include (only at the time they are in use)
  • books,
  • model baby &
  • storytime props.
For the remainder of of the time I keep them all hidden away.

The choice of props varies from week to week my favourites being scarves, shakers, bubbles and of course, finger puppets.

Twinkle, Twinkle Star from The Puppet Company

I have a pre-made nursery rhyme set from which I use at least one puppet every baby session, consisting of six puppets for Twinkle Twinkle (above), Baa Baa Black Sheep, Humpty Dumpty, Hickory Dickory Dock, Incy Wincy Spider and Once I caught a fish alive. The manufacturers, The Puppet Company, sell the puppets individually but no longer seem to sell the set which came with the rhymes on a card and a transparent carry case. It is still available from Amazon though and various eBay sellers.

I find finger puppets work so well with this age group.
They help to:
  • hold attention
  • make surprise moments
  • demonstrate positioning (e.g up, down, behind etc)
  • facilitate play (e.g. peek-a-boo)
  • anticipate the next item (silver star = we'll sing 'Twinkle, Twinkle')
  • associate words and objects (in songs, rhymes & chat)
and are easy to hide when we move on to another item.

Farm Set made from Floral Blossom’s Etsy pattern
I've been making puppets too. The patterns used in this farm set were recommended by Storytime Katie with a pattern purchased from Floral Blossom’s Etsy shop. These were made straight from the instructions but, being ever aware of choking hazards, I'm working on tweaking the instructions to make them a little more child-friendly. I'll keep you updated on my progress.

Check out Flannel Friday's NEW Finger Puppet Pinterest board and Storytime ABC's Blog Hop (below) for more finger puppet ideas.

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