After the introduction of a theme, does your puppet mainly sit on the cabinet because his job is mainly to introduce the theme? Involving a puppet in your group’s activities is fun and effective because everything your puppet offers is viewed by children with great interest. So a shame to leave it on the shelf.
I have some angles for you here. Topics your puppet can talk about or bring in for an activity:
- What about the clothing we wear, is it different from, say, in the summer? What do you put on in winter that you don’t put on in summer? Or, what did you wear in the fall that’s too cold now?
- What about the weather? What do you see outside? What is there that you don’t see in the fall or spring? Is it an idea to make a weather calendar, to keep track of how often it snows, how often it rains, how often the sun shines?
- What about indoor and outdoor activities? In winter, what do you do inside and what do you do outside?
- In winter, it is dark outside early. What does that look like on the clock? And when you wake up in the morning, what do you see on the alarm clock?
- Do you also see birds in your yard or neighborhood? What do they look like? Can they find food now, or do we have to help them a little with that? What about the hedgehogs, squirrels or other animals that have a harder time finding food when it’s freezing outside?
- When it freezes, what exactly happens to water?
- Does winter look the same everywhere, or are there countries where winter is very different?
The winter theme is full of concepts that you can play with, that you can make comprehension cards from which your puppet comes up with a game.
Do you have a human puppet or a puppet that fits clothes? Then look for a hat, scarf, earmuffs, winter coat or boots for your puppet. Children love it when the class puppet is included in the theme, and it gives you a chance to shape his interest in the theme right away.
When a pack of snow falls, take your chance AND your puppet, hoist him or her in a winter outfit and head outside to take snow photos. A few years ago I made a series of my puppet Mo in the snow and made a collage of it. I had used my garden as a backdrop for the photos, so it didn’t took me that much time. There was still quite pristine snow and that makes for the most beautiful pictures. When Mo showed the collage to my class, no one had any doubts, Mo had really played with snow and knew what he was talking about. A photo of your puppet within a theme works great, so use it! You have to explain much less, and it really makes it a lot easier to introduce your puppet in the theme.
I also used these pictures in a song I wanted to teach, I combined the pictures with concepts in the song and made a video of them. Can you do too!
I wish you a lot of winter fun with your puppet and hope to hear from you again.
Until another blog.