The Benefits Of Using Hand Puppets With Babies
There are many different occasions when your baby or toddler will be playing with a toy but also learning and developing at the same time, and playing with your little one is so important during their early years. One particular type of play that isn’t only lots of fun but that is also really educational for children is playing with puppets and this type of ‘pretend play’ engages and entertains children whilst they’re learning in different key areas of development.
Some parents will assume that puppets are only beneficial for older children to use, but this really isn’t the case and even your baby can learn a lot when you spend some time playing with puppets together. If you’ve never really thought about using hand puppets with your baby before and you’re wondering how it would benefit them, below we have looked into some of the most notable ways a puppet set can help your little one in the first few years of their life.
Builds their social skills
When you spend some time being playful with hand puppets, you will naturally be bonding and socially interacting with your baby, promoting social and emotional development. Talking to your baby via the puppet or telling stories using the puppet will help to build their social skills and this form of social interaction can be really beneficial for their overall development. As your little one gets older, they can begin to use the puppets themselves to interact with others as well.
Encourages them to use their imagination
Generally speaking, puppet-play is known for being a brilliant type of imaginative play and when your baby is still quite young, this type of play is brilliant for cognitive development. Both finger puppets and hand puppets are fantastic resources for storytelling and role play, and they will enhance your little one’s creativity and imagination. By playing simple things like hide and seek games with the puppet, you can help your baby to hit all of their cognitive milestones.
Develops their speech and language
By spending time speaking to your baby via the puppet, you will also be aiding your little one’s language development and each verbal interaction will be beneficial. As your baby begins to understand speech and respond to speech, using a puppet is a brilliant way to get them to start expressing themselves. When children get older, puppets are frequently used to assist those who are reluctant to speak, so they can help from a young age to encourage speech.
Improves their motor skills
If your little one starts to play with puppets themselves, which they likely will after watching you play with them, they will also be starting to develop both their gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Simply moving the puppets around or gradually starting to manipulate the puppets will help them with lots of different basic daily activities in the next few years of their life. Often, hand puppets for babies can also help with their hand-eye coordination too.
Enhances their self confidence
As your baby starts to discover how to use the hand puppets themselves, providing them with support and encouragement is brilliant for building their self-confidence. The more confident your baby feels, the more they will want to explore and learn in their younger years, and the easier they will find group situations as they get older. Lots of people continue to use handling puppets to encourage self-confidence at different stages of early years development.
Buying the best puppets for babies
It is fair to say that whilst you might not think of using hand puppets with little ones, they really are a great toy to experiment with and they can be incredibly beneficial to use. It is definitely worthwhile starting to use puppets with your baby or toddler and you can guarantee that they will have a lot of fun when you do so. If you’d like to try playing with hand puppets for the first time, here at My Little Goody Box we have a selection of animal hand puppets to purchase.
Whether you’re wanting to use a traditional looking hand puppet or a multi-purpose puppet that can be used as a cuddly toy but still has the functionality of a puppet, we have a number of popular animals for you to choose from. On our website, you will also find lots of other toys and sensory props that are perfect for educational and developmental play, so we invite you to browse through the rest of our website today. Should you have any questions at all regarding the toys you’re interested in, feel free to contact us, we’re always happy to help.