Thursday, December 11, 2008

Puppetools: Advancing the Language of Play


The TOS Homeschool Crew has had the opportunity to review a unique website, Puppetools.  Puppetools is the creation of Jeffrey Peyton, whose mission is to "open the door to sweeping change in education by advancing the principle of play in teaching and learning."   You can read more about the mission of Puppetools and the website HERE

The Puppetools website offers training videos on how to use puppets to teach and interact with children, instructions on how to make puppets from paper (using the Paper Talker Hinge), discussion forums, templates for creating puppets, and photos of hundreds of puppets made by others to inspire you.  Not only can teachers create puppets to use with their students, but children can create puppets to use for play and for presentations and reports. 


There are two different subscription plans for Puppetools.  There is the 1 year regular membership, for up to 30 members per group, for $99.00.   This can be used for homeschool groups, church children's programs, clubs, daycares, or personal family use.  There is also a 60 day trial memberships for individuals for $20.00.  The trial membership would allow a family to explore the website, learn how to make the Paper Talker Hinge, use the 37 provided templates, and get ideas on how to use puppets in their homeschool or group, without a long-term commitment.  The puppets could be used for teaching, reports, creative play, using in nursery, Sunday School classes, children's church, or while babysitting. 


My children enjoyed making puppets to play with.  Even my 11 yo and 13 yo enjoyed making them for their 2 yo sister.  The 4 yo and 7 yo boys, who love to create with paper, were the most excited.  Paper, scissors, and glue!!  (A few of their favorite things.)  It was easy to teach them how to make the Paper Talker hinge, and I'm sure I'll be seeing many more puppets using the Paper Talker hinge.   We didn't have colored construction paper in the house, so we just printed the templates, colored them, and used them for the puppets.  The ones we made are obviously not going to last long.  I definitely recommend using thick construction paper, colored card stock, or the foam paper.


Despite the fact that my children did enjoy making puppets, this isn't a website that I would subscribe to.  I can not see me using puppets to teach my children on a regular basis, because I don't have problems engaging my children's interest in our lessons.  We use a curriculum and educational style that engages their interest already.  However, for those needing to find an affordable way to make a variety of puppets themselves, this website may be just what they need.   Although, you could probably also find puppet-making information (not the same style he teaches) for free on the internet or from a book at the library.


If you're looking for ways to grab the attention of your visual students, to inspire your kinesthetic students, to help your children explore their own creativity, or to help them use puppets in their presentations ... then check out Puppetools!  It may be what you're looking for.


Click the banner at the top to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members. 


Trusting in Him,

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