One unique and powerful component of our school is our Gingerbread Puppet Land Program. It’s been a hallmark of the curriculum since our inception in 1974. Because puppets are extremely versatile, they are woven into a variety of daily activities and utilized for many purposes. They play a very important role in our school community as they become well-loved characters that the children can easily relate to.
“What happens in Puppet Land, doesn’t stay in Puppet Land!” Puppets are brought to life during our daily puppet shows as the children are entertained with stories and songs. The stories provide opportunities to develop study concepts and introduce new vocabulary. Good character and values are modeled and discussed in relatable ways that the children can understand. In addition, the puppets are an ideal way to model and role play problem solving scenarios as the children help the puppets brainstorm and practice responses.
The shows are a fun and unique way to promote alphabetic and phonemic awareness and stimulate the children’s imaginations. As active participants, the children are drawn into the learning process. They form connections and are eager to join in on that day’s story which may be celebrating events, making new discoveries, finding missing things, or offering help to the puppets.
Each letter of the alphabet has a puppet with a unique and engaging personality. Because we live in Florida, Lizzie Lizard is our Master of Ceremonies. Her role is to conduct the show and introduce a new puppet each week. Several other puppets are well known to the children as they are used regularly to encourage positive development and practices in the classroom. A couple of examples are Alice Abbott, Eber Eagle, and Dodie Dog. Alice practices traits like impulse control and kindness. She will often make appearances during group time to share acts of kindness she has observed. Eber helps encourage and guide the children about ways to be environmentally responsible. Dodie’s focus is on safety. She will often share ideas and discussions about traffic, fire, stranger safety, and rules.
Needless to say, we love our puppets! They are truly a fun and effective way to promote children’s overall development.