Thursday, April 21, 2011

No strings attatched, unless you're a marionette.

"As children, we all live in a world of imagination, of fantasy, and for some of us that world of make-believe continues into adulthood." — Jim Henson

Yesterday afternoon at our small library, we got to create some puppets. Okay, there was no I in the "we" part of that statement. The kids sure had fun, and I had fun watching them. This project was part of the Creativity Tank; a program in which teaching artists provide opportunities to develop and express creativity through meaningful art experiences. This program is sponsored in part with money from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage fund. (Where the rest of the money comes from, I'm not sure.) And yes, I got most of that information off the poster that was hanging up in our window advertising this event.

I have a fondness for puppets. I'm not exactly sure where it came from, but there it is. Maybe it's the fact that you can use them to say things in a tone of voice or accent that you can't use in everyday conversation. You can use them to say things that you just can't say in everyday conversation without looking a bit foolish. How often do you get to say, "Kaaa-zam!" without people giving you weird looks. If the puppet on your hand says, "Kaaa-zam!" and gets weird looks that has nothing to do with you. It's a puppet, and puppets say things like that. Sometimes, they even say things like that with a sort of weird English accent. And with a crazy low voice. While looking at you funny. Obviously, hand puppets are my favorite.

The kids made Fimo Puppets. Stick puppets made out of clay. As you can see from the pictures, they turned out great! Here is a great way for kids to learn how to express themselves without using words. They can shake their heads yes or no, turn away from you as if giving you the cold shoulder, get in close to show their interest, and the list goes on. It's a good learning experience without anyone being aware of it! How do you express yourself without using words? How do you read the body language of other people? These are good things to know. It certainly takes practice. It also means you need to be aware of things going on around you. Important life skills. All from a puppet!

Who knew fun could be so educational?

A big THANK YOU to Brandon W. for taking pictures of the puppets!

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