Puppetry can be closely aligned with the teaching goals of the Australian EYLF and contributes to all 5 Outcomes children should achieve during their Early Learning stages.
OUTCOME 1: CHILDREN HAVE A STRONG SENSE OF IDENTITY
Children explore different identities and points of view in puppet shows. They contribute to a shared play experience when being part of the audience or taking on a puppet character and its role within a dramatic play. Within the puppet show all characters express a wide range of emotions, thoughts and views that children pick up and react on when being interactively involved in the story.
OUTCOME 2: CHILDREN ARE CONNECTED WITH AND CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR WORLD
When doing a puppet show children need to cooperate with others and negotiate roles and relationships in play episodes. When listening to different types of stories (puppets, shadow puppetry, black light puppetry, stories in different languages) they are able to experience the diversity of culture, heritage, background and tradition in story telling.
OUTCOME 3: CHILDREN HAVE A STRONG SENSE OF WELLBEING
Within puppet shows children are highly engaged in the story. Therefore they share humour, happiness and satisfaction with their group.
When doing their own puppet show children are able to accept new challenges, celebrate their own efforts and achievements and those of others when experiencing applause after finishing a story.
Manipulating puppets and the theatre (curtains, lights) nurtures complex sensory- and motor skills.
OUTCOME 4: CHILDREN ARE CONFIDENT AND INVOLVED LEARNERS
Children can use puppetry to investigate, imagine and explore their creativity. When creating or replaying stories, they contribute to play experiences of others. They need to apply a wide variety of thinking strategies to transform a well-known story into the new situation of puppet characters using direct speech and acting within a stage set. Puppet shows teach children how to manipulate objects and experiment with motion and language and how to express emotions.
When being part of a puppet show children experience the benefits and pleasures of shared learning exploration. They explore the purpose and function of a range of dramatic tools, media and sounds in order to create an engaging story.
Within puppetry children have to use imagination, creativity and play in order to transport meaning to the audience.
OUTCOME 5: CHILDREN ARE EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATORS
With puppet shows children engage in enjoyable interactions using verbal and non-verbal language. Interactive puppetry helps them respond verbally to what they see and hear.
Taking on a puppet character and bringing it to life teaches children to construct messages with purpose and confidence using literacies of home/family and the broader community.
Puppets help children expressing their ideas and feelings in a playful way.
Puppet shows are highly interactive and children easily transform themselves as part of the story when listing to sounds, speech, stories and rhymes. They then respond with gestures, actions, singing, comments and/or questions.
Children use their language to imagine and create own roles. Puppet shows offer unlimited opportunities for children to share stories and symbols of their own culture and re-enact well-known stories.