Sunday, December 28, 2008
As part of The Old Schoolhouse review forum, I was given the opportunity to research and explore Mr. Jeffrey Peyton's Puppet Tool website. He describes himself as "The Play Professor" and has obviously put alot of his heart and soul into the making of this site.
I feel Jeffrey makes valid points and can undertstand his misson to promote puppet play into education.
The site itself makes at least one reference to evolution and is not written from a Christian worldview. Certainly puppet play has its value in classrooms, homeschools, sunday schools, vacation Bible schools, etc. On the Puppet Tools site there is a forum for people to discuss different aspects of puppet play.
The site itself I found boring, confusing and had diffuculty navigating through it. Jeffrey has many papers he has written and videos he has made on the site. Several are in pdf form and need to be downloaded and others open up and he speaks for 90 seconds or so. However, the way to create a paper hinge for the puppet was clearly explained and it was nice to simple print out some puppets that could then be cut out and glued on the hinges. The paper I used for the hinges was from old coloring books that were already used up. I showed my 7 year old how to construct a hinge and printed out the beaver template. He set right to work and really enjoyed it. I only saw 37 patterns to print out. There are hundreds of examples of student and teacher puppets, though.
The best part is watching the expressions of joy in the videos and pictures of the kids and adults with their puppets. Almost everyone is beaming and having fun. The universal appeal is undeniable.I look forward to making many puppets and looking through our favorite books to create characters.
In the future I am sure my kids will get hours and hours of fun and play from the ideas in Puppet Tools. I have also been challenged to think more about using puppets in my teaching. It makes me feel funny to use puppets, but I do agree with Jeffrey that puppets are a very helpful tool while teaching. This was certainly not a site I would have stumbled on or even given a second glance. I do feel most of the material can be found for free on other websites and not a lot was new or original to me personally,
$20 for an individual per year
$99 for a group (up tp 30 members) per year