Dear parents and carers,
We hope you are all well. Thank you to everyone who has already filled out our survey, this feedback is really helpful for us to work out how we can offer the best support possible to families during this time. If you haven’t yet filled out the survey, please do so here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/S59C75V
Thank you also for all parents that are sharing their activities and ideas on Tapestry, there were some beautiful small world scenes last week! As you may have noticed, we are using your ideas for inspiration for these emails as well as sharing ideas from staff!
Weekly challenge #7 – make your own puppets
Puppets have been used in early years for a long time, playing with puppets can support children’s wellbeing as they can role-play difficult scenarios or express feelings in a safe way, as a puppet can take on a role as a non-judgemental listener. Puppets are also excellent for supporting children’s expressive language. For some children, a conversation with a friendly puppet is easier than other conversations, and can build their confidence and their vocabulary, there is lots of value in both adult and children holding (and speaking as) the puppet to encourage conversation, puppets are for play not just for shows!
For babies, a simple sock puppet that can gently stroke their face and start conversations and sing songs is a great way of encouraging communication. For older children puppets can come in all shapes and sizes and can be part of a story or show!
Can you make your own puppet(s)?
You could make a character from a story you know, a monster, animal or your own special character! It can be made of anything!
Sock puppets – this can be as simple as drawing two eyes on an old sock with a marker pen, but if you have some good glue or sewing kit, you can get more creative! (see https://www.learning4kids.net/2011/09/26/sock-puppets/)
Stick puppets - https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/puppets
Wooden Spoon puppets - https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/wooden-spoon-crafts
Or if you are feeling ambitious, Shadow puppets - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hL28SkHf1g
Or make up your own kind of puppet – for loads of creative ideas for more unique puppets (for over 3s!) https://littleangeltheatre.com/schools-and-community/at-home-resources/activities-ages-3-6/
For some excellent free online shows by professional puppeteers, see Little Angel Puppet Theatre: https://www.youtube.com/thelittleatheatre
See also the attached ideas for using sock puppets for developing communication and language from the Speech and Language team, and for social interactions from the Incredible Years website.
We have also attached 2 more sugar-free recipes that we use at nursery with children (thanks Sharma at Clapton Park for providing these!)
More activity ideas for babies
Although we are trying to send activity ideas that can be adapted to work for all ages (including puppets!), a lot of websites and activity ideas online are aimed at slightly older children, so here’s some ideas specifically aimed at babies!
50 activities for 1 year olds https://www.mother.ly/child/sensory-activities-for-1-year-olds-play
and 34 activities for under 1s! https://www.mylittlemoppet.com/34-creative-play-activities-for-babies-below-1-year/
Other activities across Hackney
Lovehackney.uk is a new website to showcase all the amazing things still going on across the borough. The site will contain links to online resources being created by organisations in Hackney and beyond to help support people during the pandemic. It has workout classes, ideas for children and young people, and links to resources for adult and children’s wellbeing.
Clapton Park Children's Centre
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