Dec 30, 2008

Puppets Anyone?

I believe puppets are a great tool to share the Gospel with kids. In our new children's building the preschoolers will be attending chapel in an indoor park that has a giant two-story tree/treehouse. The treehouse will be called Zach's treehouse (short for Zacchaeus...short...no pun intended). The preschooler's chapel will be a Playhouse Disney type experience with puppets coming out of the tree/treehouse and interacting with live actors, video, music, etc. Preschoolers connect well with puppets and I believe pairing that with live actor interaction, music, video, etc. will be a highly effective way to grab their attention and share God's truth.

I occasionally use puppets for 1st-3rd graders. Puppets for this age should be more advanced (check out www.axtellpuppets.com) and use lots of humor. Your scripts should target the third grade boy in the group.

4-5th grade...we never use puppets. Puppets stop for us at 3rd grade. Today's 4-5th graders in my opinion don't connect with puppets due to the "coolness" factor.

Do you use puppets? Any tips or ideas?

5 comments:

I've been a puppeteer since I was 12...it's what got me into children's ministry. I think puppets continue to be one of the best tools for ministry to kids...and adults for that matter. I use them for all ages!

Here's the thing, the "coolness" factor isn't as much of a factor for the puppets themselves, it's what they do. If you've ever seen the character Gerbert in action you'll see what I mean. I've seen Andy Holmes perform the character at many puppet festivals where he completely draws in a crowd of hundres of teenagers...it's because he's doing a program that works for them...not what he would do for a group of preschoolers.

Now, total disclosure, some could say I'm biased. I do have a horse in this race. For 14 years I've worked for a company that makes puppets for ministry. In my 25+ years in this type of ministry, I've seen all ages (kids from 1 to 92 as the Christmas song says) have their lives impacted in big ways because they heard God's word coming from the mouth of a puppet.

Great word. May God continue to bless your minstry thru puppets. If you can send me a link for the company you work for I'd like to check it out. Blessings. Dale

I would agree that puppets are a good tool. However, I wonder about balancing learning and entertainment.

I think the most effective method is blending learning and entertainment. It's called "edutainment."

It has been proven that lecture-style learning is the least effective method of education.

A great book to read is "Creating Ever-Cool...A Marketer's Guide to a Child's Heart." It says that those who learn to serve up education in an engaging and entertaining way will reap the benefits."

I would never use puppets or any other teaching tool just for the sake of "entertainment." It is simply a vehicle to communicate truth.

Everything should be done to communicate truth...including puppets.

Looking to Sesame Street is a great example, not just for puppets, but for how to use any art form and ballance education and entertainment.

I'm with One Way Street, by the way. www.onewaystreet.com

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