A puppet is one of the basic tools for a child's game. Its use in a kindergarten brings plenty of positive effects on children's development and facilitates the educator's path to educational goals.
There are plenty of puppetry techniques (finger, hand, flat puppets, marionettes, puppets on sticks, object animations, shadow, mimic puppets, puppets – toys ...), which have different effects on the development and well-being of children. The educator must be able to select the appropriate puppet technique, suitable to the confronting challenge.
In the first part of the diploma paper, the game, various puppetry techniques, the daily use of puppets in a kindergarten and a puppet theatre are presented.
In the second part, I demonstrate a practical example of the daily use of puppets in a kindergarten. I focus primarily on the children’s responses, the benefits and ways of puppet use and the role of an educator in the process of children’s creative puppet activities.
The practice also shows that children easier follow a puppet that represents a greater authority to them than the educator. A puppet helps an educator to establish communication with children and gain their trust. After the introduction of a puppet the group atmosphere is more relaxed and enjoyable. The transmission of the educational content is more interesting and effective with a puppet. A puppet helps in breaking the rigid and therefore often stressful parts of a daily routine. It also helps to develop children's cognitive, social, emotional and motor skills. It stimulates creativity and enhances the feeling for a game.
In the last part follows the research on the use of puppets in kindergartens. With the help of questionnaires I focus on the frequency of the puppet use and puppet techniques during teaching in Slovene kindergartens, the motives for the puppet use, the frequency of visiting puppet theatres and obstacles during the visits.