In the theoretical part of my thesis I present different types of puppets, work methods and ways of usage of the puppet. I describe why a puppet in kindergarten is important for children and teachers, what its role is and why an early interaction with the puppet is so important. Puppets particularly stimulate the children’s creative expression, imagination and creativity. They can use the puppet to release their fears and frustrations and at the same time develop a positive self-image and strengthen their self-confidence. Puppets also help them develop social skills and establish a multidirectional communication, while also increasing their sensibility towards the feelings of others.
In the empirical part I first present results of the research about the usage of puppets in kindergarten Mojca, in Ljubljana, which I acquired through a survey questionnaire. The results did not confirm my early predictions, as the answers to the questions showed that they use puppets more often than I anticipated. The results are also graphically and descriptively presented.
In the continuation of the empirical part I write about the project “Puppet – my friend” (“Lutka – moj prijatelj”), which I carried out in a group of children, aged 3 to 4. We got acquainted with different types of puppets and also made our own. A lot of emphasis laid on free playtime with different puppets and the creation of a puppet corner in the classroom. As an upgrade to the puppet corner we created a “traveling” puppet corner, which can travel into other group and units of the kindergarten. As part of the project we also saw a puppet show, performed by parents, and another professional show at the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre.
The purpose of the project was mainly to create a positive and relaxed relationship between me and the children, as I arrived to the group fairly recently. With the help of a puppet I managed to get the trust of the children and create a special bond. The project also contributed to the development of creativity and imagination – my own and the children’s.