Puppets and dress up play are an important type of a child's playtime. The use of puppets for pretend play works not only on creative expression and imagination but on children's social and emotional development. Puppets also work on speech development and are often used for speech therapy with younger children. Puppets have an important role in other types of children's therapy and puppets can ease communication with many children. They are often used to assist talking about difficult or emotional subjects.
For home and school use, puppets and dress up play will provide endless hours of entertainment as well as exercise the imagination and work on speech, emotional and social development. Children's puppets range from the very simple sock or hand puppet to the more complex ventriloquism dummy. Puppets may be purchased in hundreds of forms. Simple puppets may also be made using an old unmatched sock, adding buttons or other appliqués.
Dress up play also provides many hours of entertainment. Old worn clothing, costumes and old funny hats are great for pretend play. We mention dress up play while discussing puppets because they are very similar. Like puppet play, dress up play also works on social and emotional development as well as creative expression and even speech. Dress up play is easy to encourage. Store old Halloween costumes, clothing that no longer fits you, funny hats, scarves, gloves and similar items in a large plastic container. Through role playing children develop in many areas so encourage dress up pretend play and puppet play.