The last few months of school, I went to my friend's classroom once a week and read stories to her children. Story time is something I really miss, and I was very thankful to her for letting me read to them. She helped them write thank you letters to give me the last week of school:
Aren't they wonderful? I brought my monkey puppet, Esmé, with me most of the time, which they really enjoyed. She would ask them if they had any questions about the story when I was done reading it. The last day I read, I suppose they had observed enough to feel more confident, and one of the little boys talked to Esme:
Esmé: "Yes, what is your question?"
Boy: "I don't have a question, but I have a puppet friend I want you to meet."
Esmé: "Okay! Who is your friend?"
The little boy made his hand move like it was a puppet and spoke in a very high voice: "Hi, I am a puppet. I wanted to say I liked that story."
They had a conversation about the story. We had so much fun! Then another boy did the same thing and said that his hand was also a puppet. All the children started giggling, but they took the kid seriously, too. Childhood is amazing. At the end Esmé hugged everybody, and she made sure to hug the puppet hands. It was a great day.
I made a sleep mask and a zippered banana purse for my monkey puppet. She obviously needs a sleep mask because she doesn't have any eyelids, but the banana was what I gave her for Christmas. Part of the fun of making these things was watching how insane the children thought I was when I showed them. To make puppetry work in a classroom you have to, on some level, believe in the puppet yourself.