Before 18 months
You can use the finger puppets as visual props as you tell stories or sing to your child. By 6 to 8 months, their colour vision would be well-developed and they are enticed by colours. All materials are European-certified safe and bear the CE mark.
- Wear the finger puppet and move the puppet around in different movements (up and down, circular motions etc) and see if your child can follow the movement visually.
- Under close supervision, you can get your baby to grasp the finger puppets and look at the smiley faces of all the puppets.
- Note: The finger puppets and bag are certified suitable for ages 18 months and up. Do exercise due caution.
18 months to 2 years old
Our storybags are suitable for play with ages 18 months and up.
Your child will start learning to name and differentiate different shapes and colours during this stage.
- You can refer to the puppet colours saying “pink princess”, “blue prince”, “green dragon”, “white horse” or “black witch” when they handle the puppets. Our puppets are perfect for little hands to grasp.
Encourage Simple Symbolic Play
At 18 months, children start doing simple pretend play or simple ‘symbolic play’. It is an important part of their development and parents should encourage this. Pretend play is how children start learning to make sense of the world around them.
The princess, prince and witch puppets are open-ended enough in appearance to play other characters like a girl and boy/parents and grandparent. Toddlers like to relate their play to people in their lives and things they know. They may mine simple actions like feeding, singing, or conversations. By 24 months, they also understand stories you tell and relate them to illustrations you show them.
- Get down to their level. Watch and listen to them babble and move the puppets around.
- Take your lead from them rather than guide or direct. You can give words to their actions saying things like ‘Let’s put the pink princess into the castle’, ‘The green dragon is flying around the castle.’ or ‘The blue prince is riding the horse.’ Or ask them questions about where the puppets are going or doing.
- Children’s attentions are not long at this age. This is perfectly natural. Mix it up during playtime with different toys and activities.
- Use the finger puppets to play out songs and stories like ‘Sleeping Beauty’ with them. Here’s a song you can sing to them. Place the dragon in the castle. You can put the rest of the puppets in the bag and your child can draw out the characters after each verse.
All Around the Castle
(Tune: “Pop Goes the Weasel”)
All around the castle
The knight chased the dragon.
The dragon thought it was all in fun .
ROAR went the dragon!
The princess chased the dragon…
The king chased the dragon…
The horse chased the dragon…
The witch chased the dragon…
Pretend play also goes hand in hand with their language development. In pretend play, children use toys as symbols for real-life people or objects. In language, words are symbols that stand for our thoughts and ideas. At 18 months, your child would be starting to babble a lot more and start to pick up words. This will soon shape up into phrases and sentences. Finger puppets create a fun way to interact with them and set the stage for role-play and verbal interaction with others.
- Ask them questions using the finger puppets eg. “How old are you?” or “What is your name?” “Where is Mummy/Daddy?”
- Create simple dialogues with the finger puppets about everyday things you do eg. going to the playground, supermarket or hawker centre (because princesses go to the hawker centres too, you know.)
- You can make sound effects for the horse and dragon to encourage your child to link sounds with objects.
By 3 years old
By 3 years old, your child enters the age of tea parties, fairy princesses, make-believe fantasy stories about space adventures, and dinosaurs. Children also start enjoying interacting with other children when they play – an important part of socialisation.
From 2 going on 3, they start speaking in longer phrases. They start miming the puppets riding on the horse or dragon and verbalising what they are doing eg. ‘the prince ride on horse’. They may also start acting out relationships between the finger puppets, for instance having the prince and princess kiss, or the witch cast a spell.
- Continue to follow their lead. Give them your attention and listen to their stories. Your encouragement gives them confidence to express themselves through play.
- Encourage and praise them when they speak longer sentences rather than seeking to correct their mistakes. You can repeat what they say but in its grammatical form to help them learn.
Creativity and Imagination
Your child will begin to show greater use of his or her imagination. They may start making up stories of their own or help you tell the stories themselves.
- Encourage them to help you tell ‘Sleeping Beauty’ with the finger puppets. You can get them to play the role of the dragon roaring to scare away the prince for a start - whatever interests them.
- Give them the chance to come up with their own stories – encourage them by asking them “what happens next?” or “what does he/she say next?”
Ages 4 and above
Continue to encourage your child to express their ideas and imagine their own stories.
- Leave them with the bag and get them to stage a puppet show to tell you or a sibling later. This is a handy activity to give them when you want some time to yourself.
- Improvise stories: Put all the puppets in the bag and get them to draw the puppets one by one. Encourage them to come up with the storyline as you go along. This works well as both an individual and group activity. In a group setting, the children learn how to take turns and to collaborate with each other.