When I started teaching kindergarten 20 years ago, my students adored playing with puppets and putting on shows. When they chose an activity, the puppet corner became a crowded spot, forcing me to limit the number to five. Now, however, kids don't know how to play with puppets, their creativity diminished by iPads, iPhones, computers, video games, and television. When I suggest they put on a show, they look at me perplexed as if to say: How do we do that? Imagination – once a strong and defining characteristic among young children – is getting destroyed by technology.
Parents and teachers today are so fearful little kids will fall behind with technology, unable one day to get into MIT and land a high-paying gig in Silicon Valley. Even in preschool and kindergarten, children have access to iPads and laptops and everybody acts like it's a wholly positive thing, never asking: At what cost? But, more and more scholars in early education are answering this question with: the loss of imagination.
In today's atmosphere of rigorous learning at earlier ages, it's become vitally important for moms and dads to promote their children's imagination at home. Creating bunny puppets is a terrific way to do that. Every spring my sons would look forward to making their own unique puppets. I'd read them lots of books about rabbits and they'd put on puppet shows, showing off their curiosity and imagination about these furry creatures. This is what early childhood education is all about – not worksheets and iPads and boring circle time lessons.
Best of all, creating bunny puppets is something kids can do on their own, making them feel independent and powerful. In March I'd set up a tray with all the materials my boys needed: brown lunch bags, construction paper, crayons, and scissors. When they got a little older and even more inventive, I added glitter, buttons, fabric, felt, yarn, cotton-balls, and ribbon. Making bunny puppets is children's art at its best, letting kids use their imaginations to make something that reflects their vision and personality.
This timeless book is one you and your children will cherish. It's a true piece of literature – far superior than the cheesy mass-produced Easter books that fill the stores each spring. It's about the magical relationship between a boy and his beloved stuffed animals. It triggers our memories about childhood and our own special stuffed friends.
Labels: Easter Fun With the Kids